Looking for natural retreat after spending days with business events in Tokyo? There is no need to go to another district because you can find many recreational spots nearby. What is your best interest? Sightseeing or hiking? Well, you are able to experience both of those fun by taking a trip to Mount Takao
Do you know that Takao is Tokyo’s most favourite mountain? It is located in the Tama region, the west part of Tokyo. Standing on 599 meters of height, the mountain is hikeable be it by solo traveller, couples, families or even the older people. Well, it is not really hiking actually, because the pathway is equipped with scenic ropeway, giving chances to those who have arthritic, wear heels or just hate walking uphill to reach the summit. And your effort is so much worth it as you can catch various sightseeing beauties along the way, including a monkey park and temple.
There are six main and four additional routes of hiking available with different levels of difficulty from easy to moderate. Interestingly, you can finish each in less than two hours. Here they are:
1. Trail 1 – the Omotesando Trail
People choose it at the most because it offers the major sightseeing spots. It is also the easiest path, making it favourite among hikers. So, you may have to hike up within the noisy atmosphere. Though it offers easy to medium difficulty level, this trail is actually the longest one. If you prefer silent-mountain-hiking experience, you can consider the following routes.
2. Trail 2 – Kasumidai loop
Less than 1km, this trail is the easiest and shortest one.
3. Trail 3 – Katsura Woods Trail
It has a medium level of difficulty, offering more focus on the natural sightseeing along its 2,4km of streams.
4. Trail 4 – Suspension Bridge Trail
It is another less than the 2km route, passing through the forests and crossing the Miyamabashi Bridge.
5. Trail 5 – Peak Loop Trail
Do you love flowers? Then, this 0,9km route with easy difficulty level will be your best choice.
6. Trail 6 – Biwa Waterfall Trail
If you want a true challenge, you can take this trail. It is about 3,3km and known as the trail of water. The beautiful waterfall may make you take more time to reach the summit.
7. Inariyama Trail
This is another longest trail that is challenging via Mount Inari, also known as the every-season route because you can always see flowers and leaves.
8. Iroha no Mori Trail
It is a quite interesting trail because you will find trees with the form of 48-character ancient Japanese alphabet initials, called the Iroha.
9. Kyataki Waterfall Trail
This 1,5 km medium level of the trail is quiet and peaceful following the water.
10. Ura-Takao Trail
It is the longest trail but the difficulty is still easy. You will take 4,7km route surrounded by more than 10,000 trees. It actually a road, so there are possibly fast cars passing by.
Top spots to see
Takao Mountain is well managed recreational area. that is why you will find many bonuses as the best reward for your hiking effort. So, you won’t only admire the view from the top of this mountain, because there are many interesting spots along the way.
1. Yakuoin Temple
This temple is located near to the summit and has been protected for centuries. You will find it when taking the trail 1. You can spend the time to explore the temple grounds for free.
2. Takao Natural Zoon and Botanical Garden
This spot is also reachable when you take the trail 1. There are about 60 monkeys living in Natural Zoo, while the botanical garden has more than 3000 species of native grasses. Both park and garden open from 9:30 am to 4 pm with 400 yen of a single ticket.
3. Takao 599 Museum
Before stepping your feet on the trail route, you can first take time visiting Takao 588 Museum to learn more about the mountain. It is located near Takaosanguchi station and opens throughout the year with irregular closing days.
4. Takaosan Onsen
Tired after finishing the mission to conquer Takao summit? You will find Takaosan Onsen, a natural hot spring to clean and relax your body with the last entry at 10 pm.
How to get there
The closest station to Takao Mount is Takaosanguch. But, you need to catch Keio Line from Shinjuku. It means if you do not actually live in Japan, you have to fly to Tokyo first. So, make sure you book the flight at Airpaz.