There are countless activities to do in Tokyo is one were to make a list of the best activities to do in Tokyo. There’s also plenty of amazing day trip you can take from Tokyo; hiking Mount Takao is one of those amazing day trips.
Yes, you read that right, hiking in Tokyo is a thing. It’s probably not the first activity that comes to your mind when you hear about Tokyo, but, it’s one of the best!
Hiking Mt Takao was by far one of my favourite activity and place to discover in Tokyo. So, naturally, I had to write this blog post to share more about this excellent spot!
It was such a lovely activity and so different than what you can usually found out in Tokyo when you’re looking out at what to do. Hiking Mt Takao it’s pretty much an off the beaten path activity that offers you a lot of traditional Japanese culture with shrines, your dose of pure air and excellent cardio!
Day Trip From Tokyo: Hiking Mount Takao
Table Of Contents
Obviously, when you think about hiking in Japan, Mount Takao probably doesn’t ring any bells. You’re probably thinking about hiking Mt Fuji like a lot of people, and if you do and you’d like to hike it I recommend this quick guide to hiking Mt Fuji to know more about it!
However, it’d be a shame to miss out Mt Takao, also, if you don’t have the time or the budget for Mt Fuji, Mt Takao is a nice alternative. Granted it’s not the same iconic scenery, but it’s amazing in its own way.
📍 Mt Takao, Tokyo Japan
➸ How to access Mt Takao From Tokyo
Journey: To reach the Takaosanguchi Station you need to go to Shinjuku Station to take the Keio Line to Takaosanguchi. There’s an express Line that can get you almost directly there. So be careful what train you board on. (Takes about 50min+ but it goes by pretty quickly honestly) Price: From Shinjuku, it will cost you 390¥ one way (or 381¥ if you own a SUICA or a PASMO card)
Once you reach the station, which is small and charming. And you can instantly feel that you left the big city, it’s so quiet compared to Tokyo central station such as Shibuya or Shinjuku. Then all, you have to do is to follow the various sign into the town to reach the “entrance” of the Mt Takao – or at least the cable car entrance- Look how adorable this little town is; you’re only 50km away from Tokyo, yet the atmosphere has completely changed!
What To Do In Mt Takao
You can find various tiny souvenirs shop or restaurants offering traditional items and food. Or directly articles related to the Mt Takao. Such as custom foods, postcards, fans and so on. The city also gives a very traditional vibe which adds onto the charm of exploring it.
Another thing you can do there is visiting Monkey Park if that’s your thing.
You can also take the cable car up to enjoy some scenic views. Having a picnic there is a treat! And last but not least you can also hike your way up to the top!
You have several paths you can choose from, six pathways to be precise, to hike Mt Takao.
Admitting you’re not up for a hike you can still visit mt Takao using a cable car or chairlift as I stated above.
Each trail has its speciality it’s your job to choose which one suits the best your needs and what part of the mountain you’d like to see with the attractions and nature it has to offers.
Read more about every trail here!
We decided on trail n°6 to climb and trail n°1 on our way back.
To get to the trail n°6, you need to walk a bit further on the left side of the road from the cable car station upon your arrival. To be honest, at first, we thought we were lost, but, not at all. It’s just a bit off the road. You need to walk for about 10 minutes before you finally see the beginning of the trail.
Trails n°1 and n°6 are defined has ” Course for a true nature experience“.
I wouldn’t say the hike is arduous but, it sure is tiring since it took us around two hours to get to the top without a lot of pauses (about two small one, and one to drink a bit). But then again we aren’t quite used to hike or sporty as a matter of fact! And for our defence, there is a lot of cool stuff to admire and watch during this hike.
The path isn’t flat at all; you meet rocks, roots and a lot of other obstacles! Nothing impossible to outpass though, I mean we even saw an old lady going down this path while we were climbing so, you can do it!
What we didn’t see on the other hand was the “Biwa Falls”. We did see a river and some water spot where you can look up for crab, but we miss the falls. Shame, because this was one of the reasons I wanted to hike trail n°6. That was an epic fail.
The hike is pretty fun, although in the humidity of the Japanese summer you get quickly hot and wet.
Before you actually reach the top, there’s a LOT of steps made on the ground with some wood stick. Before we saw those the last stop on the trail said we made it, and I was like “woooh finally, victory” however, you only made it to the point where you can now hike your way up to the top. Your final destination.
Believe me after walking for more than an hour on various not so flat rocky paths those “stairs” are killers for your legs.
At least they were for mine I was aching (what? Yes, I’m not sporty at all). But reaching the top was so satisfying anyway! For two reasons – the view at 90% and food for the last 10%. It’s such a nice feeling of accomplishment when you reach the top and the view over the city and everything is so rewarding.
We looked around for a bit before quickly heading to the last restaurant open for a much-needed meal after this hike. We pick a regular-sized curry, though the regular version of their curry was more the size of a mini, nevermind we needed to eat. It was still great to eat after this, as well, we were starving.
You can also find some toilets; I liked this. I mean I was as red as a beetroot so, yeah, water on my face felt awesome. There’s also some vending machine (or maybe only one, I’m not too sure anymore). It’s more expensive than your usual vending machines though so that’s why it’s best that you pack up some snack and water before your trip; obviously, because you’d need them during your hike. It’d be madness to hike with no water.
Despite the beautiful weather, it was still a bit foggy so we couldn’t see much ahead. Though, the view was still amazing and pleasant to look at. It’s a fun game to try and spot where you came from a few hours before.
On our way down we visited Yakuo-In Temple which can be found on the trail n°1 also called ” Omotesando Trail”. It’s a gorgeous temple located in the heart of the mountain, only about 15min from the summit of Mt Takao. Even you decide to climb by any other train you can still visit it on your way down.
What makes this temple beautiful is the contrast of its colours with the luxurious lush and green nature that surrounds it.
So, if you want a day out of Tokyo doing something different I recommend the Mt Takao.
It’s not far from Tokyo yet still gives you the impression you’re far away from the city, and there’s so much to see there on each different trails so you can custom your day to your liking depending on what you would like to see the most. A big breath of fresh air and an enjoyable activity not too expensive on the top on that!
What to bring ->
- We wore some simple hiking shoes on Mt Takao, although can make it with some good sneakers too.
- You can either wear shorts or legging both are fine! I was wearing shorts and no trouble, except maybe a few mosquitos bites! But my best friend was wearing legging and got bitten as well so; it’s up to you!
- Do not forget to get some water or a water bottle; it gets quickly hot with the humidity in the summer, so you need to hydrate yourself.
- Sunglasses aren’t an exact must, but when you reach the top it can be quite sunny, so it’s always nice to have a pair!
- Camera! I mean you don’t want to miss out on those gorgeous landscapes and trail 🙂 We had a
This concludes this amazing day trip from the concrete jungle that is Tokyo. Now that you’ve got everything, what else do you need to add “Hiking Mt Takao” on your Tokyo Bucket List ?! nothing simply go and do it hush-
Have you ever been to Mt Takao? Let me know in the comment!
Some useful posts about Tokyo and Japan:
- Day Trip To Nara
- The Ultimate Tokyo Travel Guide
- Attending A Concert In Japan
- A quick guide to Disneyland Tokyo
- 10 Things To Love About Tokyo