The Mount Takao Hike

What do you do when your head is ready to explode?

Why, you go to the mountains, of course! Or anywhere quiet really. The lake, the woods…snuggle with a book on a rainy day. But we were headed for the hills, aka Mount Takao, on this particular day and that suited me fine.

Like I said before, Mount Takao is a very popular spot, which I’ve managed to avoid all these years. I mean, if a mountain offers a beer garden at the top, you know it’s going to be packed with people. I don’t even know if a mountain with a railway is even a real mountain (it is, I checked…but still).

But that being said, it’s a very convenient mountain from the city, especially Shinjuku. Just one train ride on the Keio Line and you’re there at the foot of the mountain within an hour, and only 390 yen! And because Mount Takao only stands at 599 meters, it’s a very easy hike for people of all ages. Not to mention the lift and railway that easily takes you straight to the top.

So for some, it’s worth the crowd.

My best friend and I went on a week day, and the crowd of people getting off at the station mostly headed towards the railway, so we nearly had the trail all to ourselves! My first time there and it was exactly what I needed to relax both mind and soul.

I admit, there’s a lot of concrete on this mountain. But the cool mountain air and warm sunny rays felt wonderful. The hike wasn’t difficult at all. I just enjoyed being surrounded by nature and seeing the views as we got closer to the peak.

We took Trail 1 and Trail 3, so by the time we reached the peak I were starving. Good thing for us, we packed a lunch! But I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture. Oh well. You’ll just have to believe me when I say it was delicious, especially with that mountain air. I did remember to take a picture of our tumbler, that held hot water for coffee, and mikan. Yum!

The peak was getting quite crowded when we finished eating. And even though the kindergarten kids were adorable, we decided to escape into the quietness of the mountain.

We made our way down the mountain on Trail 6, which was a bit more wet than our hike up, due to the water running along (and sometimes on) the path. There are certain places you can stop and sit, to look out across the mountain or just to chat. We were definitely slower hiking back down but then again it’s not every day you get to discuss life with your best friend on a mountain, so you can bet we took full advantage of that. It was great πŸ™‚

So my advice? Go on a week day and you may have the hiking trails all to yourself! x

Here are some photos:

At Shinjuku Station, ready to get away from the crowds of people.
Mount Takao is part of the Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park.
My love of moss is eternal.

Nature’s gradations are the best.
There were several different bridges along the trail.

Breathing in the greenery.
So many lush views, like this.
Aren’t the shades of blue gorgeous?

Our lunch break at the peak!

All the while, this huge spider was sitting right above us…eek!
These kids were just too cute!
Our path down from the peak began like this.
It was pretty wet in some places.
Shades of fall beginning to appear!

Taking in the mountain air by the a river.
Have you ever hiked Mount Takao?

7 thoughts on “The Mount Takao Hike”

  1. It looks like the path you took was full of forest, and not so crowded. Great!

    Along with other areas, I liked this section with the lanterns and cedars on one side and those kind of dedication plaques on the other. It made it feel somehow more sacred, as if nature itself isn’t sacred enough.

    It is nice, how on a day of proverbial good weather, we can see Shinjuku in one direction, off in the distance, and in another direction an archetypical Japan view. I used the latter Google Street View to click around a bit. But being there is so much better. Lucky you!


  2. Is that station picture on the Oedo Line? Kinda looks familiar. Could easily be wrong.

    Also, did you notice you caught a woman in full yawn on the far left? πŸ˜‰


  3. Good eye, Dru. It looks like Oedo Line at Shinjuku. A brief YouTube shot can be seen by clicking here. The video goes on for another 10 minutes after the top of the escalator. Not necessary to watch.

    I assume Kaori wanted to show us the contrast of Shinjuku earlier in her day trip with her Takao-san hike.


  4. It is the Oedo Line. It was right during rush hour in the morning…so I can't blame the lady for her yawn. That's me on any other regular week day! haha.


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