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The Easiest Route Up Mt. Takao

Tokyo's most popular mountain, the fast way.
  • Duration
    1Day , 2Hour
    Highest Point
    599m
    Elevation Gain
    411m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

Visited by nearly three million people a year, Mt. Takao (Takao-san) is one of Japan's most famous mountains. It's located approximately 40 kilometers west of Shinjuku, Tokyo. You can reach it in about an hour via the Keio Line.
The mountain's summit is only 599 meters above sea level, but there are a variety of plants and animals, and it's a good place to enjoy changes in the nature through the four seasons. Its various trails are well maintained, and however many times you hike it, you'll always experience something new.
Mt. Takao's Yakuo-in Temple (Yakuoh-in) was built in the middle of the 8th century. As such the mountain is considered sacred, and nature has long been protected while keeping the impact of humans to a minimum until modern.

Mt. Takao's Nature Research Trail 1 (Takao-san Shizen Kenkyuro Ichi Gohro) is its most popular route. If you take the lift or cable car, you can reach the summit with just an hour's walk.

At the start of the hike you'll encounter enormous cedar trees before entering the grounds of Yakuo-in Temple. Once you pass a row of tea shops and through another temple gate, you'll reach the main hall. The area is full of features tied to tied to its esoteric worship.

Climb the stairs beside the temple to continue towards the summit. From here you'll be surrounded by nature as you hike the mountain trail, giving you a chance to take in Tokyo's lush natural environment. You'll see lots of flowers in the spring as well as the beautiful fresh green leaves of the trees. The mountain trail slopes upwards gently and eventually brings you to the summit.

There you'll find a large public area with a visitor center and a toilet. Several tea shops sell refreshments.

When the weather is fine you can get a good view of Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san) from the summit observation deck and a sense of how far inland the range extends from Mt. Takao.

You'll return via the same path you hiked on the way up.

Other Info

Yakuo-in Temple was built in the middle of the 8th century. As Mt. Takao is considered a sacred mountain, its nature has long been protected. A day-use hot spring spa is available near Keio Takaosanguchi Station.

Notes

Mt. Takao has a number of other trails, too. You can choose one of these for your descent or to continue the traverse further into the mountains.
In good weather you can hike this trail in sneakers.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
1Day , 2Hour
Highest Point
599m
Elevation Gain
411m
Horizontal Distance
6Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping
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Eating

There are several tea shops at the foot of the mountain, along the trail, and at the summit

Hot-Springs

Keio Takaosan Onsen Gokurakuyu is near Takaosanguchi Station

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Access

Mt. Takao is approximately 40 kilometers west of Tokyo. The Keio Line's Takaosanguchi Station is the nearest station. It takes approximately 50 minutes from JR Shinjuku Station to Takao Station via an express train. Change there to the Keio Line and Takaosanguchi Station will be the next stop. A high-speed train on the Keio Line from Shinjuku will get you to Takaosanguchi Station in approximately 60 minutes.

The cable railway is a five-minute walk from Takaosanguchi Station. The boarding point for the lift is close by as well.

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