On August 9, Japan will celebrate Mountain Day with a public holiday. As the state of emergency lingers in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures, spending the day in busy areas may not be an option for some. So GoConnect has put together a list of the top five mountain hikes in this area. What better way to spend Mountain Day than … on a mountain?
These hikes vary in difficulty and are within easy access from central Tokyo. We hope you enjoy the natural beauty the area has to offer!
One of the more popular mountains to visit, Mount Takao is just 50 minutes from central Tokyo and offers beautiful views of the city. There are a variety of hiking trails to enjoy, none of which takes more than three hours. The most popular is trail 1, which has different attractions to enjoy on the way up, such as the Buddhist temple Yakuo-in. There is also a monkey park where 60 monkeys reside, and you can buy food for ¥100 to give them.
And for those who want to enjoy nature, see the monkeys and get out of the city but are not keen on hiking, you can take a cable car up the mountain! Takao is a great mountain for families to enjoy.
The second one, perfect for an easy day of hiking, is Mount Tsukuba. With two peaks, it is one of the most popular climbs near Tokyo. Once you arrive at Tsukuba Station, a bus will take you to two points on the mountain. The top has spectacular views, as well as gift shops, restaurants, and a rock formation shaped like a frog’s mouth—make sure you toss a rock inside for good luck!
Climbing down the mountain is known to be difficult, so there is a ropeway available to take you down safely.
This beautiful mountain is found in the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, which covers 1,250 square kilometers of natural scenery, stretching across Yamanashi, Saitama, Nagano and Tokyo. Two hours from central Tokyo, Mount Mitake is another hugely popular spot for people looking to escape the city. This one is good for hiking enthusiasts and is the perfect place to see rare species of birds, plants and insects.
Mount Mitake is also home to a beautiful shrine. Musashi Mitake shrine sits at the peak of the mountain and enshrines a white wolf in the form of an oinusama (sacred dog). This attracts a large number of worshippers who pray for their dogs’ health.
This one offers different trails with varying degrees of difficulty—the easiest being the cable car for those who don’t want to hike, but still want to enjoy the views. While at the start of the trails, you can pop in at a restaurant and try some of Oyama’s famous tofu.
For more experienced hikers, there is the Yabitsu-Toge Pass, or the Otoko-zaka Trail. Both of these lead to one of the two Oyama Afuri shrines. Once you arrive there, you can follow signs for the Shimosha Trail, which leads to the main Oyama Afuri Shrine, positioned on the mountain’s summit. With spectacular views of Mount Fuji, this day of hiking is a great challenge.
Three Mountain Hike
Looking for a challenge? How about tackling three mountains in one day?
Spend the day climbing Nokogiri, Otake and Mitake while enjoying the endless views on offer. The three mountains all offer shrines, cedar trees and beautiful views. From Mount Otake—with clear views of Mount Fuji—you can take a two-hour detour to soak in Tsuru-tsuru onsen.
This is not a hike for beginners, so make sure you’re prepared! Once you reach Mitake, you can relax and catch the ropeway back down.