ITINERARIES Mt. Takao—A Mountain of Surprises A short day-trip from Tokyo, Mt. Takao is an oasis of nature and culture
Escape Tokyo's busy center for a day of hiking, monkeys, panoramic views and hot springs
- Ride Japan's steepest cable car
- Visit a Buddhist mountain temple
- See gorgeous views of Mt. Fuji
- Meet some Japanese monkeys
How to Get There
Mt. Takao has six trails leading to the summit of the mountain. This itinerary follows trail No. 1 which takes about 110 minutes to the top. For less ambitious hikers, there are a cable car and chairlift that will take you halfway up the mountain.
Along the way you will pass the Monkey Park, home to over 60 named monkeys. Taken a short break from hiking here to watch the monkeys climb and play in the trees. As you continue your hike you will pass the Wild Plant Garden, which showcases the many varieties of plants and flowers found around Mt. Takao.
1 hour 50 minutes
Trail No. 1 brings you to Tako-sugi, or the octopus cedar, a giant tree whose roots shoot out above the ground like an octopus.
Further along the trail is Yakuoin, a Buddhist temple founded in 744. Yakuoin is devoted to the long-nosed Tengu, a goblin who lives around sacred mountains and is tasked with keeping away evildoers. The summit of Mt. Takao, with its clear views of distant Mt. Fuji, is a short walk from the temple.
Visit Takao 599 at the bottom of the mountain to learn more about Mt. Takao's historical and cultural significance. The museum also showcases the many plants and animals native to Mt. Takao.
A soak in Gokurakuyu Onsen, next to Takaosanguchi Station, is the perfect end to a day of hiking. The spa has indoor and outdoor baths, massage services and a restaurant.