I was lucky to join a genki group of ladies today for a hiking and eating trip to Mt. Takao in Hachioji, Tokyo today. The morning weather was crisp and clear as we headed out of central Tokyo to western Tokyo. The trip to Mt. Takao took about one hour from Shinjuku station on the Keio Line. Mt. Takao has been a location of worship for more than 1,000 years. The main temple Yakuoin is located near the summit and is a popular place for visitors to pray for Shinto-Buddist mountain gods (tengu). There are two statues of these Tengu gods at the temple; one with a very long nose and one with a crow beak. You will see many statues and references to the Tengu all over the mountain and in the omiyage (gifts to take home).
Mt. Takao Hiking
Once we arrived we followed the well outfitted hiking crowd to the cable car that took us about half way up the mountain. There are a number of trails you can hike from the base to summit (599 meter high), or you can take the cable car or chair lift up half way. If you hike from the base plan for about 1.5-2 hours, cable car or chair lift will cut that in half. Number 1 trail is the most popular since it is mostly paved and passes most sites. Other trails are less traveled, narrower and not paved. If you take the cable car or chair lift you will come to the observation deck where you will have a great view of Tokyo on a clear day. Walk from the observation deck to the summit took 45 minutes. The foliage was magnificent, the views beautiful, and the shrines amusing and thought-provoking at the same time. Make sure you plan for 3-4 hours minimum to go up and down Mt. Takao.
After descending Mt. Takao we boarded a special bus for Ukai Toriyama Restaurant which was about a 10 minute ride from Takaosanguchi station. Ukai which has branches in Tokyo and other parts of Japan is a beautifully landscaped and intimate Japanese restaurant. We enjoyed out own private room with grilled vegetables and chicken. A sumptuous treat after our morning hike. The weather turned on us while we happily talked and ate which made the exterior environment even more glamorous and mysterious as day turn to dusk. Overall a very memorable autumn day at Mt. Takao. If you have a free day between mid-October to late November I highly recommend. Make sure you make reservations at Ukai Restaurant before your trip.
Here is our day in photos.
Ukai Toriyama Restaurant Photos
Mt. Takao Hiking Information
Address: Takaomachi, Hachioji, Tokyo
Access: 5 min walk from Takaosanguchi station on the Keio Line from Shinjuku
Open and cable car: everyday 8:00 to around 17:45 (longer hours on weekends and holidays)
Departures every 15 minutes
Cost of cable car: 480 yen (one way), 930 yen (round trip)
- Restaurant Information
- Ukai Toriyama
- Address: 3426 Minamiasakawa, Hachioji, Tokyo
- Phone: 042(661)0739 (reservations necessary)
- Menu: Charcoal Grilled Chicken & Beef Course lunch ￥4,970 dinner￥9,560; All prices include a 8% tax and are subject to a 10% service charge.
Mt. Takao Hiking – Tokyo Day Trip
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