11 Things to Do on Mount Takao
Mount Takao Guide & Map
Things to do | Travel | Tokyo | Japan
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If you're visiting Tokyo and find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people, Mount Takao is perfect for a quick escape from the city with plenty of things to do! Mount Takao is a great day trip from Tokyo located in the town of Hachioji, just 50 minutes away from central Tokyo. To get to Mount Takao, take the Keio Line from Shinjuku Station to Takaosanguchi Station, located at the base of Mount Takao.
Mount Takao is a three star mountain in the Michelin Travel Guide and also considered sacred by many. It offers numerous trails for hiking and is visited by over 2.6 million people annually. The trails are well maintained and some parts are nicely paved, making it an easy hike for all ages. We suggest going on a weekday if possible, as it can get packed with both tourists and locals on the weekends. The best time of the year to visit is in the spring, when you can see cherry blossoms, or in the fall, when the leaves change colors.
If you think Mount Takao is just for hiking enthusiasts, think again. There are plenty of things to do on Mount Takao besides just hiking, such as going to the monkey park or enjoying a bowl of fresh tororo soba noodles. Here are 11 things to do on Mount Takao, with a map included at the end, so keep scrolling!
Things to Do on Mount Takao
1. Take the cable car up Mount Takao
The cable car ride offers a relaxing ride up the mountain with a great view of the lush greenery. Apparently this cable car has the steepest incline in Japan. If you're in a rush like we were, take the cable car up the mountain to save some time. Don't worry, there's still a good amount of trail left before you get to the summit!
Hours: Open Daily 8:00AM - 6:00PM
Cost: 480 yen (one way), 930 yen (round trip)
2. Grab a local snack or two
Right when you get off the cable car, or about half way up the mountain, there's a little shop that offers local snacks, sweets, and souvenirs. We suggest refueling here before continuing on your journey. Try the tengu-yaki, a sweet black soybean paste inside a crispy waffle. The snack's name and shape is based on one of the mountain gods, the tengu, a crow-beaked god.
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3. Explore the different trails on Mount Takao
There are numerous official trails to reach the summit of Mount Takao. The most well paved and most popular trail is trail number one, the Omotesando Trail, which takes about a 90 minute hike from base to summit. You can opt to take the cable car or chair lift to cut down on time.
4. Enjoy lunch with an epic view
Mount Takao is known for tororo soba noodles, tororo being freshly grated yam. There are numerous soba shops located along Mount Takao trails with a few offering views overlooking the surrounding area. We visited a soba shop that had a balcony located in the back that offered an amazing view. The view along with fresh handmade soba made this easily one of the best lunches on our Tokyo trip.
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5. Go across the suspension bridge
Along trail number four, the Suspension Bridge Trail, you'll come across Mount Takao's very own suspension bridge, the Miyama-bashi Bridge. This trail is another popular Mount Takao trail which leads hikers through a thicker part of the forest to reach the suspension bridge.
6. Check out Yakuo-in Temple
Located near the summit of Mount Takao is Yakuo-in Temple. This Buddhist temple was built in 744, and has been the worshiping site for the tengu mountain gods for over 1200 years. Tengu are long-nosed goblins that are believed to be messengers and protectors of Mount Takao. Statues and decor of these creatures can be found at the temple and all around the mountain.
Address: 2177 Takao-machi, Hachioji 193-8686, Tokyo, Japan
7. Visit the Mount Takao Monkey Park
Mount Takao has its own Monkey Park, though it's more of a large glass habitat than an actual park. There are over 40 Japanese macaques and daily shows/exhibitions, you can also purchase food to feed the macaques. Admission to the park is 420 yen, but there is also a flower garden included that is home to hundreds of native Mount Takao species.
Hours: Open Daily 9:30AM to 4:30PM (varies depending on season)
Cost: 420 yen
8. Try honeyberry ice cream
Another local snack to try is honeyberry ice cream, honeyberry are blue berried honeysuckles. This is a unique flavor to Mount Takao, and is a light and refreshing berry flavor. Look for the stand with a large purple ice cream figurine in front of it, located near the chair lift station on Mount Takao.
9. Take the chair lift down Mount Takao
In addition to a cable car, Mount Takao also has a chair lift to help you get approximately halfway up or down the mountain. We suggest taking the chair lift down if possible, going down on the chair lift offers an amazing of the mountain. This chair lift is not for those afraid of heights, there is no front railing or seatbelt on this chair lift.
Hours: Open Daily 9:00AM to 4:30PM
Cost: 480 yen (one way), 930 yen (round trip)
10. Visit the Takao 599 Museum
At the base of Mount Takao is Takao 599 Museum, a stylish modern museum that offers ecological information about Mount Takao and the surrounding area. The name comes from the elevation heigh of Mount Takao, 599 meters. It's a great place to go before or after your hike, especially in the summer to get away from the heat. Admission is free.
TAKAO 599 MUSEUM
Address: 2435-3 Takaomachi, Hachioji, 193-0844 Tokyo, Japan
Hours: Open Daily 8AM - 5PM
11. Check out the shops at the base of Mount Takao
There are numerous shops and restaurants at the base of Mount Takao, where you'll find plenty of local snacks and souvenirs. The majority of these shops are independently owned, so be sure to check them out to support local business owners!
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