Translated by Allie
Mount Takao, Tokyo - Hike The Most Visited Mountain In the World!
Mount Takao is the most visited mountain in the world, with 2.6 million visitors every year. This article features some recommended hiking trails on Mount Takao - from the simple ones, just right for first-time hikers, to the challenging ones, recommended
Written by Hiromasa Uematsu
2.6 million people visit Tokyo's Mount Takao every year, that is why it is said that it is "the most visited mountain in the world".
In this article, we will recommend Takao hiking trails for first-timers.
Types of Hiking Trails
There are several routes to climb to the summit. The degree of difficulty, the estimated time and length are all different for each trail, but one can choose hikes based on their preference and ability. Catered to first-timers is the easiest path where you take a lift or a cable car from the Takao Tozan Railway Station.
You can easily reach the middle of the mountain by taking the cable car.
The second easiest one is Trail 1 which is a paved trail. Though this trail takes you all the way up to the top on foot, the slope gradient is gentle and the path is covered with asphalt, great even for those not used to hiking.
Inariyama (稲荷山) Trail is long and takes quite a lot of time to climb. There are not much resting areas along this trail, so it is recommended to those who are fit or seeking a challenge. The trail entrance is located to the right of Takao Tozan Railway Station.
The last one to be introduced is one that I (the author, Hiromasa Uematsu) hiked, Trail 6. The entrance to this trail is within Inariyama Trail.
Similar to Inariyama Trail, Trail 6 also leads you deep inside the mountain, alongside a river. The distance to the entrance of this trail is a little long, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful nature of Takao along the way.
These old, moss-covered statues of deities will watch you protectively as you set off on your way.
Here is the entrance to Trail 6. Let's begin!
The Charm of Trail 6 - Strolling Along the River
You will find a small river along the path as soon as you enter Trail 6. It can get really slippery, so make sure you are wearing proper hiking shoes and please watch your step.
Pressing onward, you will find a small cave called Iwayadaishi. There is a small Buddha enshrined in here.
Another highlight of Trail 6 is Biwa Waterfall. If you are lucky, you may just see Buddhist disciples sitting underneath the waterfall in a ritual called takigyō, a practice by which one purifies one's mind and body.
Being surrounded by trees, you will be able to forget about the hustle and bustle of the city. The humidity is pretty high here since it is by the stream, but the constant gentle breeze makes the journey comfortable.
The smell of moss and soil floats through the air.
The path is pretty narrow, so bumping into other hikers requires one party to give way. Saying "Hello" and "Thank you" to fellow climbers is one of the pleasures of hiking, isn't it?
Roots protrude from the ground in interweaving patterns.
There is one tricky spot you have to watch out for when hiking on Trail 6. A small wooden bridge spans over the stream (the one that has ran alongside the path since the start), and there is a tendency to turn left here and cross it.
But that is the wrong way. As shown in the photo above, Trail 6 continues straight ahead where the path has merged somewhat with the stream.
The water level of the stream is not so high as to soak your shoes through and through. But this area is more slippery than before, so stay alert and proceed very carefully.
The last hurdle is a flight of stairs. Just a little bit more, so hang in there!
Looking up, I was greeted by a clear blue sky among tree leaves. The refreshing scenery took away all the tiredness of my journey.
Good work! We are now at the summit. Shops and restaurants selling Mt. Takao specialties such as oden and soba are available. What a great way to get refreshed after the climb!
The picture above is the view from the top, where you can see the sun shining down on mountains cloaked in mist. If the weather is good, Mt. Fuji can be seen from here as well. The hikers around me were also drinking in the mysterious landscape.
Pictures only convey so much, and you will feel the difference when you are actually there. Why not climb Mount Takao and experience this fantastic sight for yourself?
Address: Tokyo, Hachioji, Takaomachi, Mount Takao
Credit Cards: -
Menus Available In: -
Station: Takaosanguchi Station (高尾山口駅) of the Keio Line
Access: Takaosanguchi Station
Price Range: -
Phone Number: +81-4-2661-4151 (Takaotozan Railway)
Official Website: Mt. Takao Official website