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5 Day Trip Hikes Near Tokyo - Explore Japan's Outdoors

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Visitors in Tokyo can spend the day hiking close by in the middle of nature. This article introduces five areas ideal for day trips, from Mt. Takao to Mt. Nokogiri. Convenient to get to and full of things to do, these places are great for exercise and forgetting the bustle of the city.

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Hiking Spots Ideal for Day Trips from Tokyo

5 Day Trip Hikes Near Tokyo - Explore Japan's Outdoors

The sprawling metropolis of Tokyo thrives with culture and is full of things to do, especially in bustling areas like Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ueno. With so much energy and excitement, taking a break mentally and physically from the city's fast pace is needed. Hiking gives you a chance to take that necessary breath of fresh air.

Tokyo is within convenient distance of outdoor and hiking destinations with stunning natural landscapes. This article showcases five recommended hiking spots ideal for day trips from Tokyo. Each spot will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired by the outdoor beauty.

1. Mt. Takao, West Tokyo - Try a Popular Hike with Shrines and Cultural Sites

5 Day Trip Hikes Near Tokyo - Explore Japan's Outdoors

Picture from Mount Takao, Tokyo - Hike The Most Visited Mountain In the World!

Mt. Takao in Hachioji, Western Tokyo, is considered the world's most climbed mountain with its 2.6 million annual visitors. It is easily accessible from the city center, as it takes around an hour by train from Shinjuku and Tokyo stations.

The mountain has various trails with different levels, Yakuoin Temple, and places to rest and eat around and on the trails, making it a great place to spend a day. There is also a ropeway and cable car.

Trails range in length and difficulty, from 30-minute loops around the summit to 4 to 5-hour hikes one-way from the foot to the top of the mountain. The beginner course is completely paved, but more advanced routes can become steep, so bring appropriate clothing and footwear.

Hikers can also visit Yakuoin Temple, a Buddhist temple with over 1,200 years of history. The temple buildings are scattered throughout various places on the mountain. Along the trail, you will see miniature Buddha statues and tengu motifs, adding to the mysterious forest atmosphere.

Mt. Takao

Restaurants and food stalls selling mochi (pictured above) are at rest stops. This is a must-visit mountain with something for everyone to enjoy, including families. The well-maintained trails and nature on Mt. Takao have led to its designation as a three-star mountain in the Michelin Green Guide

You can get to Mt. Takao directly from Shinjuku. Ride the semi-express train bound for Takaosanguchi Station from Keio Shinjuku Station. It takes around 53 minutes and costs 390 yen one-way.

2. Mt. Mitake, Okutama - Take in Astonishingly Beautiful Tokyo Nature

Mt. Mitake

Mt. Mitake is another popular hiking spot located in the greater Tokyo area. Nestled in nature-abundant Okutama, it takes longer to reach the hiking start than Mt. Takao, at around 2 hours from central Tokyo.

This mountain is part of Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, a vast park covering parts of Tokyo, Saitama, and Yamanashi prefectures. The hike is roughly three hours one way, with a course that goes past gorgeous waterfalls and an observatory. Be sure to look for Ayahironotaki Falls, one of the waterfalls along the trail, which is used for meditation.

Mt. Mitake

Musashi Mitake Shrine, which has historically been and remains a prominent spot for shugendo, or Japanese mountain ascetics, is on the summit. Depending on the weather, you can see Tokyo Skytree, and views of the Pacific Ocean over to Chiba Prefecture's Boso Peninsula during the hike.

There are also rest spots, restaurants, and facilities with onsen and accommodation, making this a great location for a day trip or even an overnight stay. Okutama, the region the mountain is in, is filled with outdoor activities and sightseeing, like caves and soba noodle making.

It takes around two and a half hours to get to Mt. Mitake from Shinjuku. From Shinjuku Station, take the JR Chuo train bound for Ome. Change at Ome Station to the local train and get off at Mitake Station. Ride a bus from the station for ten minutes to Takimoto Station, where you will take a cable car up partway of the mountain before beginning the hike.

3. Mt. Nokogiri, Chiba - See a Giant Buddha and Coastal Views

Mt. Nokogiri

Mt. Nokogiri is a sawtooth-shaped mountain on the west side of the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture. From Hell Peek Point (Jikoku Nozoki), the observatory deck on the summit, you can see Tokyo Bay, Boso Peninsula, and Mt. Fuji when the sky is clear.

Mt. Nokogiri is known for its 329-meter high giant Buddha statue, which is one of the biggest Buddha statues in Japan. Its sheer size and power will be sure to impress visitors. The mountain also has Nihonji Temple, a temple with 1,300 years of history and designation from the Japanese government for its cultural importance. On the grounds of the temple are around 500 Buddha statues that add to the tranquility and mystery of the temple.

Mt. Nokogiri

Mt. Nokogiri provides an easy hike for visitors with about a 50-minute route to the summit. There is also a ropeway that will bring you to the top in just four minutes. The Buddha statue, temple, and refreshment and souvenir shops on the mountain will provide added entertainment, making this an ideal destination for part of a day trip.

To get from the Tokyo area to Mt. Nokogiri, use the Sobu line with rapid service bound for Kimitsu. Change to the local train at Kimitsu Station and get off at Hamakanaya Station. It will take a little over two hours one-way.

There is also ferry service that runs between Kurihama Port in Kanagawa Prefecture and Hamakanaya Port, which is a good option that allows you to explore Kanagawa, Kamakura, and Yokohama after you see the mountain.

4. Mt. Tsukuba, Ibaraki - Step into Rural Japan

Mt. Tsukuba

Picture from Mount Tsukuba: Take A Day Trip From Tokyo To See Unforgettable Vistas!
Mt. Tsukuba in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, is an ideal destination for those wanting to escape the Tokyo area and go hiking. Located north of the city center in a relatively rural area, the various hiking courses, cable car, and ropeway provide many options for enjoying a more rural side of Japan. The mountain has a rugged terrain, rocky surfaces, and varied nature, giving it distinct beauty. Mt. Tsukuba has been noted in centuries-old waka (short Japanese poems containing 31 syllables) and is home to Tsukubasan Shrine.

One of the best ways to enjoy hiking is to use the cable car first to travel to the summit, and then follow one of the several hiking courses on the top. There are maps available at the cable car station. On clear days, you can also see Mt. Fuji and a great view of the valley below. This draws many photographers and hikers. A souvenir shop and cafe are located on the summit so hikers can take a break.

Tsukubasan Shrine

Picture from Mount Tsukuba: Take A Day Trip From Tokyo To See Unforgettable Vistas!
To reach Mt. Tsukuba, take the Tsukuba Express from Akihabara Station or Asakusa Station to Tsukuba Station. The ride is roughly 45 minutes. From Tsukuba Station, ride a shuttle bus bound for Tsutsujigaoka. After about thirty minutes, get off at Tsukubasan Jinja Iriguchi or Tsukubasan-guchi. At the foot of the mountain is Tsukubasan Shrine (pictured above), which is also worth exploring.

5. Kamakura, Kanagawa - Experience Ancient History and the Outdoors

Kamakura hiking

Picture from Kamakura Tour - Zen Meditation, Shrines, And Local Treats
Kamakura was the capital of Japan during the Kamakura Period (1185 - 1333) and is filled with hundreds of temples, shrines, and lingerings of old Japan. While there are trains and buses in Kamakura, a great alternative is hiking here, which allows for a dual experience of sightseeing and immersing yourself in nature. The trails connect shrines and other destinations together, weaving in and out of forests and wildflowers. Rest stops throughout the hikes allow you to see the forests and surrounding hills inland, and the Pacific Ocean on the other side.

Hiking in spring and fall are particularly recommended as the weather is ideal and visitors can see cherry blossoms and an array of vivid red and yellow foliage.

Kamakura hiking

Picture from Kamakura Tour - Zen Meditation, Shrines, And Local Treats
There are several hikes of varying levels travelers can try, like the Daibutsu Hiking Course, which will lead you to the giant Buddha statue at Kotokuin Temple. The routes can take from around 30 minutes to 90 minutes with varied terrain, so bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes and suitable apparel. Most hiking areas start at JR Kita-Kamakura Station or just past Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, a 10-minute walk from JR Kamakura Station.

Get Outdoors and Hike Around Tokyo

Tokyo is known for its massive urban sprawl and interesting neighborhoods filled with activities and people, but the city contains and is located close to an abundance of nature and less-crowded spots. Explore these five spots on day trips away from the metropolis to exercise, enjoy the great outdoors, and catch your breath.

Written by


Jasmine O

Kyoto, Japan

An awkward Southern California native living in Osaka. Originally came to Japan on the JET Program in Hyogo Prefecture (Kansai) after studying economics in college, and decided to try to stay.

IUC 10-month program graduate. Vegan and interested in all things Japan-related. Left-handed. Very fond of Kansai.

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