Tokyo Side Trip to Mount Takao | japan-guide.com

Tokyo Side Trip to Mount Takao | japan-guide.com


Tokyo, Japan’s largest metropolis, conjures
images of bustling, neon lit streets, crowded train platforms and endless processions of
commuters shuffling their way around a vast concrete jungle. There is a different side to Tokyo however
just on the doorstep of the urban sprawl, that is characterized by lush mountains and
arresting natural vistas, traditional culture and alluring spirituality. One place that boasts all of this and more
is Mount Takao, which lies less than an hour from central Tokyo, and is an ideal location
for those looking for a quick and easy escape to nature. This sacred mountain has been a center of
mountain worship for over 1000 years, with many visitors today coming here to worship
the mountain gods, and also to enjoy hiking around the mountain’s pathways to
take its various other charms. Such an attractive destination, Mount Takao
was a place I was looking to escape to myself… I’m Sam Evans, for japan-guide.com and today
I’ll be doing just that. Here’s the plan: We’ll start the day at Shinjuku Station
in central Tokyo, from where we will make the train journey to Takaosanguchi
Station at the foot of Mount Takao. Before heading up the mountain, we will duck
into a nearby restaurant to enjoy a traditional lunch of soba, and then start our ascent of
the mountain by chairlift. Upon arriving at the top chairlift station,
we’ll start along the mountain trails, stopping to explore a monkey park and then the ethereal
Yakuoin Temple before reaching the summit, from where we’ll take in some impressive
views. From here we head back down the mountain,
stopping to round off the day with a well-deserved beer and meal at Tokyo’s highest beer garden,
before completing our descent and making our way back towards central Tokyo. So, follow along as we go on a side trip from
central Tokyo to Mount Takao. We begin our journey today at Tokyo’s gargantuan
Shinjuku Station, now this station staggeringly serves over 2 million people per day, and
its absolutely huge. We’re going to make our way now via Keio
trains behind me to Takaosan where the adventure will begin. Let’s go! Upon arriving at Takaosanguchi Station we
head through town to a traditional restaurant to enjoy a lunch of Japanese soba. We’ve ducked into one of the restaurants and I’m about to enjoy soba which is buckwheat noodles. They can either be eaten hot or cold. It’s the beginning of the summer so I’ve
opted for cold because it looks very refreshing. And as an addition to this dish I’ve got
some mountain vegetables. This looks like an ideal lunch and a great
way to start the Takaosan experience. Itadakimasu! With a full stomach, it’s time to continue our adventure so we head to the nearby chairlift/cablecar station, from where we will take a chairlift
up the mountain. After alighting the chairlift it’s time
to start the gentle hike along the winding trails and to explore what Mount Takao has
to offer. Our first stop is the Mount Takao Monkey Park
and Wild Flower Garden and here you can come and visit a bunch of resident Japanese macaques
and one of the activities you can do is buy some of this food and throw it in there to
feed them. So Im going to give it a whirl right now. One of the things that truly gives Mount Takao
its character are the network of trails that go around the mountain. At various points along the trail are shops
like the one you can see behind me where they sell drinks and food and speaking of which,
I’ve just bought myself a gomadango and it looks lovely. Walking a little further along the trail,
we arrive at the main precincts of Yakuoin Temple. Here we are at Yakuoin, a temple near the
summit of Mount Takaosan that is dedicated to mountain worship. Now mountain worship is usually associated
with being far away from civilization. So it makes it all the more interesting that
you’d have a center of mountain worship that is so close to central Tokyo. One of the fascinating points of this temple
is the relatively large presence of Tengu. Now Tengu are mythical creatures that embody
the spirit of the forest and the mountains, and they’re usually seen as a little bit
evil. And you have a lot of them here, they’re
characterized by either having a long nose or a bird’s beak. So I’ve made it to the very summit of Takaosan
at 599.15 meters, and I’m going to head a little further and check out the viewpoint
and see if we can get some amazing views, so let’s go! This viewpoint is very popular not least
because on days with clear weather you can see Mount Fuji in the distance. Today we’re a little bit unlucky because
it’s a bit too cloudy to see the majestic mountain. But on clear days it looks
a little bit like this. Our time on Mount Takao is coming to an end,
but before leaving, there’s time to round off the day with a beer and some food at the
mountain’s very own beer garden. What a day! And what better way to end a day like this
than with a meal at a beer garden. Not any beer garden, this is the highest altitude
beer garden in all of Tokyo and while there’s great food, some frosty beer, there are also
some fantastic views of the surroundings. Kanpai! Replete and happy we head down the mountain
by cable car and back towards central Tokyo to conclude our escape to this beautiful part
of the country. For more information about our itinerary or
to watch another video, click the links on the screen now, or head over to Japan-Guide.com,
your comprehensive up-to-date travel guide, first hand from Japan. Thanks for watching, be sure to subscribe
and click the notification bell for more videos about Japan. Happy travels.

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2 Replies to “Tokyo Side Trip to Mount Takao | japan-guide.com”

  1. Sam!!!! We love it when you appear in the videos. Definitely missed seeing you. I do kind of miss the food nods. Everytime we go out to eat we mimic Sam's food nods so it's special. Great video guys, excellent shots and was very entertaining

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