Mt Takao

Thursday was another public holiday (I’m really am living the life of working as little as possible, aren’t I? Haha). Culture day, to be exact, so Justine and I set out on a day trip to Mt Takao. We were originally meant to go on a JET group organised hike to Mt Mitake, which is a lot further outside of Tokyo, but it was postponed due to the expected rainy weather. But we decided to head out and make use of the day off, and we certainly lucked out with the weather too! It was the perfect autumnal weather – crisp yet sunny.

We headed out from Shinjuku station for about an hour on the train and chose the most popular trail to start our climb up. While many of the visitors opted to take the cablecar/tram up, we took trail number 1 up the mountain. But not before enjoying some delicious, delicious dango!

Once again I overestimated by own fitness level and huffed and puffed my way up. In my defense, the path (fully paved) was at an alarming slope and was extremely steep! We got to the first of the look out points where the cable car stopped, at which point it got a lot more crowded.

The main reason for this hike was to appreciate the autumn colours or ‘Kouyou‘. It may have been a little early in the season to get the best glimpse of this phenonemon, but it still was remarkably beautiful. I can’t count the number of times Justine and I stopped and stared at the trees, marveling in all the beauty.

We made it to the top, passing a temple along the way. Takao-san is considered a sacred mountain and has been a center of mountain worship for more than 1000 years.

The final path to the top of the mountain was packed with people, and unlike the hoards of Japanese visitors, Justine and I were not as prepared: us with our conbini lunches and them with their entire spreads of glorious picnic foods and picnic blankets. But it didn’t matter as we had made it to the top!

After stopping for a bit for lunch and to appreciate the view, we made our way down on a different trail – on one that actually felt like hiking. It didn’t have a paved path and we were able to walk through the trees and really get up close to nature!

And what could be better at the end of a hike than some soft serve!


What a perfect day! The weather was just perfect, and there probably won’t be many more days like this before winter is upon us! A well spent public holiday!

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