Tokyo is a metropolis, but you do not have to go that far from downtown to find mountains. Of course the most famous is Mt. Fuji (which you can read more about here), but it’s not the only mountain in the region. Here we will have a look at a few others that you can try out relatively quickly.
Rated as a three-star attraction by The Michelin Guide and one of the 100 best landscapes in Japan, Mount Takao, a 599-metre high mountain located in Hachioji, is excellent for a one day hike. On top of the mountain, there is a 1,200-year-old temple, and you can enjoy views of Mount Fuji on a clear day. In addition to seven different hiking routes, there is also a cable car for those of you who want the view without the exertion.
Getting there: The nearest station is Keio Takasanguchi; from there, you can either hike up the mountain (about 2 hours) or walk to Kiyotaki Station, where you can take a combination of cable cars and ropeway lifts halfway up.
Approximately 2 hours from Tokyo, Mt. Mitake, with streams, waterfalls, and beautiful scenery, is 920 meters high and has a 2,000-year history of pilgrimage. It is home to Mitake Shrine and has several hiking trails that are suitable for hikers of all abilities. In the summer, it is covered in greenery and hydrangeas.
Getting there: JR Mitake station is the nearest, and from there, you can take a 10-minute bus to Takimoto cable car that will take you halfway up the mountain.
Mt. Mito is a picturesque and relatively easy hiking spot to enjoy with the family. After taking a bus from Musashi Itsukaichi Station, enter at the Tokyo Citizen’s Forest Museum to begin your walk. The loop hike around Mt. Mito takes around three and a half hours and passes by the high 33 meter Mito no Otaki Fall, accessible by a suspension bridge. The summit is a great place to pull out the picnic and enjoy lunch with a view.
Getting there: Train to Musashi Itsukaichi Station, followed by an hour’s bus ride.
One of the ‘100 Best Mountains in Japan’, at 877 meters Mt Tsukuba, isn’t particularly high, but the steepish slope makes it a little more of a challenge. Thanks to the mountain’s double peak, representing interlocked lovers, the Tsukuba-san shrine is dedicated to couples and marriage. Perhaps a perfect place to ‘pop the question’ or celebrate an anniversary?
Getting there: Head to Tsukuba station, then take a bus to Tsukuba-san-jinja. From there, you can take a six-minute cable car part way up the mountain or hike for an hour to reach the same point.
With some steep climbs, bridges, easyish terrain, and views of Mt. Fuji, Mt. Mitsutoge offers quite a bit of variety along its six-hour path. One of the more interesting sites is the ’88 Buddhas’ statues, all clad in red when you near the summit (although there are only 81 remaining).
Getting there: Mitsutoge Station is pretty convenient for this trail.