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Climbing Tokyo's Mount Takao

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

Mount Takao is a scenic hiking spot and one of the most accessible from downtown Tokyo.

Although Mount Takao (Takao-san) lies in Hachioji, western Tokyo, its stunning vistas and green environment will make you feel as though you're a world away from the buzz of the metropolis. The peak offers scenery, a temple and walking courses for various abilities, attracting 2.5 million visitors annually.

The mountain is closely associated with Tengu, a kind of legendary creature in Japanese folk religion.

Many Japanese visitors come to the temple to pray to Tengu for good fortune.

The area is famous year-round for its scenic natural beauty. In spring, cherry blossoms bloom and, in autumn, red, orange and russet foliage decorate the mountain. The area is rich in wildlife, too, including many species of birds and plants, as well as wild boars and monkeys.

Making the climb

At 599 metres (1,965 ft) tall, Mount Takao offers great views of the area, and having a snack or picnic at the top is a popular choice.

Hiking from the base of the mountain to the summit takes about 90 minutes, but many people use the track-based cable car or the ropeway to shorten the climb.

Via either method, you can ascend to the station half way up the peak.

There are a number of trails to choose from, each with different attractions and of various levels of difficulty. Each is marked according to how long it takes to complete.

Trail 1 passes by a monkey park and several observation decks where you can best enjoy the spectacular scenery.

Find out more

For travel options and more information, visit The Official Tokyo Travel Guide to Mt. Takao.

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