Monday, February 15, 2010

Mt. Takao -Escape the Urban Atmosphere!-

While living in Tokyo one may feel unease at being surrounded by the city and wish to get outside and escape the urban atmosphere. One of the closest and most beautiful places to visit located less than an hour away from Tokyo is Mt. Takao, a popular hiking and tourist spot with breathtaking wildlife and landscape views. One can easily spend the day hiking up the mountain’s luscious forest paths up to the summit or by taking the cable car for a relaxing time within nature.

Mt. Takao stands at 599 m tall and takes only about 45 minutes to reach by train from Shinjuku, a ticket costing only around 370 yen! For those who enjoy hiking one can hike up the mountain in about 90 minutes using the multiple trails, or by using the cable car one can reach the top easily and enjoy the view while eating Dango, a traditional Japanese treat. There are various trails on Mt. Takao but route No. 1 offers the best views and ease of climb.

From the top of Mt. Takao one can see Mt. Fuji, Tokyo, and Yokohama on clear days. The Buddhist temple Yakuoin Temple is also one of the mountain’s main attractions, as well as the Shinto and Buddhist statues located on the way to the summit. At the base of the mountain and near the cable car station are various souvenir shops and food vendors making it lively yet serene and relaxing as you explore.

To get to Mt. Takao take the Keio line from Shinjuku to Takao-san guchi station for 370 yen. Mt. Takao is perfect for a quick escape from the city and is relatively cheap as well. On weekends and holidays it can be crowded but the broad paved route No 1 and various trails provide for all of the tourists and guarantee a great time. Take a break from the crowds of Tokyo and head to Mt. Takao for a refreshing experience of Japan’s nature and culture!

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