Mt. Takao (高尾山); Tokyo

Getting here: Take the Keio Line from Shinjuku or Shibuya to Takaosanguchi Station (about 1 hour 15 minutes)

Arriving at Takaosanguchi, one is greeted with a huge map outlining the possible trails up Mt. Takao, and friendly visitor centre personnel offering printed sheets with the same routes. The trek up the mountain (via Trail #1) was a pleasant one, vigorous at first because of the relatively steep incline at the start, but this eventually eased off after the cable car / chair lift stations.

Was here on a Sunday, so the mountain was packed with fellow trekkers, large, small, and four legged alike. Pottered casually amidst the crowd, exploring the big temple at the top of the mountain (Takao-san Yakuo-in Yuki-ji) before reaching the summit; and then made my way down via Trail #4 and the chairlift (¥470 one way). Didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of Fuji-san from the summit – there was much exclamation and gesticulation from fellow trekkers who were studying the “panorama highlights” plaque, but ultimately the cloud cover was unfavourable. Notwithstanding the minor Fuji-san disappointment, the trek and chairlift were rather exciting for a newbie on the mountain, and would definitely consider coming back again some time.

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