Takaosan: Hiking in the City


If you need a break from the dizzying metropolis of Tokyo, but don’t want to travel too far, then Mount Takao could be the answer. With lush green trees, cascading waterfalls and phenomenal views, a quick hike up Mount Takao will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated – even in the August heat! Read on to learn about the different trail options as well as the sites along the way.

Cable Car

If you want to save your strength for the sites at the top of Takaosan, then taking the Takao Tozan Cable could be the best option for you. The steepest railway line in all of Japan, this route costs 480 yen each way and runs every 15 minutes, so you won’t have to wait for long! Forging its way through dense trees and greenery, this is a great option if you’re travelling in Autumn and want to admire the leaves in all their fiery beauty.

Takaosan Cable Car

Trail 6: Biwa Waterfall Trail

However, if you’ve made the trip to Mount Takao to get back into nature and enjoy some hiking, then the Biwa Waterfall Trail is a great option. Winding its way along the riverside, this route is dotted with cascading waterfalls and secluded shrines. Covered by leafy shade that filters out the sunlight, this trail feels a little cooler and breezier than some of the others. Nonetheless, be sure to wear a hat and pack plenty of water, especially if you’re journeying in the Summer months. From start to finish, this trail takes around 90 minutes and only gets steeper towards the end.

Biwa Waterfall Trail

Made it to the Top?

When you’ve made it to the top of Mount Takao, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city metropolis below, surrounding by tall cedars and stunning greenery. If you hiked up, then be sure to take the rest opportunity and enjoy a well-deserved ice cream or kakigori! There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from if you’re in need of a re-fuel.

Ice Cream at the top of Mount Takao

Trail 2: Kasumidai Loop Trail

To extend your hike, or if you’re planning on getting the chair lift or cable car down, then why not go for a wander around the Kasumadi Loop Trail. Ringing the Monkey Park and Flower Garden, this trail is gentle and relatively easy-going whilst still offering beautiful views of Mount Takao’s cedar trees and vibrant wildlife!

Kasumidai Loop Trail

Takaosan Yakuoin Temple

Considered a sacred mountain in Japanese culture, Takaosan has been a centre of mountain worship for a millennia. Lining the path to the mountain’s Yakuoin Temple are dozens of beautiful red lamps and interesting Tengu (long-nosed goblin) statues. Indeed, many Takaosan visitors make a stop here to pray to these Shinto-Buddhist mountain gods for good fortune. Be sure to soak up the mediative atmosphere here while you explore Mount Takao.

Shrine along the path to Yakuoin Temple

Trail 4: Suspension Bridge Trail

If you want to hike back down the mountain, then be sure to take Trail 4 and see Takaosan’s wooden suspension bridge. Offering beautiful views of the valleys and streams below, this bridge is definitely worth crossing!

Takaosan Suspension Bridge

Chair Lift

If you’d prefer to take the easy way down, then the chair lift is a fun way to see some more of Mount Takao from a different perspective. If you’re travelling in the Fall, then there really is no better way to enjoy the Autumn foliage than high up amongst the treetops. It costs 480 yen for a one way ticket, and to save your tired feet from walking the way down, it really is a bargain!

Chair Lift | |Photo: 2 Aussie Travellers

Already been to Mount Takao but still want a quick nature fix? Check out our blog on Todoroki Valley!

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