Let's Go and See the Michelin 3-Starred Autumn Leaves on Mount Takao!
Mount Takao, Reachable from Central Tokyo in Just One HourThe closest station to Mount Takao is the Takaosanguchi Station on the Keio Line. If you ride the Keio Line from Shinjuku, you can get right by Mount Takao without changing trains.
Mount Takao is 599 meters above sea level. Getting to the top of the mountain is quite the journey, but there are a cable car and a lift that can take you halfway up. Of course you can also walk if you are up for the challenge. We decided to go for the lift this time.
If you're walking Trail #1 from the base, we recommend that you stop at the observation deck. Take in the vivid yellows and reds of autumn. The beautiful scenery will be a reward for your fatigue!
The road to the observation deck is really pretty
Autumn leaves with a green background!
While Trail #1 is paved we still recommend you come dressed in comfortable hiking clothes and sneakers. For those travelers who wish to challenge the other trails be sure to have your climbing boots on.
Trail #1 Is Loaded with Places You'll Want to Stop at
Bussharito is said to be where the remains of Buddha are stored. The autumn leaves here are immersed in a mystical aura of mystery.
Keep walking for about 20 minutes and you'll arrive at Mount Takao's main tourist spot, Yakuo-in Temple.
Mount Takao is home of many legends about Tengu. A Tengu is a legendary creature of Japanese folklore and religion, also considered a god. Passing the main temple gate you'll be greeted by two enormous Tengu statues.
There are many foliage spots around the temple grounds. The contrast between the temple and the leaves make for some very photogenic scenes.
Stairs to the main hall
Izuna Gongen-do hall
Scattered around the temple grounds are a number of what the Japanese call "power spots". These spots are believed to have a concentration of positive energy to help with health of body and mind, and also with luck.
After a visit to Yakuo-in we continued our walk, aiming for the summit. We walked leisurely while admiring the surrounding nature.
The trees lining the last bit of road to the top are exceptionally beautiful.
We made it to the top!
On a clear day, it's possible to see Mount Fuji. In autumn we can really admire the beautiful snow-coated top of the mountain.
After fully enjoying the view, it's time to descend! If you feel confident, you can try a different trail on the way down. These offer a more natural landscape that will give you the true "mountain climbing" feel. For example, Trail #4 will take you on a suspension bridge and Trail #6 features a waterfall.
Recommended Food to Try on Mount TakaoOther than the natural sceneries, there are also treats special to Mount Takao that we recommend!
First of all we recommend mitsufuku dango which means "three fortunes dumpling". These three rice dumplings on a stick represent fortune, happiness, and wealth. They are roasted on coals and come with a miso or soy sauce based sweet sauce.
Another must-try from Mount Takao is the Tengu-yaki, a fragrant sweet cake with a dough that's crunchy on the outside but stays chewy on the inside. The cake is filled with a moderately sweet black bean paste. The only shop that sells these is by the cable car Takaosan Station, and they tend to sell out by 3pm so be sure to get yours early.
The restaurants at the foot and top of the mountain serve a local specialty called tororo soba. It's a bowl of buckwheat noodles topped with grated Japanese yam and a quail egg. The one in the picture is from Momiji-ya Honten, but you can find it in other restaurants too.
Soak Your Hiking Fatigues in a Nearby Hot Spring
If you want to take a rest before getting back on the train, you can go to a hot spring or a foot bath. The foot bath is located inside an Italian restaurant called Fumotoya. You will find it near Takaosanguchi Station. You can use the foot bath even if you don't eat at the restaurant but there is a fee.
The autumn leaves viewing time for Mount Takao is from mid-November to early December. Take half a day and go enjoy the majestic nature at Mount Takao.
InfomationMount Takao | 高尾山
Address: Takaomachi, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo
Access: 3 min. walk from Takaosanguchi Station
Website (machine-translated English only): http://www.takaotozan.co.jp/
*The information in this article is based on a coverage made on November 27, 2017.
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 12 06,2017 Author：Di Zhang