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How To Take A Mount Takao Day Trip From Tokyo


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Ansley Hetzel



Welcome to Mount Takao, a scenic retreat located just outside Tokyo. This majestic mountain offers nature lovers and adventure seekers the perfect day trip destination. With its lush forests, stunning hiking trails, and serene temples, Mount Takao has something for everyone.


Just an hour away from the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, Mount Takao provides a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual nature enthusiast, this mountain has hiking trails suitable for all skill levels.


Not only is Mount Takao known for its natural beauty, but it is also home to the Takaosan Yakuoin Temple. This sacred Buddhist temple dates back centuries and is a popular pilgrimage site for locals and visitors alike.


After a day of exploring, why not relax and rejuvenate in one of the nearby hot springs or onsens? These natural hot baths offer a truly immersive and tranquil experience, allowing you to unwind and soak in the healing properties of the mineral-rich waters.


When it comes to food, Mount Takao boasts a variety of local cuisine and restaurants. From traditional Japanese dishes to international flavors, you’ll find a range of dining options to satisfy your taste buds. Don’t forget to indulge in some local delicacies, such as soba noodles and yuba – a specialty made from soy milk.


Before leaving Mount Takao, be sure to explore the souvenir shops in the area. From handmade crafts to locally sourced goods, you’ll find unique mementos to remind you of your trip to this enchanting mountain.


In this article, we will guide you on how to make the most of your Mount Takao day trip. From getting there to exploring the hiking trails, immersing yourself in the local culture, and indulging in the delicious cuisine, get ready for an unforgettable adventure.


Getting to Mount Takao from Tokyo

Getting to Mount Takao from Tokyo is a straightforward journey, making it easily accessible for both locals and tourists. Here are a few transportation options:

  1. Train: The most convenient way to reach Mount Takao is by train. From Shinjuku Station, hop on the Keio Line and take an express train bound for Takaosanguchi Station. The journey takes approximately 50 minutes. Once you arrive at Takaosanguchi Station, you’re just a short walk away from the mountain’s entrance.
  2. Bus: If you prefer a more scenic route, you can take a direct bus from the Keio Bus Terminal at Shinjuku Station to Mount Takao. Buses run regularly throughout the day, and the journey takes approximately 1 hour.
  3. Car: If you prefer the flexibility of driving, you can reach Mount Takao by car. The journey takes around 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions. There are several parking lots available near the mountain’s entrance, but they can get busy during peak times.

Whichever mode of transportation you choose, keep in mind that Mount Takao can be crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. It’s advisable to start your journey early in the morning to beat the crowds and make the most of your day.


Additionally, it’s worth noting that the area around Mount Takao offers convenient facilities such as coin lockers and restrooms, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free experience for visitors.


Now that you know how to get to Mount Takao, it’s time to lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore the breathtaking trails that await you.


Hiking Trails on Mount Takao

Mount Takao is renowned for its diverse range of hiking trails, offering breathtaking views at every turn. Here are some of the popular trails you can explore:

  1. Trail 1: Omotesando Trail: This is the most popular and well-maintained trail, suitable for beginners and families. It starts near Takaosanguchi Station and leads you through a lush forest, passing by charming tea houses and souvenir shops. The trail is relatively gentle, with some steep sections towards the summit. Along the way, you’ll encounter beautiful viewpoints and may even spot some wildlife.
  2. Trail 2: Biwa Waterfall Trail: For those seeking a more adventurous route, the Biwa Waterfall Trail is a great choice. It starts near the Takaosanguchi Station and takes you through a dense forest, crossing wooden bridges and streams. The highlight of this trail is the stunning Biwa Waterfall, a picturesque spot that offers a refreshing break from your hike. The trail is moderately challenging, with some steep ascents and uneven terrain.
  3. Trail 3: Inariyama Trail: If you’re up for a longer hike, the Inariyama Trail is a fantastic option. This trail starts near the cable car station and takes you through a peaceful forest, leading to the summit of Mount Takao. Along the way, you’ll encounter the Kyukamura Observatory, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of Tokyo and the surrounding area. This trail is more challenging and is recommended for experienced hikers.

No matter which trail you choose, make sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check the weather conditions and plan your hike accordingly. Remember to stay on the designated trails and respect the natural environment.


As you hike through the picturesque trails of Mount Takao, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.


Takaosan Yakuoin Temple

Nestled amidst the serene surroundings of Mount Takao, Takaosan Yakuoin Temple is a place of spiritual significance and cultural heritage. Dating back over 1,200 years, this sacred Buddhist temple attracts pilgrims and visitors seeking solace and enlightenment.


As you approach the temple, you’ll be greeted by traditional temple architecture and beautifully manicured gardens. The main hall, known as the Hondo, houses an impressive statue of Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of healing and medicine. People come from far and wide to offer prayers for good health and well-being.


One of the most unique features of Takaosan Yakuoin Temple is the Shingon-style fire ritual known as “Goma.” In this ancient ritual, priests consecrate wooden sticks in a sacred fire to appease the deities and bring forth blessings. The mesmerizing spectacle of the Goma ritual is often accompanied by powerful Buddhist chants, creating an enchanting and spiritual atmosphere.


Within the temple grounds, you’ll also find smaller shrines dedicated to various deities and spiritual figures. Each shrine has its own significance and visitors are encouraged to explore and offer prayers according to their personal beliefs.


Aside from its religious importance, Takaosan Yakuoin Temple offers visitors the opportunity to witness traditional Japanese cultural events and festivals throughout the year. From cherry blossom viewing in spring to colorful autumn foliage in fall, the temple grounds provide a stunning backdrop for these vibrant celebrations.


While at the temple, take some time to stroll through the surrounding forest trails, known as “ohenro-michi.” These pathways lead you through tranquil woods, dotted with stone statues and mini pagodas. It’s a peaceful and contemplative experience that allows you to connect with nature and find inner peace.


Whether you’re seeking spiritual enlightenment, cultural immersion, or simply a serene escape, Takaosan Yakuoin Temple offers a memorable experience for all who visit. Take a moment to reflect, soak in the spiritual energy, and embrace the timeless wisdom that emanates from this sacred place.


Hot Springs and Onsen near Mount Takao

After a day of hiking and exploring Mount Takao, there’s no better way to relax and rejuvenate than by indulging in the hot springs and onsens found in the area. Here are some of the top options:

  1. Keio Takaosan Onsen Gokurakuyu: Located just a short distance from Takaosanguchi Station, this modern hot spring facility offers a range of therapeutic baths, including indoor and outdoor baths, as well as private baths. Immerse yourself in the soothing hot waters, known for their healing properties, and let your cares melt away.
  2. Sanrio Puroland Onsen Sengawa: For a unique and whimsical experience, visit the Sanrio Puroland Onsen Sengawa. This Hello Kitty-themed onsen features indoor and outdoor baths, sauna facilities, and relaxation rooms. It’s a fun and family-friendly way to unwind and soak in the warm mineral-infused waters.
  3. Kawasaki Yuraku Onsen: Located in nearby Kawasaki City, this traditional onsen offers a tranquil retreat with a variety of baths, such as hot springs, jet baths, and medicinal baths. Relax in the peaceful atmosphere and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the natural mineral-rich waters.

These hot springs and onsens provide more than just a relaxing soak. The mineral-rich waters are believed to have healing properties that can help relieve muscle aches, improve circulation, and promote overall well-being. Soaking in the warm waters surrounded by beautiful natural surroundings is a true treat for the body and soul.


When visiting a hot spring or onsen, it’s important to follow the etiquette and rules. Be sure to bathe thoroughly before entering the baths, as cleanliness is highly valued. Additionally, remember to bring your own towel or rent one if it’s not provided.


Whether you prefer a luxurious onsen experience or a more budget-friendly option, the hot springs and onsens near Mount Takao offer a serene escape to relax and recharge. Treat yourself to this traditional Japanese indulgence and let the warm waters wash away any tiredness from your day of hiking.


Local Cuisine and Restaurants in the Area

Exploring the culinary delights of the Mount Takao area is a must-do for any food lover. From traditional Japanese cuisine to international flavors, there are restaurants and eateries to suit every palate. Here are some must-try local dishes and recommended dining establishments:


Soba Noodles: Savor the taste of the region with a bowl of freshly made soba noodles. Takao is known for its buckwheat production, and the local soba noodles are a delight. You can enjoy them hot or chilled, with a variety of toppings and dipping sauces.


Yuba: Another local specialty is yuba, a delicate and savory dish made from the skin that forms on top of soy milk when it is heated. You can find yuba served in various forms, such as in hot pots, sushi, or even as a standalone dish. Its smooth texture and subtle flavor make it a true delight for the taste buds.


Tempura: Indulge in the crispy and light tempura, a classic Japanese dish made by deep-frying vegetables or seafood in a light batter. Many restaurants in the area offer tempura made from fresh and locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a flavorful and satisfying dining experience.


Kaiseki Ryori: For a truly authentic and exquisite dining experience, try kaiseki ryori, a traditional multi-course Japanese meal. Many upscale restaurants in the area offer kaiseki ryori, where you can enjoy a meticulously prepared feast featuring seasonal ingredients and intricate presentation.


When it comes to dining establishments near Mount Takao, you’ll find a range of options to suit every taste and budget:

  1. Takao Yakuo-in Soba: Located near the Takaosan Yakuoin Temple, this restaurant specializes in soba noodles made from locally grown buckwheat. Enjoy a steaming bowl of soba in a serene setting, offering a perfect respite after a day of exploration.
  2. Takao Station Dining: Situated near the train station, this bustling area offers a variety of dining options, from casual eateries to izakayas serving a range of dishes and beverages. Enjoy a pint of beer and some local snacks, or delve into a hearty ramen bowl.
  3. Takao Beer Mount: For those looking to combine stunning views with good food, Takao Beer Mount is a great choice. Located near the Mount Takao cable car station, this beer garden offers unlimited drinks and a buffet-style dining experience where you can savor a range of cuisines while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding area.

With its diverse culinary scene, Mount Takao and its surroundings offer a delightful array of flavors and dining experiences. So, don’t miss the opportunity to tantalize your taste buds and explore the local cuisine during your visit.


Souvenir Shopping in the Mount Takao Area

Before bidding farewell to the enchanting beauty of Mount Takao, take some time to explore the souvenir shops in the area and bring back a piece of this magical place with you. From traditional crafts to locally made products, there are plenty of unique souvenirs to choose from. Here are some popular items to consider:


Mount Takao Memorabilia: Commemorate your visit to Mount Takao with souvenirs featuring its iconic landscapes. Look for postcards, keychains, magnets, and other small items adorned with images of the mountain, the cable car, or the beautiful hiking trails.


Local Food Products: Take home the flavors of Mount Takao through the local food products available in the area. Look for specialty items such as Takao’s famous soba noodles, yuba snacks, or locally produced honey. These products are not only delicious but also make great gifts for food enthusiasts.


Handmade Crafts: Experience the craftsmanship of the region through handmade crafts and artworks. Traditional ceramics, woodwork, and textiles can be found in the souvenir shops surrounding Mount Takao. These items showcase the rich cultural heritage of the area and make for beautiful and unique souvenirs.


Local Sake and Spirits: Japan is renowned for its sake, and Mount Takao area is no exception. Look for locally brewed sake or other spirits, such as shochu or umeshu (plum wine). These alcoholic beverages make for memorable gifts or a delightful addition to your personal collection.


When shopping for souvenirs, consider visiting the Takaosan Yakuoin Temple’s gift shop, where you can find religious artifacts, lucky charms, and other spiritual items. The temple’s gift shop often offers unique souvenirs related to the temple’s history and cultural significance.


Lastly, don’t forget to wander through the streets near Takaosanguchi Station, where you’ll find a variety of shops selling local goods and souvenirs. Take your time to browse and find that perfect memento to preserve the memories of your Mount Takao adventure.


Remember, by purchasing local souvenirs, you not only bring home a piece of Mount Takao but also support the local economy and craftsmen who pour their skills and passion into creating these unique treasures.



A day trip to Mount Takao from Tokyo promises a memorable experience filled with natural beauty, cultural immersion, and culinary delights. With its convenient accessibility, diverse hiking trails, and spiritual attractions, this charming mountain offers something for everyone.


From the moment you arrive at Mount Takao, you’ll be greeted by stunning landscapes, lush forests, and a sense of tranquility that is hard to find in the busy city. Whether you choose to embark on a leisurely stroll or challenge yourself with a more adventurous hike, the numerous trails cater to all skill levels and provide breathtaking views along the way.


For those seeking spiritual nourishment, Takaosan Yakuoin Temple offers a serene sanctuary. Explore the temple grounds, witness traditional rituals, and embrace the peaceful ambiance. The cultural experiences and seasonal festivals add an extra layer of richness to your visit.


After a day of exploration, you can rejuvenate your body and soul in the hot springs and onsens located near Mount Takao. Let the soothing waters wash away your fatigue and embrace the healing properties of these natural treasures.


No visit to Mount Takao is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. From the flavors of soba noodles and yuba to the crispy delight of tempura, the area offers a range of dishes that showcase the region’s culinary heritage. Don’t forget to explore the souvenir shops, where you can find unique crafts, local food products, and memorabilia to commemorate your trip.


As you bid farewell to the enchanting beauty of Mount Takao and return to the vibrant city of Tokyo, take with you the memories of your adventure. The tranquility, natural splendor, and spiritual essence of this mountain retreat will stay with you long after you leave.


So, whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or simply seeking an escape from the city, a Mount Takao day trip is a journey you won’t want to miss. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, discover the rich cultural heritage, and create memories that will last a lifetime.