Day trip to Mount Takao

Day trip to Mount Takao
2019-10-08 Yohei Onishi

Among all the mountains in Japan, Mount Fuji is the most famous one. However, there is a mountain located in Tokyo which is also cherished by a remarkable number of people. Mount Takao is a tourist destination reported to attract the largest number of climbers in the world or 2.6 million people annually. This article introduces what is so attractive about Mount Takao, a mountain only 599m (about 1965 feet) high, which can be climbed wearing a pair of sneakers.


1. Where is Mount Takao?

It takes about 2 hours by JR Ome Line from Tokyo to Okutama. It is a unique place in Tokyo as it is surrounded by a lot of nature.

3. Getting Around

“KEIO TAKAOSAN ONSEN GOKURAKUYU” is a spa located at just 10 minutes away from Okutama Station by walk. The spa is 100% natural as it comes from the source deep underground of Okutama.

4. Getting to Takao station from Tokyo

The nearest station is Takaosanguchi on the Keio Line, easily accessed from Shinjuku in just under an hour.

1. Where is Mount Takao?

takaosan station

Mount Takao is good for hiking and onsen. It is known as one of the best day trip spots.There is the breathtaking beauty of nature which is unimaginable for a metropolitan area. So easy access and the opportunities it provides to experience the traditional culture and food of Japan cannot be ignored. It is particularly spectacular and full of charms in autumn with colored foliage of trees. This article will walk you through the Mount Takao in autumn.

Spot Ranking in Takao area

5th. Cable Car

Hikers can climb to the top in about 90 minutes on any of several clearly marked trails. Other visitors can ride to the top in a cable car or chair lift from the foot of the mountain. The cable car runs from Kiyotaki Station to Takaosan Station, climbing 271 meters over a journey of about 6 minutes. The maximum tilt is 31.18 degrees, steeper than any other cable car in Japan.


It takes 5 mitnues from Takaosan station.



4th. Takao 599 Museum

At 599 meters, Mount Takao is certainly not a tall mountain. However, it is a dense and imposing mountain. The entire 599 meters of Mount Takao thrives with genuine natural, historical and cultural beauty only available here. Mount Takao will be the object of everyone’s pride and affection for a hundred more years to come.
The charm of this wonderful natural environment, pride of the world, will be communicated through from the TAKAO 599 MUSEUM, allowing for a new way to enjoy Mount Takao. Mount Takao is not just for climbing. It’s also a mountain inviting you to a curious world full of fresh new surprises and discoveries. Welcome to the new Mount Takao.


4 minutes walk from Takao Yamaguchi Station.
There is no parking lot at the facility. If you are traveling by car or bicycle, please use the parking nearby station.



The Buddhist temple on Mount Takao is formally known as Takao-san Yakuo-in Yuki-ji, and most commonly as Yakuo-in. It was established in 744 on the orders of Emperor Shomu as a base for Buddhism in eastern Japan and its founder was Gyoki, a charismatic priest closely associated with the erection of the Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple in Nara.


3 minutes on foot from Takao Yamaguchi Station, board the Takao Tozan Electric Railway Cable Car or Echo Lift at Kiyotaki Station.



2nd. Konpiradai observation deck

Konpiradai is an observatory in the middle of the Omotesando entrance and the cable car Yamagami station. Located slightly east from Omotesando. The view is open to the east, and you can see the skyscrapers and Musashino in the city center. In the winter when the air is clear and clear, you can see Mt. Tsukuba.

There is often crowded on weekends and public holidays because it offers an excellent view of the city center from a relatively low place.


As you climb Omotesando from Sanroku Station, there is a place where you will be greatly refracted. If you climb straight on the paved road without turning along the road, you will be able to get to Kinpiradai in about 100m.



1st. Mt Takao hiking trails

The hike to the top of Mount Takao along trail number 1(Omotesando Trail) . It takes about 90 minutes from the base of the mountain, but that time can be cut in half by utilizing the cablecar or chair lift that lead halfway up the mountain. This trail to the peak and is recommended to the beginner hikers as the cable car and chair-lift are also available.
The Monkey Park, the Wild Plant Garden, cedar street, Tako sugi (Octopus Shaped Cedar) and Takao-san Yakuo-in Temple are on this trail. There are a lot of resting places and restaurants. It is recommended for hikers those who want to enjoy the trail to the peak at a slow pace.

3. Takao Other Activity

Takao is well known as a spot where you can enjoy leisure activities.

There are about 70 monkeys full of talent in the monkey garden. Breeders will introduce you with plenty of humor about the orderly monkey society and monkey habits. Events are also held during the holiday season such as Golden Week and autumnal season.

Cycling is now becoming a popular activity. You can enjoy cycling in a big nature. What’s more, you can tour around many spots effectively such as old style housing, river, lake, valley, fall, temples or shrines.

4. Getting Around

Newly opened in 2015, this onsen (hot springs) is located behind the new Takao-san Guchi Station on the Keio line, which was designed by architect Kengo Kuma, designer of the Olympic stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Features at this hot spring include indoor and outdoor baths, a spa and massage area and a communal dining hall.

5. Getting to Takaosanguchi station from Tokyo

takaosan station

Keio Railways offer the cheapest and fastest connections to Takaosan. Direct semi-limited express trains, which take about 50 minutes and 390 yen, leave the underground Keio Shinjuku station every 20 minutes. Takaosanguchi Station, the train’s terminal station, is located at the foot of the mountain.

Alternatively, the JR Chuo Line connects Shinjuku to Takao Station (570 yen, about 40 minutes), where you must transfer to the Keio Line and ride one more station to Takaosanguchi Station (130 yen, 3 minutes).

Takao Area Map