A quest to explore mount Takao - Would you dare to try?
Located on the outskirts of Tokyo, Mount Takao is famous with millions of visitors coming here to have their "hiking" experience.
It is also rated 3* on the famous Michelin Green Guide travel site. What makes this place so attractive? Let's join me and find out!
1. Convenient and accessible location
If you are fed up with the hustle and bustle of city life, Mount Takao always welcomes you. From Shinjuku Station, it only takes about 50 minutes to reach Mount Takao. So why hesitate? Let's refresh yourselves with a new journey and new experiences ^^
With a moderate height of 599m that only takes about 2 hours to reach the summit, this mountain is an ideal hiking place to many "conquerers", including the elderly, children, Japanese people, foreigners, even those who are not interested in sports.
In Japan, Mt Takao possesses two greatest things: The mountain with the largest number of hikers and a cable car system with the steepest incline.
There are about 8-10 different routes for you to get to the summit, so feel free to choose the most suitable one depending on your hiking experience and capability.
The easiest route is like this: you can take the cable car to the middle of the mountain, then walk to the top. By this way, you will be able to go on an interesting aerial excursion. Or, you can choose to walk from the beginning to be able to slowly enjoy the view and diversified flora along the way.
2. The right time to go
All year round, whenever you feel like going, except for rainy days ^^
3. Enjoy the stunning natural scenery
Mount Takao seems to change its outfit to fit every season.
In spring, there would be cherry blossoms everywhere. This is also one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan (too bad I did not have the chance to see it). In summer, the leaves turn green, giving off a sense of freshness. After that, everything is covered in the red color of autumn leaves. Then winter comes, bringing along the clear blue sky and a white carpet made from snow.
From the moment you begin your hike to the top of the mountain, you will experience many different emotions one after another ^^
4. Visiting the over a thousand-year-old Yakuoin Temple
Takaosan Yakuoin Temple was built in 744 and is considered one of the most sacred places in this area. As far as I know, this is the place of ascetic practice for Buddhists since ancient times. If you want, you can experience vegetarian food at the temple (Don't forget to make a reservation on the website in advance).
5. Enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine
There are restaurants and Japanese sweets shops scattered around the cable car station. You can take a rest and enjoy some delicious food while taking in the breathtaking sight.
Still, one must-try place is the Ukai Toriyama restaurant on Mt.Takao, which has dedicate and luxurious dishes as well as a Japanese garden. The restaurant is located in the forest and about 1km from the station, and they also provide free buses for diners!
You can choose to have lunch or dinner here, but I recommend lunch since you would have more time to take pictures ^^
6. Soaking in hot springs
After a long day of active exercise, it is wonderful to be soaked in a natural hot spring.
Right next to Takaosanguchi Station, there is a hot spring bath called Gokuraku-yu, whose atmosphere is very Japanese. There are different tubs here, from the open-air to wooden ones, and there is even a spa. It only costs 1000 yen per person, so don't miss this.
No matter how many times you come to Takao, there will always be new and colorful experiences for you after each trip.
Mount Takao is attractive, maybe because it not only satisfies people's passion for conquest but also possesses stunning natural scenery and a sense of sacredness in religion, thus giving us countless opportunities to approach the unique culture and cuisine of Japan.
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