There is a long list of trekking courses in Japan, a country that is blessed with a lot of mountains and surrounded by woodlands. Here are five spots in Tokyo where you can enjoy trekking in the midst of lush nature.
1. Mt. Takao
Mt. Takao is located in Hachioji. Paved with a trail and offering shops that serve delicious dishes such as the specialty tororo soba (buckwheat noodles topped with grated yam), this mountain is a famous sightseeing spot that boasts of having the largest number of climbers worldwide. Mt. Takao, which stands 599m tall, has various courses, including six courses that cater to everyone from novices up to expert climbers, and the Inariyama Trail where you can enjoy hiking, so it is popular with a wide variety of people. The No. 1 trail, which you can easily climb with the help of a cable car and lifts, is recommended for beginners. The area that spans from the peak of Mt. Takao to the area ahead is called “Okutakao,” and there, you can traverse from peak to peak while enjoying the great outdoors.
2. Mt. Mitake
Standing 929m above sea level, Mt. Mitake is located in Oume. It has long been a subject of mountain worship, developing into a famous power spot centered on the Kimpusen Mitake Zao Gongen (the principal image of the Kimpusen Zaodo, the deity of mountain worship), the predecessor of Musashi Mitake Jinja shrine at the summit. You can ride a cable car up to the point near the summit. There is also a mountain trail that is easy to walk on, so you can enjoy easy trekking. In the summer, you will get to see crystal clear streams, while in the fall, you can admire the beautiful autumn foliage. The peak of the mountain will give you a breathtaking vista of Mt. Tsukuba, skyscrapers, and the Boso Peninsula, among other gorgeous spots. Choose your course according to your time and objective. Try to visit this mount and experience the power of Mt. Mitake!
3. Mt. Hinode
With an elevation of 902m, Mt. Hinode is a sloping mountain found east of Mt. Mitake, at the border of Oume and Hinode. It is also famous as the spot to see the first sunrise of the year. This mountain has two paved trails for climbers, comprising the new trail for beginners and the old trail on the ridge. From the peak, you will enjoy a panoramic view of the metropolitan area and the Kanto plains. With gorgeous vistas and small amounts of snow in winter, this mountain is packed with climbers all throughout the year. Now after climbing, a great way to wash off your sweat is to drop in and soak in the Shogaiseishun no Yu Tsurutsuru Hot Spring at the eastern foot of Mt. Hinode.
4. Mt. Sengenrei
Mt. Sengenrei is a sacred mountain located in Hinohara where the Fuji Sengen Taisha shrine is revered. This mountain is especially packed with people during spring, when it is covered in the blossoming flowers of double-flowered cherry trees. On a clear day, you may even get to see Mt. Fuji from afar. The Sengen ridge is a path that has been supporting the flow of goods and the livelihood of villagers through the ages. Smooth and easy to walk on, it is a trail that even novices will surely enjoy. Here, the recommended trail is the course from the Tossaka Pass up to the summit because from the Hossawanotaki Iriguchi Bus Stop, you will get to marvel at the Hossawa waterfall that has been included in the Top 100 Waterfalls in Japan. Bask in the glory of nature while gazing upon the superb view of the mountains of Okutama.
5. Mt. Gozen
Mt. Gozen is a mountain that stands 1,405m above sea level and is located in the mountainous region of Okutama in Tokyo. As a part of the Okutama Sanzan (the three mountains of Okutama) together with Mt. Odake and Mt. Mito, this mountain is famous for its beautiful shape. It is also known for dogtooth violets, and has been chosen as one of the 100 famous flower mountains in Japan. There are various courses available here, but the full-fledged trail heading toward Mt. Gozen from Ogochi Dam in Lake Okutama, through Mt. Sasuzawa and Mt. Sogaku, is quite popular. There are many steep slopes in this trail, so it is recommended for those who have faith in their stamina and strength. There is also a spot a little before the summit where you can get a glimpse of Mt. Fuji.
A lot of people have this image of Tokyo filled with skyscrapers, but you have to know that it is also home to many areas that are rich in nature. So, if you get the chance, how about visiting those spots?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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