Mount Takao (高尾山, Takaosan), standing at 599m tall, is one of the closest mountains to hike to central Tokyo, offering beautiful scenery, an interesting temple and a variety of different routes.
Mount Takao has been a sacred site for over 1,000 years. Mountain ascetics called "Yamabushi" would train here, in practices such as waterfall asceticism and sutra reading. There are sights at the base and along the way to the summit, including a Buddhist temple, as well as views of Tokyo to admire.
Yakuoin, an attractive temple, stands along the trail near the mountain's summit, and many visitors stop there to pray to Shinto mountain gods (tengu) for good fortune. Statues of the gods, one with a long nose and one with a crow beak, can be found at the temple and also other spots around the mountain. Mount Takao has a cable car and a lift (ski lift style) that can take you most of the way up. It’s located in the Tama region at the western edge of Tokyo, about an hour by train from Shinjuku Station.
For our hike, we will start by meeting at Shinjuku Station and making our way together on the train to Takaosanguchi station. We will go up following trail 4 which will allow us to cross over the suspended bridge. At the summit, we will take a rest for lunch. After refueling our energy, we will do the short summit hike and make our way down to the midstation observation deck passing through the Yakuo-in Temple. At the observation deck, we can stop for a beer at Mount Beer. We can optionally take the cable-car of lift down (one way ticket included).
For the last bit down we will go through a foresty path where we will be able to spot the Biwa Waterfall. Back at the base, you can optionally visit the Trick Art Museum or Onsen.