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#TaleOfTheTrail Mount Takao (Hachioji, Japan)

Posted by on 13. September 2016

Mount Takao Summit, 599.15 MASL

While Mount Fuji was the main course of the Japan Trip, Mount Takao was the appetizer.  It was a feel good climb that was also a tour among temple and an appreciation of nature. 

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Team Takao


Day 1 in Tokyo, we got a chance to tour the city.  We were able to see Gundam at Diver City and also enjoyed Shibuya.  For Day 2, we had several options. There was a team going to Disneyland.  There was a team on a city tour and there was a team hiking Mount Takao.  Disneyland was tempting but ended up taking the hiking option. I’m sure I’ll be back to Japan someday but being with fellow climbers is as rare as it gets. The upside of Takao is that you also get to tour the temples within the area.

Route and Elevation

Map and Elevation is powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sport

The climb starts at the foot of the train station and goes on a gradual ascent to its summit at 199.15 MASL at around 4 kilometers.  It has several descent options going back to the train station.

Trekking Mount Takao

Train Adventours

The train ride was an adventure on its own. While the train system in Japan is highly efficient, you should really take note on the right time for the train.  We took the train ride from Asakusa and had to transfer to several train before eventually heading to the Takao line, which stops at the foot of Mount Takao.

Team Takao – Photo by Aileen Ladia

Arriving at the foot of Mount Takao, there were several options on trekking Mount Takao. We decided to take the most basic route, which is trail number 1 to the top and take another route heading down.  Trail number 1 is mostly paved with stops at the temple and also has some viewing decks.

It starts with a moderately ascending paved zigzag trails.  The plan was to go at a very relaxed pace since we need to keep ourselves fresh for the Mount Fuji hike the next day.  While the roads are paved, you get a lot of forested views and a lot of plants.  In fact, there are a lot of more senior hikers just appreciating the different plants around.


We were able to talk to some senior hikers and they say that some of them hike Mount Takao daily.  They would even tell you how the different plants look each day.  It’s nice to see older folks enjoy the fresher air and the added thrill of the elevation.  I’d like to grow old still being able to appreciate the rigors of hiking.

As you go up, you get more overlooking views of the city.  We took a break to try some local delicacies and ice cream approaching the 2 kilometer  mark.  The place had viewing decks and also was the access point of the cable cars for those who would prefer to cut the hike in half.

Food Break – Photo by Aileen Ladia

I enjoyed the ice cream as well as the view of the city from the viewing deck.  At this point, we’ve hurdled about 250 meters of elevation and at a really relaxed pace.

After the food break, we then headed back to the route. There’s a stair route heading to the temple and there’s a road route.  We took the stair option.  After the stairs, there were several pillars and then the Buddhist Temple.  We’d also get to pass another temple on the way.

Temple Hopping

It was nice to visit the different temples which also had some shops too.  You get to appreciate the architecture of each temple as well as get to learn more about their practices.  The last temple led back to the trails and from paved grounds, it was now time to get dirty.

Dirt roads.

It was dirt roads and you also get to see the different trail markers coming from the different route.  There are a lot of routes going to the top as well as going down.  The other trail routes offer a different challenge and sets of views.  We then headed to the summit at 599.15 MASL.

Team Takao at 599.15 MASL

That was a feel-good hike. You barely notice the elevation challenge yet it was a good workout.  We took time to appreciate the summit.  It had a view of the city from one end and the view of the mountains at another.  That view included Mount Fuji.

Mount Fuji is towards the back end center of the photo.

It was then that I got to appreciate the hike more.  It was motivation seeing Mount Fuji from a far since the next two days would be our trek towards 3,766 MASL of Mount Fuji.

We were supposed to take trail 6, which has more dirt tracks but one wrong turn led us back to the temple. We were back to trail 1.  We then decided to speed things up on the descent and then had Ramen for lunch at the foot of Mount Fuji.  We then got back to the city proper and shopped around at Shibuya before heading back to our Hotel in Asakusa.

Mount Fuji

Day 3-4 was the epic hike to Mount Fuji. You read more about that at #TaleOfTheTrail Mount Fuji (Fujiyama, Japan)

At the Crater of Mount Fuji – Photo by JP Yu

Heading Home

After coming back from Mount Fuji on the 4th day, we still had a few hours to enjoy Tokyo.  The next day was our trip back.

This sums up my Japan Trip

For the Mount Fuji hike, we had our souvenir stick stamped and even if it’s costly. It’s something I would definitely treasure. We were able to drop by the Pokemon shop at the Airport and was able to get Ash Ketchum and a pokeball as souvenir.  See you soon again Tokyo.


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