mount takao shrine

Planning a day hike activity while in Japan? There are a number of mountains that is ideal for hiking activities one of which is Mt. Takao (Takaosan). Located in Hachioji Tokyo, Japan, Mt. Takao has an elevation of 599m.

Mt. Takao is one of the best spots to get a view of the Autumn colors in Tokyo. The peak autumn colors takes place Mid-November to Late-November.

gingko mount takao shrine

From Shinjuku Station it will only take 44 minutes via Keio Line to reach Takao Station in Hachioji, Tokyo.

takao station

Mt. Takao has 7 hiking trails most visitors take on Trail #1, the trail is paved and less narrower than the other which makes it the easiest trail to take. It will take about 110 mins to climb the trail on foot and 90mins down.

Trail #1 mount takao
Trail #1 mount takao
Trail #1 mount takao

However by using the cable car lift from the Kiotaki Station up to Mt. Takaoyama Station you can reach the summit in just 60mins. The cable car will take you halfway of the mountain which will cost 480 yen and 980 yen for round trip ticket. We recommend that you take the cable car if you don’t want to get too tired and if you have extra cash.

Takasanguchi station

By experience although Trail #1 is paved and the easiest among the trails, it can still be really tiring because of the elevation of the pathway. 

Trail #1 mount takao

Along the trail are several resting areas where you can take a break when you feel tired and a few food stalls to fill your stomach.

Rest area mt. takao food
Dango mt. takao food
Dango mt. takao food
Mt. Takao food

When you reach the Takao station you will see a spectacular view of Tokyo’s skyline which is really breath taking and should not be missed.

Kasumidai Observatory Mt. Takao


Kasumidai Observatory

A few minutes away from the Takaosan cable car station the observatory offers a stunning view of Tokyo’s skyline (particularly the Shinjuku area). You can take a seat on the benches along the observatory and enjoy the view.

Tip: If you can stay until the night falls drop by the observatory for a more majestic view of Tokyo’s skyline nightscape. We recommended that you do stay the view is just breath taking!

Kasumidai Observatory Mt. Takao

Mt. Takao Monkey Park

Home to a number of 60 monkeys Mt. Takao Money Park is just beside the Kasumidai Observatory halfway of trail #1.

Entrance Fee: ¥420 (Adult),  ¥210 (Child)

Monkey Park Mt. Takao

Tako-sugi (Octopus root Cedar)

Located along trail #1 is a 450 year old Japanese cedar tree, whose gigantic roots resemble the tentacles of an octopus giving it the name ‘Octopus root Cedar’.

Octopus Cedar tree Mt. Takao

Takao-san Yakuo-in Temple

Is a buddhist temple on Mt. Takao, established in 744 to be the base of buddhism  for Eastern Japan.

Takao-san Yakuo-in Temple

How to get there?

From Shinjuku Station.
Option1 (Recommended): Take the Keio Line headed to Takaosanguchi, Limited Express. It will take you directly to Takao Station.
Travel Time : 44 mins
Ticket Cost: 360 Yen

Option 2: Take the Chu-Sobu Line headed to Nakano (3 stops from Shinjuku Station). From Nakano station board the train on Chuo Line bound for Takao Station.
Travel Time : 48 mins
Ticket Cost: 550 Yen