Are you the outdoorsy type? Not really a city person and prefer to hear the chirping of birds rather than the hubbub of a crowded metropolitan? Feel like breathing in the fresh mountain air full of positive ions? Then this tour is exactly right for you!
During this tour we will travel to one of the many mountains that are close to Tokyo. For instance, Mount Takao, Mount Mitake, or the Mountain region near Odawara to name but a few. Especially Mount Takao is really beautiful during the autumn season with vibrant reds and oranges everywhere.
Depending on the time of year, some mountains are not easily accessible. Also, depending on your exercise level, we need to pick a mountain that won’t be too challenging. There are some that can be reached by means of a cable car, but if you are fit enough we can hike up or choose a more challenging mountain to climb. If you are interested in this tour and want more information about the costs and other details, please email me at [email protected] for an unforgettable experience while you are in Japan.
Some examples of the hikes available on this tour:
1. Hakone Hiking Tour (Mount Myoujingatake) ****
This tour requires you to get up early and to be really fit, as we will leave Tokyo at 6.30am! Yikes! I know that is tough, but it is so worth it once you see the view from the top of the mountain! This hike is 14 km and has some steep bits in it, so beware and make sure you are wearing proper footwear. We will take the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo, which is pretty cool if you have never been inside one! (It’s not the fastest of all bullet trains but still pretty nifty).
We will start the day fairly easy by a visit to the famous Saijyouji temple. After taking plenty of pictures of the temple grounds, we will start our hike. We will be done in the afternoon, and if you want to give those tired muscles a treat, we can stop by an onsen (hotspring), after which you will feel so much better. (Trust me!)
Around 4pm we will head back to Tokyo and taking into account the travel time, we will reach Tokyo station around 5.30 or 6pm.
If you are into hiking and like a challenge, then this hike is definitely for you!
2. Mount Takao
Ask a Tokyoite where to go hiking, and they’ll most likely direct you to Takao-san (599m), the Disney of Japan’s mountain treks, located just a 45-minute train ride away from Shinjuku. We can take the paved trail for a three-hour round trip past the Takaosan Yakuoin Yukiji Temple, monkey house and food vendors, or, if you fancy more of a challenge, we can take the Inariyama Trail. On this hiking tour we can enjoy a view of Mount Fuji at the summit, and when we get down we can make a brief pit stop at the popular beer garden.
3. Mount Tsukuba
In the center of Ibaraki, Mount Tsukuba (877m) is shrouded in myth. An hour and a half north of Akihabara, Tsukuba-san is one of the ‘100 Famous Japanese Mountains’. Its two peaks house the deities Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, and the route features several rock formations. We can follow one of two courses: the winding 2.6km Shirakumobashi course, or the steep 2.4 km Miyukigahara course. The round trip is three hours (or we can take the cable car and grab a beer at the top).
4. Mount Hodo
This secret trail is located next to the beautiful city of Nagatora in Saitama. The cable car to the summit is a 15-minute walk from the station. Opened in 1961, the lift cabins are the oldest still in use in Kanto. The trail up the stumpy Hodo-san (497m) is relatively easy compared with most hikes. At the top, hikers are rewarded with views of the neighboring mountains and the river valley below, as well as a small zoo and plum garden.
5. Mount Mitake
The shrine at the summit of Mount Mitake (929m) located west of Tokyo is believed to have been a center of worship for more than 2,000 years. Less than two hours away, intrepid hikers can climb the ‘trail’ (a paved road) from the station, or take the funicular to the summit and explore by foot from there. The aforementioned Musashi-Mitake Shrine, and the trails from the Mitake summit lead to a rock garden, waterfalls, and the peak of Mount Otake (1,267m).
6. Mount Koubou
This is a family-friendly hike just outside of Hadano near Kanagawa, an hour southwest of Shinjuku. The beginning of the two and a half hour climb setting off from Hadano is a tad steep, but it eases into a rolling trail that follows a ridge to the summit of Koubou-san (235m), and the descent to the Tsurumakionsen finish is quite gentle. On clear days there is a splendid view of Mount Fuji, and also Sagami Bay. The trail is particularly popular during the Sakura season.
7. Otama Trail
An hour and a half from Shinjuku, the Otama Trail is in the furthest western regions of Tokyo Prefecture. This gentle 8km trek starts at Kori Station in the east, and winds its way along the Tamagawa on well-built trails, rural roadsides, and suspension bridges, ending two and a half hours later at Okutama Station. While the trail is far from rugged, it does provide close-up interaction with nature and a gorgeous view of the Hatonosu Valley.
8. Mount Oyama
Known as Kunimi-yama (Guardian of the Land), Mount Oyama (1,252m) has been a favorite among pilgrims for over 250 years. We can take the cable car to Oyama Afuri Shrine, or choose between the ‘women’s’ and ‘men’s’ trails (the men’s trail is steeper). The trail to the summit takes two hours (total round trip of 4-5 hours sans cable car). While descending the trail, hikers have a panoramic view of the Tanzawa-Oyama National Park.
9. Kamakura Alps ***
With very little altitude change and plenty of Genji history to take in along the way, hiking the Kamakura Alps is fun for all ages. We will start the day at Kita Kamakura, where we will visit the Jochiji tempel. This tour gets 3 stars out of 5 where difficulty is concerned. The 3 stars are for the first part that starts at the temple. We will have to do a steep climb (fortunately by taking the stairs) up to the top of the temple where we will have a magnificent view of the bay (and if we are lucky) of Mt Fuji. We will then follow the hiking trail to the Daibutsu (big Buddha). At the big Buddha we will travel to ground level to get a closer look and to take some pictures. From here we’ll take the next trail to a special temple (only a 2km hike) where you can literally wash your money for prosperity. The temple is cut out of a rock, and even though it is not very big, it is quite spectacular nonetheless.
From this temple we will take an easy stroll to the Kamakura city center, where we will head into the shopping street with cute little shops where mostly hand made articles are sold and you can buy some nice souvenirs.
After browsing a bit, we will go to the temple dedicated to the God of War which is quite impressive and full of intrigue. (We will tell you all the juicy details while we explore the grounds!)
After having visited this impressive temple, it is time to head back home. Together we will take the train back to Tokyo after an active day with a bit of culture mixed in.
*** Please note that the transportation costs of both yourself and your guide are not included in the tour price. Depending on where you want to go, there will be an additional charge to cover the transportation fee.***