Unveiling some of the best kept sacred spaces to hike while you’re sightseeing in Tokyo
Congratulations on finally booking that trip to Tokyo!
You’re probably amped to see all the wonderful sights and soak up the rich and vibrant culture.
So here’s the catch: Where will you head to in order to get out of the hustle and bustle? Where can travelers find sanctuary in the city that seems to never go to sleep?
It might be better known for its concrete jungle attributes, but (and this is a little-known fact) Tokyo has quite a few hidden gems which allow visitors to escape the city vibes and go-go lifestyle for a few hours.
Grab your hiking boots and essential gear, because the trails we’ve rounded up might just steal your heart!
Best Hiking Escapes in-and-around Tokyo
1. Mt. Mitake
Mt. Mitake, home to the Mitake Shrine, is located in Ome City, and if you’re a pilgrim (or even just a fan of the idea), you’re going to have to check out the site! The area is well known for its beautiful flower gardens surrounded by stunning waterfalls and streams, oh and then there’s the vibrant birdlife which completes the picture.
Hikers can opt to take the cable car ride up to the top or hoof out the trails at Mt. Mitake. The little Mitake village has a few eateries where you can relax after seeing the Shrine. Once you’re done recharging, take the forest trail to Mount Hinode for some breathtaking views of Tokyo!
2. Mt. Takao
Mt. Takao lies tucked away in Hachioji City, Western Tokyo. It’s most famous for its tengu statues (they kind of look like something between a bird and a man) that guard the Yakuoin Temple, located halfway up the mountain slopes.
But Takao is not just famous for its statues, it’s also known for its other attractions and sights such as the wild plant garden, the beautiful views on offer over Mt. Fuji and Tokyo, and of course, the monkey park.
3. Mt. Mitsumine
Spanning over 1,200 square kilometers wide, the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park is where hikers can explore Mt. Mitsumine and Lake Chichibu. The Mitsumine Shrine, dating 2,000-years back in history, is a sight you cannot afford to miss out on.
Other than the Shrine, hikers may enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Chichibu offered from the suspension bridges throughout the park. Set aside a good 5 hours to see all that the park has on offer!
4. Mt. Tsukuba
As one of Japan’s most famous mountains, the double-peaked Mt. Tsukuba attracts thousands of visitors on an annual basis, and much of its popularity is thanks to the Tsukuba-san Shrine, which was erected in honor of marital bliss.
More experienced hikers will enjoy the challenge set by the s36 degree slope on this 877-meter high mountain, and once the climbing is done, the views offered at Miyukigahara over the Kanto Plan crowns the experience.
5. Mt. Otake
Tokyo’s tallest mountain, Mt. Otake, offers hikers a splendid walking tour experience. The semi-strenuous trail leads hikers through a natural rock garden, passing the Avahiro Falls on their way to the summit. The summit itself might not be one for the books, but it offers some of the best views of Fuji.
6. Mt. Kawanori
Best known for its scenic attraction – the Hyakuhiro Falls – Mt. Kawanori is located in the Okutama valley. Some of the best experiences to be had here are during the fall and winter months, when snow and ice transform the landscape into a winter wonderland.
To reach the summit, hikers will need to set aside a good 3 or 4 hours of their time, and they’ll also have to prepare for some challenging climbs and descents, but the views are simply too beautiful to miss out on.
7. Tanzawa Mountain Range
Peaking at 1,673-meters high, the Tanzawa Mountain Range is yet another hiking paradise for visitors to Tokyo seeking some peace and tranquility. If you’ve got some spare time, you can turn this hike into a two-day excursion, starting from Okura and then hiking through to Mt. Tonodake.
Brave some uphill descents over Mt. Tanzawa, Hinokiboramaru, and then the highest of them all, Mt. Hirugatake, and you’d have experienced the mountain range in all its glory.
8. Mt. Yake-Dake
As the most active volcano of the North Alps, Mt. Yake-Dake isn’t famous for lame reasons. Hikers can star their excursion at Kamikochi and then follow the trail for roughly 4 hours before braving the two ladders which are bolted to the cliffs in order to cross over.
Once you’re in alpine territory, things get a little more interesting and wildlife encounters are a real possibility. The summit is arguably one of Japan’s best picnic spots, but to get there you’ll have to make your way through steep volcanic rocks. The views are splendid, and together with the crater spanning 300-meters in width and the geothermal vents, we reckon this might just be the ultimate highlight of your Tokyo trekking adventures!
We’ve shown you 8 great hiking spots in and around Tokyo. We hope that this post has inspired you to get out of the urban bustle and head towards the truly unique natural escapes on offer in these parts of the world!
About The Author
Dan is the Editor in Chief of True North Athletics (website now defunct). He’s also an avid adventurer, digital nomad and traveler.