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Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 4:30 PM
6. Mount Takao, 7. Mount Kobotoke Shiroyama, 8. Mount Kagenobu & 9. Mount Jinba, Hachioji, Tokyo

Mount Takao is one of the nearest mountains you can hike if you are in Tokyo. Located at Hachioji city, this mountain is a part of Meiji no mori Takao Quasi-National Park and it takes only an hour to reach the trailhead by public transportation. You can choose either to hike Takao alone or do the traverse hike from Mount Takao – Mount Jinba. Being me, it’s always the latter.

Traverse hike Mount Takao - Jinba consists of 4 mountains :-
  • Mount Takao (599m)
  • Mount Kobotake Shiroyama (670m)
  • Mount Kagenobu (727m)
  • Mount Jinba (857m)

Nakano (Tokyo) – Shinjuku – Takaosanguchi – Takaosan

So here’s our train journey from Nakano (where we were staying) to Takao trailhead. From Nakano (Tokyo) train station, I took JR Chuo Line Rapid (to Tokyo). I stopped at Shinjuku and changed to Keio Takao Line Limited Express to Takaosanguchi. From here, we walked for few minutes to the trailhead. If you are not sure where to go once you get off the train, just ask the ticket counter. Since Takao-san is pretty famous among Japanese, they can show you the way.

There are 6 different trails to choose.
  • Omotesando Trail
  • Kasumidai Loop Trail
  • Katsura Woods Trail
  • Suspension Bridge Trailk
  • Mt. Takao Peak Loop Trail
  • Biwa Waterfall Trail

I chose Trail No. 6 – The Biwa Waterfall Trail. The trail, like its name, greeted us with the magnificent scenery of Biwa Waterfall and Iwayadaishi temple. The 3.3km distance trail took about 90 minutes to reach the peak.

Since we hiked on weekdays, they weren’t many people around. But on weekdays, this mountains are pretty much packed with hikers. After few minutes rest, we proceeded our journey to Mount Kobotoke Shiroyama. As I was not familiar with the trail, I used offline map that I downloaded from Yamap App (or you can get the physical map at Takao Visitor Center). Most of the signanges are in Japanese, so if you cannot understand Japanese, it is better to get your phone equipped with translation apps. 

About one hour trekking from Mount Takao peak, we reached Mount Kobotoke Shiroyama. During weekend, this place is happening as there are mountain huts and small shops selling food and beverage. But during our hike, it was like a dead town, no one was around and we were the only hikers. Haha.

We hiked another half an hour and found ourselves this pretty view of Lake Sagami near the peak of Mount Kagenobu. We were quite devastated earlier because we could not see any view from Mount Takao peak as it was foggy. But once we saw Lake Sagami, we felt relief, happy and motivated to continue our journey to the last peak, Mount Jinba. Not to mention that we also almost ran out of water. GG.

We finally reached the last peak at 2pm. To our delight, we saw one small shop opened, perhaps the only one opened on that day after 20km hiking journey! We enjoyed the scenery and short conversation with the shop owner and descended right after as we had bus to catch! Afraid that if we spent more time we might missed the bus. But thank God we reached the bus stop on time.

Mount Takao is good for beginner, but if you wish to try the traverse trail make sure you bring enough water, food and a map. The trail is also famous among trail runners and many of them make it as their training ground (perhaps due to its never-ending stairs, which I think brilliant to add into the routine).

Summary :
Trailhead no. 6 – Mount Takao (1 hour 30 minutes) – Mount Kobotoke Shiroyama (1 hour) – Mount Kagenobu (30 minutes) – Mount Jinba (2 hours) – Jinba Kogen Shita bus stop (3 hours)

Sources : Trans takao-jinba , takao trails ,

p/s : have a chat with the shop owner at Mount Jinba, he can speak English!

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