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Mt. Takao

Elevation: 599m





Elevation Change

➚ 400m   ➘ 400m


3 Hours




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Mt. Takao is a famous hiking area only 1 hour from downtown Tokyo, with beautiful views and easy terrain. It features a fun chair lift, a cable car, numerous small shops, and some shrines and temples. Mt. Takao is one of the most hiked mountains in the world, receiving over 2.5 million visitors each year. Despite the very busy reputation, it's a thoroughly enjoyable mountain to visit and the sunset views from the peak can be quite stunning, you can even see Mt. Fuji on clear days.

There are 5 hiking trails that will lead you to the top of Mt. Takao, 3 start from the train station and 2 more start halfway up the mountain from the top of the cable car and chair lift. Both the chairlift and cable car start and end at the same place, the chairlift is more fun, but the cable car operates later, especially during summer, which is a great option if you're staying for the sunset. 


Car: If you're driving you can park near the cable car located here.

Trains: Takaosan-guchi station is only 55 mins from Shinjuku, with the train costing around ¥700. 

Chairlift & Cable Car: The operating times for the chairlift and cable car fluctuate a little based on the season, but are mostly around the same time. 


Chairlift: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Cable Car: 8:00am - 6:00pm

One notable exception is the cable car, which stays open until 9:15pm from June to October due to the Mt. Takao Beer Garden. To confirm the exact times to plan your visit, you can check the timetable information here.


Weather  and  Seasons

Mt Takao can be hiked year-round. The sakura usually bloom in the first week of April, about 1-2 weeks later than the Tokyo city area. The autumn leaves will be colourful around mid-November. Summer can be quite hot, but the rich and vibrant green forest plus the late-night cable car make it perfect for watching the sunset.

Useful links

Trail Description

 From the station 

Omotesando Trail (Trail 1)
Time: ➚ 80 mins   ➘ 70 mins

This is the most popular trail as it includes many attractions and is mostly paved. This trail features the chairlift observation deck, the monkey park, and the Yakuo-in Temple.

Biwa Waterfall Trail (Trail 6)
Time: ➚ 90 mins   ➘ 70 mins

This trail follows a stream up the mountain and passes a small waterfall that is often used by monks for ascetic training. It's a common option during summer due to the abundance of shade.

Inariyama Trail
Time: ➚ 90 mins   ➘ 70 mins

The Inariyama trail is considered the most challenging trail, so it's a good option if you want to escape the crowds. Part of the hike is on a ridgeline, so it's best avoided during summer.


 From the chairlift 

Suspension Bridge Trail (Trail 4)

Time: ➚ 40 mins   ➘ 30 mins

A nice alternative to the Omotesando featuring a suspension bridge.

Katsura Forest Trail (Trail 3)

Time: ➚ 40 mins   ➘ 30 mins

Another alternative to the Omotesando with a focus on a forest featuring Japanese Katsura trees.

Omotesando Trail (Trail 1)
Time: ➚ 40 mins   ➘ 30

The most popular trail on Mt Takao, this time starting from the chairlift. It features the observation deck, the monkey park, and the Yakuo-in Temple.


Elevation Profile

takao elevation.png

 Omotesando Trail (Trail 1) 


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Difficulty: 2/5

Time: 3 Hours

Trails: 5

Elev. gain: 400m

Prefecture: Tokyo

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