Improve your luck while climbing! A city with a variety of local gourmet food to the oasis Mt. Takao

Mt. Takao is the most popular mountain in the world for the number of climbers, and has been attracting attention from all over the world since it was named a three-star tourist destination by the French travel guidebook ""Michelin Green Guide Japan"" in 2007, attracting 3 million visitors a year. In 2020, it was certified as a ""Japanese Heritage"" by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. The fascinating features of Mt. Takao are not only its natural beauty and spectacular scenery, but also for its multiple hiking trails for beginners to advanced climbers. This month's article introduces an easy and convenient plan that makes use of the cable car.

  • Access from the hotel to Mt. Takao

Take the JR Nambu Line from “Kawasaki Station” to “Bubaigawara Station”. Change to the Keio Line and get off at “Takao Yamaguchi Station”. 6-minute walk from the station.
Travel time: approximately 90 minutes.

Excitement at the “steepest slope in Japan! Take the cable car to get direct access to the moutainside.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

A 6-minute walk from “Takaoyamaguchi Station” on the Keio Line. At the foot of Mt. Takao is the “Kiyotaki Station” (cable car) and the “Sanroku Station” (lift).

The triangular-roofed station building towering above the greenery gives the station a quaint atmosphere.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

A very cute cable car. It is surprising that such a small car can accommodate up to 135 passengers at one time.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

The ride takes approximately six minutes. Standing at the front of the train, I fully enjoyed the “steepest gradient in Japan at 31 degrees and 18 minutes. I was so impressed by the angle, which I had never experienced before.

The moment the train passes an oncoming car is also very outstanding.

Takao Tozan Electric Railway

Address2205 Takao-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo
Phone042-661-4151
Fare*Same price for both cable car and lift
Adult490 yen one way / 950 yen round trip
Child250 yen one way / 470 yen round trip
Hours of operationOperates every 15 minutes from 8:00 a.m.
*Last train runs vary depending on the time of year. Please visit the website for the latest information including operation and suspension.

“Takosugi”, “Kaiun hippari dako”, and “Rokkonshoujyo ishiguruma” are just a few of the power spots you can find along the trail.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

After arriving at the “Mt. Takao Station” on the mountainside, we will take the first moutain trail. The first trail will take us to “Takao-san Yakuoin-ji” (Yakuoin Temple).

A few minutes later, passing by the Takao-san Monkey and Wild Plant Garden, we found a humorous statue of an octopus with the words “Kaiun Hippari Tako” (lucky octopus) written on it.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

Looking back, we see a magnificent sacred tree 37 meters high with a trunk circumference of 6 meters. The tree is 450 years old, and its roots curl up like the legs of an octopus, making it a distinctive “Takosugi”.
Why was this cedar enshrined as a sacred tree? There is a famous legend about it.

Mt. Takao is known as a sacred mountain for tengu (long-nosed goblins) worship. One day, when the tengu were preparing the path leading to Yakuoin Temple, the roots of a tree protruding from the path became an obstacle, and they decided to cut it down. The roots curled up overnight, and the path was opened overnight.

The “lucky octopus” mentioned earlier is enshrined next to the octopus cedar, which is believed to bring good luck by “opening the way” to good fortune. Many climbers are familiar with this power spot, where patting the octopus on the head attracts luck.

Even more eye-catching is the “Rokkonshoujyo ishiguruma” with the word “body” written on it, which is located near the “Kaiun Hittari Tako”.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

At the junction of the male and female slopes, there was a stone wheel with the word “nose” written on it.

“Rokkon” refers to the human organs, including the five senses “eyes” “ears” “nose” “tongue” and “body” as well as the “will,” which is the mind. The “Rokkonshoujyo ishiguruma” is used to pray to the gods and Buddha to purify the six roots that have been defiled.

There are about 18 stone wheels for purification of the six roots scattered throughout the mountain. The stone wheel is located at the center of the wheel, and when the wheel is rotated six times while chanting the number of times the wheel is turned to 108, which is the same as the number of troubles a person has.

Incidentally, we were not able to use the stone wheel on this day because it was undergoing safety measures. Very unfortunate…

For those who want to further energize their spirit, be sure to get a “red ink stamp”!

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

After visiting the “Main hall” be sure to get a “red ink stamp” (300 yen). You can apply at the shrine office for one.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

Yakuoin temple’s original stamp book is also available at the shrine office. There are a total of five types.


Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

To commemorate the event, I received a yellow stamp book (1,800 yen tax included) with a bird tengu!

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

You should not miss the 2-3 minutes of the dynamic way he writes. Just observing the work is an invigorating experience!

In addition, there are also lucky charms and ema (votive picture tablet) with designs of tengu (long-nosed goblin) and octopus at the shrine office.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

A lucky charm with a design of a tengu with a brave expression costs 800 yen.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

The ema is XX yen . This tengu design also has a great impact.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

The “Place and Pass (Octopus)” charm, very popular among students preparing for entrance exams, is 800 yen. It is sometimes out of stock depending on the time of the year.

Takao-san Yakuoin Temple

Address2177 Takao-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo
Tel042-661-1115 (office hours: 9:00am-4:00pm)
FeeFree of charge

Elevation of 599m! Finally, we reach the summit, also the chance to glance Mt. Fuji on a sunny day!

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

To reach the summit, we will visit the Yakuoin and the inner sanctuary of Yakuoin. In late April, beautiful mansaku flowers could be seen blooming behind the inner sanctuary.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

It takes about 30 minutes to reach the summit from Yakuoin Temple.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

At the summit, there is the “Takao Visitor Center” where visitors can learn about the nature around Mt. Takao, a teahouse, and two restrooms.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

If you are lucky you can see Mt. Fuji from the observatory on a clear day, but unfortunately we could not see it on this day. Next time, I would like to visit in the morning when the weather is clear and the air is clean!

A full load of local delicacies! Take a break at the “Takao Sumika”!

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

“Takao Sumika”, located near Mt. Takao Station, is a place where you can satisfy your appetite and your soul with delicious food at the end of your climb.

The word “Sumika,” which means “home to various creatures, including tengu,” this complex offers gourmet foods and local specialties unique to Mt. Takao.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

This is “Sanpuku (Mitsufuku) Dango (400 yen tax included per dango)” sold on the first floor. The freshly made dango is handed to the customer with the auspicious call, “Manpuku with Sanpuku, which stands for Daifuku, Happiness, and Wealth!

The gentle sweetness of the special walnut miso paste will relieve the fatigue of mountain climbing. The dumplings are large, about 4 cm in diameter, and are very satisfying. The crunchy outside and moist inside, which can only be achieved over charcoal, making it a memorable dish.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

This is Tororo-soba (1,100 yen tax included), a specialty of Mt. Takao, on the menu at the Soba Restaurant on the first floor. It is said that the dish became famous in the old days when local people gave visitors to Yakuoin temple a dish of grated yam, which was said to be tonic and relieve fatigue.

The nihachi-soba, made of 100% domestic buckwheat flour and topped with thick, sticky yam, is superb. After working up a sweat, beer (700 yen tax included) was also excellent!

In addition, the second floor “Cafe Restaurant SUMIKA TABLE” offers original coffee and special curry under the supervision of “Cazana Coffee,” a leading coffee specialty store in Hachioji.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

Visitors can go up to the rooftop to enjoy a different view of the landscape different to the view from the summit.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

This is a tengu-yaki (200 yen including tax) from “Takao Tengu Yaki” on the first floor. Unlike Sanpuku dango, the dough is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and the black bean paste is just the right amount of sweetness.

It is just the right size for eating while walking.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

The beer garden at “Beer Mount,” located even higher up than “Mt. Takao Sumika,” runs from mid-June to mid-October each year. We can’t wait for its opening.

Mt. Takao Sumika

Address2181 Takao-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo
Phone042-661-4151 (Representative of Takaotozan Dentetsu)
Hours10:00am-4:30pm (4:00pm in winter)
Closed daysOpen every day *Closed in case of rain or stormy weather

Enjoy your trip with the many healings spots and attractive features on your way to Takao.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

On the way back from the mountain to “Takaoyamaguch station” on the Keio Line, there are plenty of places to relax!

First, let me introduce you to TMH. (TAKAO MOUNTAIN HOUSE). where you can taste a selection of craft beers and hand-drip coffee.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

This is TOKYO WHITE (1,300 yen tax included). This craft beer is citrusy and has a light taste. A total of seven kinds of craft beer were on sale on this day. You can relax on the wooden deck terrace with your beer or coffee in hand.

The store was built by renovating a private house. Perhaps this is the reason why you feel a sense of nostalgia in spite of the stylish space.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

Further ahead is the “Takao Sankakudo”, a freshly fried donut store that opened in February 2024. The iconic white exterior makes it a landmark in the town.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

This is a plain donut (480 yen including tax). The shape of the donut is a triangular shape, which is auspicious and wishes “good things to come” to our customers.
It is easy to hold and eaten like a rice ball! The taste is not so sweet which is also a nice feature.

The softness and elasticity of the glutinous texture is due to the tapioca flour in the mixture. For takeout, you can enjoy freshly fried doughnuts.

In addition to plain doughnuts, there are four types of doughnuts: custard, chocolate, green tea, and red beans. The homemade gelato is also highly recommended.

Provided by Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki

Lastly, we would like to introduce “Keio Takao-san Onsen Kyokurakuyu”, located adjacent to “Takaoyamaguchi Station”. By proceeding through a dedicated passageway from the station, you will be able to find……..

The dynamic building is right in front of you.The open-air rock bath uses natural hot spring water from approximately 1,000 meters underground.

In addition, there is a cypress bath with microbubbles, a sitting bath, and a sauna. You can soak in the bath for a long time and warm yourself to the core. It is the perfect place to end your trip.

TMH.(TAKAO MOUNTAIN HOUSE)

Address2217 Takao-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo
Phone numberNot listed
Business hoursMonday-Friday 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays10:00a.m. – 6:00p.m.
closed daysOpen all year round *Closes in case of rain or stormy weather

Takao Sankakudo

Address2219 Takao-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo
Phone number042-673-3750
Business hours8:00am – 5:00pm
Closed daysclosed irregularly *Closes in case of rain or stormy weather

Keio Takao Onsen Gokurakuyu

Address2229-7, Takao-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo
Phone number042-663-4126
Fees*All prices include tax
Adults (junior high school students and older): 1,100 yen on weekdays / 1,300 yen on weekends and holidays
Children (4 years old to elementary school students): 550 yen on weekdays / 650 yen on weekends and holidays
Hours8:00am – 10:30pm (last admission at 9:45pm)
Closed daysOpen every day

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