Hiking Mt. Takao

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One of the closest wilderness excursions to Tokyo while still remaining in the greater metropolis, Mt. Takao offers a beautiful set of hiking trails along with several shrines and temples.

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After an hour train ride from the busiest station in Tokyo (not to mention the entire planet – Shinjuku station), we were suddenly surrounded with beautiful foliage and traditional Shinto and Buddhist pieces.

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There are several shrines and temples throughout the mountain, each uniquely beautiful in its location.

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Each statue was thoughtfully given a hat and cloak for the colder months.

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The peak of Mt. Takao is 599m above sea level, which took us around an hour and a half to hike to. It was quite the trek but the scenery was absolutely gorgeous and the view from the top was breathtaking.

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The sun was just beginning to set as we reached the top. It was a great moment.

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The peak not only offered a look at the skyline of Tokyo (as you can see in the photo above this one), but also a view of a gorgeous mountain range that faded into the distance.

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Taking a well-earned rest after our hike up the mountain, we ate some fruit and enjoyed the crisp weather.

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Suddenly a friend appeared!

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The mysterious cat decided to join us for our evening snack, although he was decidedly not interested in the mangoes.

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Amazingly enough, another little creature ventured out as well: a tanuki! Also known as the “Japanese Raccoon Dog,” the tanuki is a beloved figure in Japanese culture with a well-established presence in folklore and legends. It is also absolutely adorable and friendly!

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As we began our descent, we spotted the mysterious outline of one of Japan’s most beloved site: Mt. Fuji.

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