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.
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.
There are several shrines and temples throughout the mountain, each uniquely beautiful in its location.
Each statue was thoughtfully given a hat and cloak for the colder months.
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.
The sun was just beginning to set as we reached the top. It was a great moment.
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.
Taking a well-earned rest after our hike up the mountain, we ate some fruit and enjoyed the crisp weather.
Suddenly a friend appeared!
The mysterious cat decided to join us for our evening snack, although he was decidedly not interested in the mangoes.
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!
As we began our descent, we spotted the mysterious outline of one of Japan’s most beloved site: Mt. Fuji.