3 Mountains Ideal For A Day Trip From Tokyo

by Luke

There are three mountains all within one hour from Japan's capital, Tokyo. They are Mt. Tsukuba, famous for its diversity of various colors throughout the day, Mt. Takao, a place that boasts one of the best views of Mt. Fuji, and finally, Mt. Mitake a sacred mountain perfect for a day of hiking. So, if you are looking to get away and above Tokyo, then these three mountains are the perfect day trip destination:

Mount Tsukuba

3 Mountains Ideal For A Day Trip From Tokyo

(image by 茨城県)

Mt. Tsukuba has been called the “purple mountain” since it changes color several times a day, whether it is indigo in the morning, green in the afternoon and purple at sunset. The mountain has two peaks labeled as male and female and it has been worshiped since ancient times as a place where a deity has resided. It has up to 1000 species of plant life along with many insects and wild birds so it is a treasure box of nature. Mt. Tsukuba has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 Famous Mountains, and with its beautiful appearance as a distinct peak rising from the Kanto Plain, it has made for an interesting contrast with Mt. Fuji bringing about the phrase of “Fuji of the West and Tsukuba of the East”.

The course starting from Mt. Tsukuba Shrine and heading up to the summit is used by everyone from genuine climbers to families so a wide variety of people can enjoy the climbing trails and hiking courses. The courses are all connected and with the climbing and descending parts separated, people can enjoy some good variation. Visitors can head up the male peak by cable car while the female peak can be ascended by ropeway so even beginners can rest easy. Also at the 800m mark, people can traverse between the two peaks.

There is a spreading plum forest halfway up Mt. Tsukuba that measures 4.5ha where the Plum Festival is held every year from late February for a month. There is Tenpo Azumaya, which has been chosen as one of the Top 100 Views of Mount Fuji in the Kanto, from where you can view Japan’s most famous mountain while surrounded by white and pink blooms. Every weekend from October to March, the ropeway operates at night for an event called Stardust Cruising. At the station on the summit, 10,000 LED lights illuminate the area, and with the nightscape of Tsukuba City below and the starry night sky above, you can be totally enveloped in romantic light.

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Mount Tsukuba
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Mount Tsukuba
Tours of Mount Tsukuba

Mount Takao

3 Mountains Ideal For A Day Trip From Tokyo

(image by upload.wikimedia.org)

Mt. Takao is popular as a mountain which can be accessed easily from the city center. At an altitude of 599m, it is located within a national park and boasts beauty throughout all four seasons. Starting with its flora and fauna such as prized birds and giant flying squirrels, you can camp and hold BBQs there; the area is under strict protection with measures such as not being allowed to bring in any vehicles. There are trekking courses on the mountain that fit your stamina and schedule, a cable car and easy hiking trails which use a lift. Plus, there is a monkey park where you can see cute Japanese macaques, Yaso Park where about 300 varieties of mountain wildflowers bloom, and a café/restaurant called Kitchen Musasabi where you can have a meal while viewing the landscape from 500m up. There is plenty to enjoy on Mt. Takao.

Mt. Takao has a strong image of being a holiday resort, but long ago in the year 744, the mountain was opened as sacred ground for Shugendo with its high number of miracles. Yakuoin Temple, located halfway up the mountain, is worshiped as a prayer temple protecting the entire Kanto region. The monks practice within the nature of Mt. Takao, and for any person who wishes, he/she has the opportunity to take part in meditation under a waterfall at Biwa Waterfall and Hebitaki Falls on the mountain. And on Mt. Takao, the legend of the Tengu to ward off misfortune and invite happiness is believed by many people. At Yakuoin, you can enjoy a healthy vegetarian meal using seasonal ingredients. We hope you can experience the joy of the blessings of nature on Mt. Takao.

The view of Mt. Fuji from the top of Mt. Takao is a wonderful place which has been selected as one of the Top 100 Scenes to View Mt. Fuji in the Kanto Region. The view of the setting sun behind Mt. Fuji, especially on the fine days of December, has been called “Diamond Fuji”, and the sight of the sun seemingly being absorbed into the crater of Mt. Fuji is magical and dramatic.

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Mount Takao
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Mount Takao
Tours of Mount Takao

Mount Mitake

3 Mountains Ideal For A Day Trip From Tokyo

(image by flickr.com)

Mt. Mitake which is located in the lush nature of Chichibu-Tama Kai National Park is popular with many hikers as a mountain which is great for day trips from the metropolis of Tokyo. At a height of 929m, Mt. Mitake has long been worshiped as a sacred mountain. It has also been considered to be a treasure trove of wild birds, insects and plant life, and from late July to August, there is the spectacle of wild grass and false anemone blooming all at once. It is also the natural habitat of the Japanese giant flying squirrel, so even now, that abundance of nature has been preserved.

Hiking is the way to enjoy yourself at Mt. Mitake. As a mountain that can be enjoyed by children and elderly alike, a number of courses is available. Among them, “Rock Garden” is a popular spot that has a beautiful scenery composed of woods, moss, clear streams, waterfalls and rocks of various shapes. By putting yourself in the midst of nature, you can relax by receiving the energy of nature from the mountain.

Reportedly built in 91 BC, Zao Gongen which was worshiped for peace and security in the Kanto region was enshrined in the shrine in the 8th century, and from that point, it developed as a sacred place for mountain worship. The Shindai-no-Keyaki (Ancient Zelkova Tree) on the path to the shrine is reputed to be 1000 years old, a Natural Monument that has a lot of history to tell, and the red main building of the shrine is lovely with an amazing view from the summit of the mountain. At the shrine repository, there is a National Treasure in the form of armor and valuable artifacts that have been designated as Important Cultural Properties on display. Also, since a dog has been enshrined there, there are many visitors who pray at the shrine for the health of their beloved dogs. In the vicinity, there are up to 20 temple guesthouses known as shukubou where visitors can spend the night and are offered vegetarian dishes. Staying at a shukubou is a profound experience that can only be found in Japan. Furthermore, visitors can try ascetic practices at the shrine such as sitting under a waterfall and mountain hiking if they are interested.

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Mount Mitake
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Mount Mitake
Tours of Mount Mitake

06 Oct 2015

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ Fantastic!! ”

Excellent
6 hours ago Traveler: Pallika -   Tour Guide: Haruko

Haruko was really good and has vast knowledge. We really had a great time with her.
read more

“ Full of insights ”

Excellent
20 hours ago Traveler: Dipika -   Tour Guide: Masaharu

Masaharu-san was extremely knowledgable and alert to our needs. He took us to the best restaurants and shared so many insights and unique observations about the country that by the end of the tour we had learned a lot. He also knew the best places to eat! It was indeed a great pleasure to experience Tokyo with him.
read more

“ The best guide in Tokyo ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Young -   Tour Guide: Haruko

Haruko is an amazing guide. She speaks perfect English and has broad knowledge of Japanese history. She planed the trip so well there was no waisted time at all. She is very organized and sincere. Our family had a great time and we hope to do this again with Haruko. Thank you Haruko !!!
read more

“ Lovely guide ”

Very Good
1 day ago Traveler: Tariq -   Tour Guide: Tomoko

Our time in Tokyo with Tomoko was lovely. She was very knowledgeable and informed about the culture and history od Japan. She was also very sweet and gentle with the kids and involved them in the tour. She taught my daughter origami an was extremely helpful. I would recommend her strongly!
read more

“ 1 day tour in Tokyo ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Eric -   Tour Guide: Toshihiro

Toshihiro is a very professional guide who listens to his customer and is able to adjust the tour to have the best outcome! Before the trip he made many suggestions and was always quick to respond. We enjoyed his way of showing us Tokyo. He also gave us many tips what to do on the other days we were in Japan. We would book a tour with him again!
read more

“ Great day sightseeing in Tokyo ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Miranda -   Tour Guide: Michiko

Michiko was a great guide in Tokyo. We were together for a day and she showed me the highlights of Tokyo. We particularly enjoyed the markets and the boat trip up the river to the old town.
read more

“ One day tour with Akira ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Arthur -   Tour Guide: AKIRA

We booked Akira for a tour for one of our 6 days in Tokyo. We figured we could navigate through the more well known areas ourselves so we asked Akira to show us some of the lesser known, “hidden gems” of the city. He did exactly that and took us to some beautiful temples, shrines, and gardens that were not packed with other tourists. For lunch, Akira took us to a local restaurant that had some sim...
read more

“ Amazing Day ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Ralf -   Tour Guide: Keiko

We had an amazing day with our lovely tour guide Keiko. She is very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about Japan and Tokyo (history, everything about the temples we visited, custom, ...). She knows authentic places to eat & drink. It was a real pleasure spending the day with her.
read more

“ Customized Tokyo ”

Very Good
2 days ago Traveler: Eddie -   Tour Guide: Junko

Junko was very informative and adaptive. My three days with her were not your typical see the Sights. Being a foodie , led to some off the beaten path not usually requested places. Combine that with the "normal" tour activities it was a very enjoyable time. She is extremely organized and able to help with translations and directions. I would recommend her without hesitation. Especially for custo...
read more

“ Only way to See Tokyo ! ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Kerry -   Tour Guide: Makiko

If you want a perfect walking tour of Tokyo catered to what YOU want to see... this is your guide!! She meet us at our hotel -- asked in advanced what we wanted to see (made great suggestions too!) Designed our individual tour. She was knowledgeable and fluent and warm and fun! We felt we got a great insight not only into the shrines and attractions but to the culture and the history of Japan. ...
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started