I just want to share my beautiful tour with my future guests.
Last year, I was asked by my guests to take them somewhere to see cherry blossoms that had already been over in the city of Tokyo. It was April 12. I decided to go to Mt Takao, which is about an hour from the center of Tokyo by local train. It costs about 400 yen from Shinjuku to Takaosankuchi station.
Cable car station
To save time and energy, we took a cable car to the point of 472m above sea level.
Beautiful slope from the cable car
This cable car is the one that goes the steepest slope as a railrailroad track in Japan. It takes 6 minutes to the stop and costs 490 yen. It's an exciting experience, I guess.
The first snack you should try here at Mt Takao is Tengu-yaki. Outside is crispy and inside of the dough is soft and stuffed with sweet black beans that have a slight sweetness. Let's prepare for hiking up to the top!
En-musubi, or good matching Hall (left) & Nio-mon Gate (right)
Izuna Gongen-do Hall and Tengu (left) & Weeping cherry (right)
We made it to Yakuo-in Buddhist temple on the way to the top. It was established in 744 under the order of Emperor Shomu as a base for Buddhism in eastern Japan and its founder was Gyoki, a charismatic priest closely associated with the erection of the Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple in Nara. During the civil war period, where many powerful samurai fought fierce battle to expand their territories, many of them saw Izuna Daigongen that is the principal image of this temple as a protector deity. During the Edo period (1603–1867), Yakuo-in expanded under the patronage of the ruling Tokugawa family. Today Yakuo-in is one of the three head temples of the Shingon-shu Chisan-ha Sect, the others being Narita-san Shinsho-ji and Kawasaki Daishi Heiken-ji.
People wish for good matching by donating 5-yen coin, which is "go-en" in Japanese because "go-en" is also the term that means good matching between people.
The figure standing in front of the Izuna Gongen-do Hall is Tengu that is closely associated with Mt Takao. Tengu, long-nosed demon-like beings, are believed to dwell on sacred mountains acting as the messengers of the deities and buddhas to chastise evildoers and protect the good. They are often depicted holding a fan, that sweeps away misfortune and brings about good fortune. Tengu is often likened to an experienced yamabushi who has attained spiritual power through religious training at Mount Takao.
Summit of Mt Takao
30-minute walk from the temple takes you to the top of Mt Takao (about 600 m above sea level). If it's clear, you can see Mt Fuji in the distance from here.
But we had more important purpose that day. The guy who hired me wanted to propose to his girlfriend under cherry blossoms. That's why we made it there. I took them to a big cherry tree where there were no people and left them for a while................Actually, it took longer than I expected. I was getting nervous thinking what if his plan didn't work well... I was waiting for them at the corner of the mountain trail. When I was about to go back to them, I saw them walking down to me! I became more nervous because they looked rather serious. "What should I say to him if they...." I was thinking. But when they reached me, he said, "Mayumi, I did it! She said YES!" Can you imagie how relieved I was? I heard he'd said "Will you marry me?" five times, and she'd answerd "Yes!" five times, and then, they had moved and cried. It was still a bit chilly day, but we all felt so warm and happy.
On our way back to the station, they found Ema. Ema is a wooden tablet on which people write a wish. They wanted me to write their wish in Japanese. "May our love and hapiness last forever" That's what I wrote for them. I thank them so much for sharing such a wonderful day with me. I'm sure their life is full of love and hapiness.
This was a full day tour in 8 hours from the central Tokyo. You can enjoy hiking in the nature and delicious soba, ramen, snack,and historical temple complex here at Mt Takao. I'm always ready to go hiking with you, my future guests!!
Did you like my article?
You can send me a message to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience. Let's explore Japan Together.
I'll be waiting for you, so please check my profile and get your trip plan now