Mount Takao Travel Guide: A Mountain with All-Season Charm and Even Beginners Can Enjoy Climbing!


What is Mount Takao?

Mt. Takao
Mount Takao

Mount Takao is a 599-meter-high mountain located about one hour by train from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. The area around the summit is designated as “Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park,” and visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature in each of the four seasons. In addition to mountain trails, cable cars and lifts are also available, making it easy to climb the mountain.

Along the way, visitors can enjoy not only mountain climbing but also sightseeing, as there are historic temples and gourmet foods unique to the area. Having received three stars in the Michelin Green Guide, it is a popular tourist spot visited by many people from both Japan and overseas.

7 Things to Do in Mount Takao

Easy mountain climbing challenge

Mount Takao is a low mountain at 599 meters above sea level, making it relatively low in difficulty and popular as a mountain that is easy for beginners to climb. There are eight different climbing courses, each with its own level of difficulty. It is a great point to be able to combine courses according to the scenery you want to see and your climbing experience.

Eight mountain climbing courses

  • Trail1(Omotesando Trail)→Difficulty: ★★
  • Trail2(Kasumidai Loop Trail)→Difficulty: ★
  • Trail3( Katsura Forest Trail)→Difficulty: ★★
  • Trail4( Suspension Bridge Trail)→Difficulty: ★★
  • Trail5( Summit Loop trail)→Difficulty: ★
  • Trail6( Biwa Waterfall Trail)→Difficulty: ★★★
  • Inariyama Trail (Ridgeline Trail) → Difficulty: ★★★★
  • Takao-Jimba Trail (Mt. Takao-Mt. Jimba Trail) → Difficulty: ★★★★★

Click here for course map

If this is your first visit to Mount Takao and you plan to walk up from the base to the summit, Trail 1 is the most popular route, which is the main approach to Yakuo-in and has many sights to see. For those who want to make the climb a little easier, cable cars and lifts are also available in some sections.

Easy Sightseeing by Cable Car & Lift

Mt. Takao
Mount Takao

From the base of Mount Takao (201 meters above sea level), which is the starting point of the climb, to the middle of the mountain can be reached by cable car or lift. The view from the cable car or lift, which climbs the mountain rapidly, is different and more enjoyable than walking up the mountain. It is also recommended for people with small children, seniors, and those who are not confident in their physical strength, as it is an easy climb to the halfway up the mountain.

Takao Tozan Railway

  • Cable car: Kiyotaki Station – Takaosan Station (elevation: 472 m, one way: approx. 6 minutes)
  • Lift: Sanroku Station – Yanjo Station (elevation: 462 m, one-way trip: approx. 12 min, 2-seater)

Fare (General Fare)

  • One way: Adults 490 yen, children 250 yen
  • Round trip: Adult 950 yen, Child 470 yen

The same price for both the cable car and the lift.
Fare for individuals junior high school and older is considered at adult rates.
*The children’s fare for the cable car applies to elementary school students and older. One preschool child per adult can ride for free.
*Children fare for lifts are charged for children 3 years and older, and one child under 3 years old per adult can ride for free.

Operating Hours

The first and last departure times change depending on the season and day of the week.
Click here for timetable

Appreciate Beautiful Flowers of Each Season

Mount Takao, a designated national park, is home to more than 1,600 species of plants, thousands of species of insects, dozens of species of animals, and many other living creatures that live together in harmony. The scenery of Japan changes with the seasons, and Mount Takao is no exception, with different plants blooming in different seasons, each creating its own beautiful scenery.


Japanese azalea (Rhododendron japonicum)
Japanese azalea (Rhododendron japonicum)

Mount Takao welcomes picturesque landscape with blooming flowers, including plum in early spring, Viola mandshurica (Violet), and mountain cherry blossoms around March. The season of blue Japanese maples is refreshing, and the fresh green leaves of the trees are dazzling. The following flowers can also be seen here, so enjoy their beauty while climbing the mountain.

  • Rhododendron dilatatum: early April to late April
  • Kerria japonica:April to May
  • Osmunda japonica: April to September


Golden-rayed lily
Lilium auratum

Walking in the forest with lush green trees will feel pleasantly cool. It is also a good idea to climb a mountain on a trail along a stream. Breathe in the negative ions and be healed. The following flowers can be seen in Mount Takao in summer.

  • Lilium auratum: mid-July to late July
  • Campanula punctata ( Spotted Bellflower): mid-June to late July
  • Lysimachia clethroides (Gooseneck Loosestrife): mid-June to mid-July


Autumn leaves
Yakuo-in and autumn leaves

In Mount Takao, the autumn colors of the trees are a sight to behold. The gradation of colors from red to orange, yellow, and green is beautiful and worth seeing. The collaboration between the Yakuo-in building and the autumn leaves is a truly Japanese autumn scene. In addition to the autumn leaves, you can also see autumn flowers blooming along the trail.

  • Tricyrtis macropoda: mid-August to early October
  • Cirsium oligophyllum: August to mid-October
  • Gentiana scabra var. buergeri: mid-October to mid-November


snowy landscape
snowy landscape

Hachioji, where Mount Takao is located, is famous for its snowfall in winter, even though it is located in Tokyo, and since Mount Takao is never closed in winter, you may be able to see Mount Takao with its trees covered with snow. Mount Takao is also famous for its robust winter flowers.

Visit Takao-san Yakuo-in

Head Temple Takao-san Yakuo-in
Head Temple Takao-san Yakuo-in

Takao-san Yakuo-in is located halfway up Mount Takao, about a 20-minute walk from Takao Tozan Railway’s Takaosan Station. Takao-san Yakuo-in is a 20-minute walk from Takao Tozan Railway ‘Takaosan Station’. It is one of the three main temples of the Chisan School of Shingon Buddhism, along with ‘Naritasan Shinshoji Temple’ in Chiba and ‘Kawasaki Daishi Heikenji Temple’ in Kanagawa. It was founded in 744 of the Nara period by ‘Gyoki’ who is famous for building the Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple.

Yakuo-in temple gate
Yakuo-in temple gate

Yakuo-in is said to be one of the best places with spiritual energy in Tokyo, and the precincts are filled with spots for good fortune, such as match-making spots, money-making spots, and spots to ward off bad luck. Visitors can pray for good fortune while enjoying a stroll.

Other things you can do at Takao-san Yakuo-in:

  • Participate in daily Goma (fire ritual)
  • Participate in Waterfall asceticism (by appointment only)
  • Eat Shojin-ryori (Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine) (reservations required)
  • Participate in Fire-Walking *held only once a year!

Facility name: Takao-san Yakuo-in
Address: 2177 Takao-machi, Hachioji City, Tokyo
Official website: Takao-san Yakuo-in

Find Tengu

When visiting Mount Takao, ‘Tengu’ can also be seen here and there.

Tengu is a kind of Japanese yokai, a legendary creature with a bright red face, a high nose, and wings that allow it to fly freely. In Japan, the Tengu is generally associated with a scary image, but in Mount Takao, the Tengu is the messenger of ‘Izuna Daigongen,’ the principal deity of ‘Takao-san Yakuo-in, and is believed to be a blessing that brings good luck and wards off evil spirits.

Tengu, the symbol of Mount Takao, is also used as a motif for gourmet foods and souvenirs, as well as a statue of Tengu. One of the ways to enjoy Mount Takao is to look for Tengu while climbing the mountain.

Stop by Attractive Spots

There are other facilities besides Yakuo-in from the middle to the summit of Mount Takao, and you should definitely stop by there when you climb Mount Takao or go sightseeing.

Mt. Takao Monkey Park and The Wild Plant Garden

Mt. Takao Monkey Park and The Wild Plant Garden is a 3-minute walk from the Takaosan Cable Car Station along Trail 1 (Omotesando Trail) toward the top of the mountain. At the Monkey Park, about 70 monkeys are kept, and you can listen to the humorous explanations of their habits and monkey society given by their keepers.

At the Wild Plant Garden, visitors can observe about 300 varieties of wildflowers, including those that have been native to Mount Takao since ancient times. Different wildflowers bloom daintily in different seasons, making it enjoyable no matter what time of year you visit. Visitors can also see rare flowers that are not easily seen on the plains.

Facility name: Mt. Takao Monkey Park and The Wild Plant Garden
Address:2179 Takao-machi, Hachioji City, Tokyo
Hours: January, February, December: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; March and April: 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; May to November: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
General admission: Adults (junior high school students and older): 500 yen, children (3 years and older): 250 yen
Official Website: Mt. Takao Monkey Park and The Wild Plant Garden

Tokyo Takao Visitor Center

The ‘Tokyo Takao Visitor Center’ at the summit is a facility for climbers and tourists to learn about the nature and history of Mount Takao and its surroundings. Daily guided walks around the summit and craft workshops are also available for visitors to learn about the nature and history of Mount Takao.

Name: Tokyo Takao Visitor Center
Address:2176 Takao-machi, Hachioji City, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00am-4:00pm
Admission: Free *Admission fee is required for guided walks and workshops.
Official Website: Takao Visitor Center, Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Visit Mount Takao’s Famous Summer Beer Garden

During the hot season when you miss beer, ‘Mount Takao beermount’ is held where you can enjoy cold beer and delicious food. The beer garden, open from mid-June to mid-October each year, offers a wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, as well as classic and new beers from major Japanese beer breweries.

Of course, there is a wide variety of gourmet food, including local delicacies from Hachioji, where Mount Taka is located, as well as classic Japanese foods, fruits and desserts.

Mt. Takao
Night view

During the period, the restaurant is open daily from 1:00 p.m. with hour time limit. At night, you can enjoy the wonderful night view of central Tokyo, which has been called the “10 million dollar night view”. A beer while enjoying the spectacular view is a special treat.

The observatory also hosts beer buffets and other events during certain periods of the year other than summer.

Facility name: Mount Takao beermount
Venue: Observation deck near Takaosan Cable Car Station in the middle of Mount Takao
Closed: Open all year round, open whether it rains or not (except for typhoons, etc.)
Official website: Mount Takao beermount

Specialty Foods

Mount Takao is not only a great place for mountain climbing, but also for the gourmet food that can be enjoyed on the way to the summit. Mount Takao is connected by a cable car from the nearest station, Keio line ‘Takaosanguchi station’, to ‘Kiyotaki station’ on the foot side of the mountain. Many restaurants and souvenir stores line the approach to the mountain.

There are also several eateries scattered along the way up to the summit, so be sure to stop by for a break on your way up to the top of the mountain to enjoy the local specialties.

Soba Noodle Soup with Grated Yam

Tororo soba image
Soba Noodle Soup with Grated Yam

Mount Takao has many Soba restaurants along the Mount Takao trail at the foot of the mountain, in the middle of the mountain, and at the summit. Each restaurant offers a variety of Soba menus, but the most famous is the “Soba Noodle Soup with Grated Yam”.

Grated yam is a unique Japanese food, made of grated ‘Japanese yam’ with a stickiness. It is a very good taste and is more delicious when eaten with soba.

Soba Noodle Soup with Grated Yam is available warm with dashi broth, or cold with a smooth texture, depending on the season and your preference.

Mitsufuku dumpling

Mitsufuku dumpling consists of three dumplings on a single skewer. Mitsufuku means ‘Daifuku (luck)’, ‘Koufuku (happiness)’, and ‘Yufuku (wealthy)’. The fragrant aroma of the dango (dumpling) being grilled over a charcoal fire will whet your appetite even before you start eating. The chewy dumplings are dipped in a special walnut miso paste for an exquisite taste. Please try them as an accompaniment to mountain climbing or to replenish your sugar intake.

Facility name: Mount Takao Sumika
Location: In front of Takaosan Cable Car Station
Hours: 10:00am-4:30pm (4:00pm in winter)
Closed: Open daily (subject to temporary closure due to weather, etc.)


Tenguyaki is a Japanese confectionery unique to Mount Takao, where the legend of tengu is said to exist. The crispy baked crust is filled with a sweet black bean paste. You can watch the baking process at the store. They are popular as souvenirs and sometimes sold out on holidays, so it is recommended to buy them as soon as possible.

Facility name: Mount Takao Sumika
Location: In front of Cable car Takaosan Station
Hours: 10:00am-4:30pm (4:00pm in winter)
Closed: Open daily (subject to temporary closure due to weather, etc.)

Facility Information

Mount Takao

Closing period: None
Address:Takao-machi, Hachioji City, Tokyo
TEL:042-664-7872(Tokyo Takao Visitor Center)

Access Information

By train:

  • 5 minutes walk from Takaosanguchi station on Keio line

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I climb all year round?

Mount Takao can be climbed throughout the year. In winter, there are many winter events such as the first sunrise of the year and the “Takao-san Yakuo-in” Hatsumode (New Year’s visit for pray).

What should I wear when climbing Mount Takao?

If you are walking up from the foot of the mountain, you should wear either climbing clothes or normal clothes that can cope with changes in temperature (basically three pieces are must: inner, middle, and outer).

If you are going to Yakuo-in or the summit by cable car or lift, you can wear normal clothes. However, there is a temperature difference from the foot of the mountain, so it is a good idea to have an outer layer of clothing ready if necessary.

In all cases, comfortable sneakers/ athletic shoes or climbing shoes are required, not sandals or heels. Also, be prepared with rain gear to cope with changing weather conditions.

Is there any manner of climbing?

Basic manners are as follows. Please enjoy climbing the mountain with good manners.

  • Take all garbage with you except for items purchased from restaurants in Mount Takao.
  • Use of open flame strictly prohibited
  • No breaking or taking plants home.
How long does it take to reach the summit of Mount Takao?

Depending on the climbing course, it takes about 1 hour to reach the summit if you use the cable car and lift, and about 1 hour and 40 minutes if you walk from the foot of the mountain.

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