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  • Tokyo, Japan's largest metropolis, conjures images of bustling, neon lit streets, crowded

  • train platforms and endless processions of commuters shuffling their way around a vast

  • concrete jungle.

  • There is a different side to Tokyo however just on the doorstep of the urban sprawl,

  • that is characterized by lush mountains and arresting natural vistas, traditional culture

  • and alluring spirituality.

  • One place that boasts all of this and more is Mount Takao, which lies less than an hour

  • from central Tokyo, and is an ideal location for those looking for a quick and easy escape

  • to nature.

  • This sacred mountain has been a center of mountain worship for over 1000 years, with

  • many visitors today coming here to worship the mountain gods, and also to enjoy hiking

  • around the mountain's pathways to take its various other charms.

  • Such an attractive destination, Mount Takao was a place I was looking to escape to myself...

  • I'm Sam Evans, for japan-guide.com and today I'll be doing just that.

  • Here's the plan:

  • We'll start the day at Shinjuku Station in central Tokyo, from where we will make

  • the train journey to Takaosanguchi Station at the foot of Mount Takao.

  • Before heading up the mountain, we will duck into a nearby restaurant to enjoy a traditional

  • lunch of soba, and then start our ascent of the mountain by chairlift.

  • Upon arriving at the top chairlift station, we'll start along the mountain trails, stopping

  • to explore a monkey park and then the ethereal Yakuoin Temple before reaching the summit,

  • from where we'll take in some impressive views.

  • From here we head back down the mountain, stopping to round off the day with a well-deserved

  • beer and meal at Tokyo's highest beer garden, before completing our descent and making our

  • way back towards central Tokyo.

  • So, follow along as we go on a side trip from central Tokyo to Mount Takao.

  • We begin our journey today at Tokyo's gargantuan Shinjuku Station, now this station staggeringly

  • serves over 2 million people per day, and its absolutely huge.

  • We're going to make our way now via Keio trains behind me to Takaosan where the adventure

  • will begin.

  • Let's go!

  • Upon arriving at Takaosanguchi Station we head through town to a traditional restaurant

  • to enjoy a lunch of Japanese soba.

  • We've ducked into one of the restaurants and I'm about to enjoy soba which is buckwheat noodles.

  • They can either be eaten hot or cold.

  • It's the beginning of the summer so I've opted for cold because it looks very refreshing.

  • And as an addition to this dish I've got some mountain vegetables.

  • This looks like an ideal lunch and a great way to start the Takaosan experience. Itadakimasu!

  • With a full stomach, it's time to continue our adventure so we head to the nearby chairlift/cablecar

  • station, from where we will take a chairlift up the mountain.

  • After alighting the chairlift it's time to start the gentle hike along the winding

  • trails and to explore what Mount Takao has to offer.

  • Our first stop is the Mount Takao Monkey Park and Wild Flower Garden and here you can come

  • and visit a bunch of resident Japanese macaques and one of the activities you can do is buy

  • some of this food and throw it in there to feed them.

  • So Im going to give it a whirl right now.

  • One of the things that truly gives Mount Takao its character are the network of trails that

  • go around the mountain.

  • At various points along the trail are shops like the one you can see behind me where they

  • sell drinks and food and speaking of which, I've just bought myself a gomadango and

  • it looks lovely.

  • Walking a little further along the trail, we arrive at the main precincts of Yakuoin Temple.

  • Here we are at Yakuoin, a temple near the summit of Mount Takaosan that is dedicated

  • to mountain worship.

  • Now mountain worship is usually associated with being far away from civilization.

  • So it makes it all the more interesting that you'd have a center of mountain worship

  • that is so close to central Tokyo.

  • One of the fascinating points of this temple is the relatively large presence of Tengu.

  • Now Tengu are mythical creatures that embody the spirit of the forest and the mountains,

  • and they're usually seen as a little bit evil.

  • And you have a lot of them here, they're characterized by either having a long nose

  • or a bird's beak.

  • So I've made it to the very summit of Takaosan at 599.15 meters, and I'm going to head

  • a little further and check out the viewpoint and see if we can get some amazing views,

  • so let's go!

  • This viewpoint is very popular not least because on days with clear weather

  • you can see Mount Fuji in the distance.

  • Today we're a little bit unlucky because it's a bit too cloudy to see the majestic mountain.

  • But on clear days it looks a little bit like this.

  • Our time on Mount Takao is coming to an end, but before leaving, there's time to round

  • off the day with a beer and some food at the mountain's very own beer garden.

  • What a day!

  • And what better way to end a day like this than with a meal at a beer garden.

  • Not any beer garden, this is the highest altitude beer garden in all of Tokyo and while there's

  • great food, some frosty beer, there are also some fantastic views of the surroundings.

  • Kanpai!

  • Replete and happy we head down the mountain by cable car and back towards central Tokyo

  • to conclude our escape to this beautiful part of the country.

  • For more information about our itinerary or to watch another video, click the links on

  • the screen now, or head over to Japan-Guide.com, your comprehensive up-to-date travel guide,

  • first hand from Japan.

  • Thanks for watching, be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell for more videos

  • about Japan.

  • Happy travels.

Tokyo, Japan's largest metropolis, conjures images of bustling, neon lit streets, crowded

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Tokyo Side Trip to Mount Takao | japan-guide.com

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    ayane posted on 2019/11/08
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