Mount Takao

Takao Sarah Straus 2013Mount Takao (Takao-san)  is about an hour from Yokota and offers sightseeing and hiking. You can take a ten-minute cable car ride or a ski lift part way up the mountain and then hike the rest.  There are two restaurants at the top of the cable car, both offering an awesome view all the way to Shinjuku on a clear day. There are also snack vendors along the way and at the summit.  To the left of the takao sarah strauscable car exit at the top, along the central path to the temples, there is a monkey zoo—a must if kids are along. On the main trail you will not need any special gear.  Much of it is paved.  There are several sections of long, steep stairs.  Takao-san is open year-round, although the shops and restaurants may close on Japanese holidays. One notable festival is the fire-walking (Yamabushi Hiwatari) held at the Yakuoin Temple near the summit on the second Sunday of March.  While there, also check out the Trick Art Museum.  Driving there is easy.  On the weekend parking at the Takao-san-guchi terminal parking lot costs ¥1000.  Taking the train is easy too and you don’t have to pay for parking.  Parking Lot phone number: 042-661-1118, parking lot GPS coordinates 35.632954, 139.270487 -Viki Lyn Paulson-Cody, updated & photos Sarah Straus, 2013

DSC_2513DRIVING DIRECTIONS: It is about a 40 minute drive to Takao and as long as you stay on Route 16 and turn right onto Route 20 it is a simple drive.  The trick of course is that Route 16 takes a few turns, so keep your eyes open.  Go left out the Fussa Gate onto Route 16.  Stay on Route 16 toward the Chuo Freeway.  As you near the freeway there is an option to turn left onto a Route 16 spur toward an expressway, but continue straight on Route 16 toward the Chuo.  Continue under the Chuo freeway.   Continue on Route 16 and then turn Right onto Route 20 – it is clearly marked as Route 20 toward Takao.  Route 20 will take you to the entrance at Takao-san-guchi train station in 6.6 kilometers.  There are several large parking lots here including a large one at the train station.  Warning, if you go during November to see the fall colors you should arrive extra early to get parking even on a weekday.   – Sarah Straus, November 2012
DSC_2554TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Leave from Higashi Fussa and take the train to Hachioji. Change to the Chuo Line to Takao. Don’t take the express train; the train should be marked “Takao” (in English). At Takao, change to the Keio Line for Takao-San by following the signs (in English) past the ticket booths. Take the train to Takao-San Guchi, the end of the line.  Note: you can also start at Fussa and change at Tachikawa.  At Tachikawa get on the Chuo line toward Takao.  Then at Takao change train lines to Keio, going one stop from Takao to Takaosanguchi.  Check train times here. -Viki Lyn Paulson-Cody

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Mt. Takao in the Fall, Photos by Kelly O’Donnell, Oct 31, 2013

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