The Best Hikes Around Tokyo
When most people think of Tokyo, they envisage skyscrapers and stunning cityscapes. But Japan is also known for its natural beauty, especially its hiking trails. One of the most famous places for hiking in Japan is Mount Fuji. This is the most popular tourist site in Japan and an important site in Japanese culture as many shrines to the indigenous faith Shinto can be found on the mountain.
Natural beauty, exciting activities, and a fascinating cultural history are just a few reasons why you should hold events in Japan, and at JTB Communication Design (JCD), we are here to help you organize your events and make the most out of this location. Demonstrating knowledge of the local activities can really attract people to your events so we have comprised a handy guide you can share with your potential guests to get them excited about visiting Tokyo.
When you have the time to relax and enjoy Tokyo, take a look at some of the nearby hikes for yourself to really make your time in Japan special. If you have more time to spare here, there are hikes all over Japan where you can see the best of the country’s natural beauty.
No surprise at the top spot: Mount Fuji, the most popular hiking destination around Tokyo and all of Japan for that matter. This incredible mountain is just over two hours from Tokyo and the best way to get there is by bus. A popular option is to take the bus from Shinjuku which will take you to halfway up Mount Fuji from which point you can climb to the summit.
From this point, it will take five to seven hours to reach the summit(1) and another four to six hours to walk down, so be prepared for some good exercise! Because hiking Mount Fuji is long and challenging, most people will spend the night at one of the mountain in Japan because you’ll also have the opportunity to watch the sunrise from the mountain, an experience like no other.
The climbing season for Mt. Fuji is from early July to early September. In other periods and during the snow season, climbing Mt. Fuji is prohibited(2). Remember that seasons are very influential in Japanese culture, so don’t worry if you miss hiking season, as there is a whole host of other a seasonal activities to take advantage of and incorporate into your events.
2 fujisan-climb.jp, “Mt. Fuji Climbing Season”
If a short hike in Japan is more your style, you can get to Mount Mitake and back to Tokyo in the same day. It will take you around an hour and a half to get there by train and is well worth the trip as Mount Mitake is part of the vast Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park and offers exceptional hiking routes. As it is so easy to reach from the city, it makes a popular day trip and one of the best hikes around Tokyo.
The region is known for its natural beauty and you’ll be sure to see the best of Japan’s nature as you’re hiking on Mount Mitake. If hiking a mountain is not for you, there are also a number of easy walking routes around the park where you can see natural beauties like Mitake Gorge, a part of Tama River. This river has a number of relaxed hiking trails which follow alongside the tranquil flowing water.
In Japanese culture, water represents purity and simplicity and this riverside hike is ideal for clearing your mind and getting closer to the natural beauty of Japan.
Mount Takao is possibly the best hike around Tokyo for all levels. Whether you hike frequently or it’s your first time, there is something here for everyone. What’s more, it’s very close to Tokyo and you can get there by train in just 50 minutes. The best time to visit is between April and November. As well as beautiful natural trails, you’ll pass Buddhist temples, which feature tengu statues such as Yakuo-in, during your hike.
There are a number of different hiking trails you can take. The most popular is trail 1 on which you can hike up to the top of Mount Takao in 90 minutes from the base of the mountain. You also have the option to take the cable car from the halfway point, for a more relaxed journey. From the submit, you’ll be able to see both Mount Fuji and Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park.
For a view comparable to Mount Fuji, but slightly easier to get to, Mount Tsukuba can easily be reached via the highway bus from Tokyo station and takes less than two hours to get to from central Tokyo. While this is a more challenging hike, it’s is still a worthwhile day trip for the incredible views.
This mountain is recognized as one of Japan’s hyakumeizan, or 100 Famous Mountains, so it is definitely worth a visit when you have a free day in Tokyo. In Japanese culture, this mountain is celebrated as a spiritual source of fertility because its twin peaks are said to be ‘male body mountain’ and ‘female body mountain.’ Sharing interesting facts like this about the natural landscape is a great way to bring Japanese culture into your events and increase curiosity and appreciation of Japan.
May to early June is peak time to visit but mid-February to mid-March presents a perfect opportunity to see the pink and white bloom of the plum trees. The cable car connects the matchmaking shrine at the peak of Mount Tsukuba to the peak of Mount Nantai.
Another great day trip, and the best hike for easy-going adventurers, is visiting the island of Enoshima and the stunning coastal city of Kamakura. This island is easy to reach by train from central Tokyo, with a number of different train lines and connections, and will take you less than an hour to get to Katase-Enoshima station. From there, you can explore the rest of Enoshima Island on foot via the natural hiking paths along the coast.
As well as laid back hiking trails, you’ll get to see Daibutsu, or The Great Buddha, in Kamakura, which can be easily reached from Enoshima Island by continuing on the train line to Hase. For sea lovers, this is the best hike because of the scenic coastal paths and the chance to head down to the island’s beaches.