The gym that Mr. Selfish and I found in Tokyo was closed on Mondays, so we decided to take a day trip to Mount Takao on a Monday for some easy hiking. It takes about 50 minutes and 370 yen to reach Mount Takao (aka Takaosan) from Shinjuku. On a clear day, you can see Tokyo, Mount Fuji, and Yokohama from the top.
Mount Takao has seven clearly marked trails. Mr. Selfish and I decided to hike up the Biwa Waterfall trail and down trail #1, which passes the monkey forest and the Yakuoin temple.
The Biwa Waterfall trail takes you along the limpid waters of the Biwataki Stream through a forest of low cedars. We saw the Biwa Waterfall from a distance but weren’t too compelled to come closer since it seemed quite small.
On the day we went, the weather wasn’t too clear, so the view from the top wasn’t that great. It was nice to get all that good exercise up the mountain though.
On our way down through trail #1, we visited Yakuoin temple, which was built in the 8th century during the Edo period. Statues of the mountain spirits with their big noses were all around.
Mr. Selfish and I actually enjoyed the temple more than the view from Mount Takao. You gotta love big nose and beak mountain spirits!
Taking trail #1 down, we also passed the monkey forest, as well as the cable car and funicular that we could have taken.
Mount Takao was an easy day trip from Tokyo and provided us with the exercise that we were seeking. Unless you have a lot of free time while in Tokyo and the day is really sunny and clear, I wouldn’t recommend it as a day trip.