A Tokyo day hike. Mt. Jinba to Mt. Takao. 4 gorgeous peaks. 1 awesome day.

A hike we loved so much we’ve done it twice.

In training to climb Mt. Fuji last summer we did a few longer training hikes, one of which that we loved so much we then took our parents on in October later in the year.

A quick overview:

Mt. Jinba to Mt. Takao covers 4 peaks over the course of the day. You hike along the ridge-line a lot and there are lots of little food huts along the way which means that you don’t need to pack lots of supplies like you normally would. (Of course we always recommend having some supplies just in case).

  • Approximately 14km
  • About 8 hours with stops at each peak (could be done faster)
  • 4 peaks (food, water and toilets available at each peak)

Getting to the start:

Take the Chuo Line from Shinjuku to Takao Station. Take the North Exit to leave the station and follow the other people in hiking gear across the street to the bus stop (you can’t miss it). Join the line and wait for the bus to 陣馬高原下(Jinba kogen shita). If you’re not sure, ask one of the bus station attendants or a fellow hiker for the bus to Mt. Jinba. Jinba kogen shita is the last stop on the bus, so when everyone empties out, get off with them. (Just make sure that you get on the right bus because there are a few hiking buses that go to different places).

Once you’re off the bus, walk uphill, up the road until you reach the trailhead of the hiking trail up to the summit of Mt. Jinba.

The walk from the bus stop to the trail head.

The Peaks

1. Mt. Jinba

Mt. Jinba is one of the most challenging parts of the day. It is about a 2 hour ascent through a forest where you’re traversing uneven ground covered in roots. However, it’s very cool and feels very Lord of the Rings-esque.

There are a few sections near the end where the path splits but both paths go to the top. Just follow someone else or make your own choice.

The Mt. Jinba ascent

Once you reach the top there are epic views of the surrounding mountains (including Mt. Fuji on a clear day!) and 2 soba shops to choose from. Treat yourself to a mid-morning bowl of noodles and a cold drink before you continue on.

Fresh soba with local mountain vegetables
Soba shop with a view

Don’t forget to take a photo with the famous Mt. Jinba ‘horse’ statue!

Mt. Jinba horse statue

2. Mt. Kagenobu

The perfect spot to stop for lunch, Mt. Kagenobu has a cute noodle shop where you can buy fresh noodles, drinks, cup noodles and snacks for your journey. This rest stop has an awesome view of Tokyo that you can enjoy in the shade while you eat your lunch.

Mt. Kagenobu noodle shop

3. Mt. Kobotoke-Shiro

Another little noodle shop lives at this summit and is a great place to get ice-cold water to replenish your probably-hot-by-now water supply. They also sell kakigori (shaved ice), which is a relief on a hot hiking day!

Mt. Kobotoke-Shiro noodle shop

From Mt. Kobotoke-Shiro you’ll encounter a long descent before a short, steep ascent to your final peak, Mt. Takao!

Mt. Kobotoke-Shiro noodle shop

After the peak of Mt. Kobotoke-Shiro you’ll reach a lookout where there’s an excellent view of Mt. Fuji if the weather’s clear!

Mt. Fuji from the lookout between Mt. Kobotoke-Shiro and Mt. Takao.

4. Mt. Takao

Congrats! You’ve reached the final summit! Mt. Takao is best explored on a separate trip as there is so much to see! Have a quick look for Mt. Fuji when you reach the summit and then either make the final descent down one of the many trails of Mt. Takao, or take the cable car/chair lift back down. If you are going to take the latter option, just check when they close because they can close fairly early in the day, but if you buy a ticket before they close they will make sure that you get on and will keep going until everyone who has a ticket is on.

Getting back to Tokyo:

Grab the train from Takaosanguchi Station back to Tokyo and have a well-deserved rest!

We highly recommend this lovely little hike if you’re looking to do something a little more challenging than Mt. Takao with great views!

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