Friday, November 26, 2010

Mt. Takao - 高尾山 Trail 6 and the Summit

Everyone knows about how the Japanese people love viewing the cherry blossoms in the spring. I have written about the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Naval Base in Yokosuka. Although it is only slightly less a party atmosphere, the autumn viewing of the changing color of maple leaves (and autumn colors in general) is also very popular. One of the great places to do this is on the very popular hiking trails of Mt. Takao. My wife and I did this twice this year.

Mt. Takao Entrance - 高尾山口 (Takaosanguchi)
The Mountain is in the far western edge of Tōkyō (東京) in the town of Hachiōji (八王子市). The Keio Line has a station at the entrance to the mountain. So, the Mountain is not difficult to get to. It is a very popular place for Tōkyō-ites to hike. As a result, during the leaf viewing season the Mountain sees a very large number of hikers.

When you arrive at the entrance you may choose a number of trails to use. You can catch the cable car and ride half-way up the Mountain, then catch Trails 1 - 5 to get around. You may also hike Trail 1 up from the bottom. The most difficult trails are Trail 6 and the Inariyama Trail. These are the most difficult but also the most beautiful for hiking. Trail 6 runs along a creek almost all of the way up and is the most beautiful of all. Trail 6 features not only the creek - complete with waterfall, but Shinto and Buddhist (I think) prayer sites.

Site map at Takaosanguchi
I have way too many pictures to include in one post, so I will just post a few views of Trail 6 with no comment other than the captions. I will save pictures of Trail 1 and the Yakuo-in Temple and Monastery complex as well as the Inariyama Trail for another post.

Trail 6

Trail 6 Entrance

Waterfall and Shinto Shrine near Trail 6

Trail 6

A view through the trees on Trail 6

The Summit

At the Visitor's Center at the Summit

Mt. Fuji seen from Mt. Takao. Shingen came from over there.

A stroll around the summit.

Tōkyō seen from the summit

That is enough for now. I'll post pictures from Trail 1 and the Inariyama Trail in a later post.