Enjoy a day exploring Japan's Mount Takao

Enjoy a day exploring Japan's Mount Takao

by Stripes Japan archives

MOUNT TAKAO, Japan  -- For those individuals who are looking to get some exercise, explore Japan and visit some historical sites, look no further than Mt. Takao.

Right from the Takaosanguchi station, there's a huge map showing Mount Takao and the different paths people can take that lead up the mountain to the summit. There are seven different trails and all have different lengths and vary in the time it takes to climb to the top.

For those who may want a more relaxing ride up the mountain, cable cars and chair lift are available for a fee. Both of these take visitors halfway up the mountain.

Each trail snakes up the mountain around tall cedar trees that are hundreds of years old. The trails that people can take to the summit all have different sights to see as well as little hidden treasures along the way like a waterfall on trail six and a suspension bridge on trail four.

Individuals who keep a watchful eye on the surrounding environment can often see numerous species of plants, animals and insects in the trees, streams and on the trail itself.

When hikers finally reach the top of the mountain, there is a large observation area that has a few shops and a great spot to view the mountain ranges. On a clear day, Mount Fuji can be seen in the distance.

One thing to note about the trails, which are narrow in some places, is that the terrain is very uneven and can be muddy at points depending on the weather. It's a good idea to ensure proper shoes are worn to help prevent falls or twisted ankles.

Along with the hiking trails, another point of interest to see is the Yaku-ou-in Temple. Legend holds that the temple was founded by the Buddhist saint, Gyoki, in 744.

The size and verticality of the temple is quite extraordinary. Around every corner, there's another set of stairs leading up to another part of the temple. Some of the areas to see include the Shitenno-mon Gate, main hall, head priest's quarters, guest quarters, a belfry and Tengu-sha Shrine.

One other area to visit is the monkey park, where viewers can observe a community of roughly 50 monkeys engaged in activities.

No matter what time of the year you visit Mount Takao, there's always something going on and things to see. Spring, summer, fall or winter, Mt. Takao is a great place to go to explore for a day.

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