If you live in Tokyo, you might not get the chance to go out and enjoy nature very often. You may even start to feel like Japan is full of nothing but pavement and tall buildings. Luckily, this isn’t the case by any means! There is plenty of natural beauty to be enjoyed, and you don’t have to travel very far to see it. One of the best ways to enjoy nature is by hiking. Going for a hike has both mental and physical health benefits. Hiking can help reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, and develop core muscles. Now that you’re aware of the benefits of hiking and want to set off on a trek through the woods, you might be wondering where you should go. Here is a guide to 7 awesome places to go hiking near Tokyo.
Japan’s science city has more than robots and technology companies to offer. The twin peaks of Mount Tsukuba make for a fairly easy, but occasionally challenging hike. If you’re into urban exploring and haikyo, there’s an old amusement park at the base of the mountain. Since Mount Tsukuba is quite steep, it’s common for hiking novoices to climb up and take the ropeway down. But don’t rush down the mountain too fast! Enjoy the restaurants and shops at the peak. There is also a rock formation shaped like a frog’s mouth at the peak that you should toss a stone into for good luck. To get to Mount Tsukuba, take the Tsukuba Express to Tsukuba Station. Buses headed for the mountain depart from the station every hour.
Mount Mitake is one of the most beautiful places in Tokyo Prefecture. Located in the Okutama region, the mountain is home to a variety of plants and animals. During the spring, Mount Mikate is a popular destination for viewing cherry blossoms. It is part of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, a park that spans across the Tokyo, Saitama, Nagano, and Yamanashi Prefectures. Like most mountains in Japan, there is a shrine at the peak of Mount Mitake. The Musashi Mitake Shrine offers gorgeous views of both the surrounding mountains and Tokyo’s skyscrapers. It has been a site of worship for decades, but even if you aren’t interested in religion, the views alone are a good enough reason to visit. To get to the mountain, you’ll want to take the JR Chuo line from Tokyo and transfer to the JR Omoe line. Get off at Mitake Station for a day filled with the goodness of nature.
Mount Oyama is a challenging but rewarding hike for experienced trekkers. The higher up the mountain you go, the more amazing the view becomes. Like many other hikes in Japan, there is a temple and shrine you can visit. The area is known for its tofu, so expect to be served some if you stop for lunch. If you aren’t an experienced enough hiker for Mount Oyama’s trails and simply want to enjoy the view, there is a cable car you can take to the summit. To get to Mount Oyama, take the Odakyu Odawara express train to Isehara station. Buses to the mountain depart every 20 minutes.
If you want to go on a leisurely stroll through nature, rather than an energy intensive hike, Kinchakuda is your best bet. The hiking course only takes 2-3 hours to complete. However, it does become slightly more challenging at the end. Even though Kinchakuda is one of the easiest hikes on our list, it’s far from the least beautiful. There are gorgeous flowers that bloom along the trail, and you’ll even be able to spot some ponies at the end. To get there, take the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line from Ikebukuro Station and get off at Hanno Station.
This hike is very popular with tourists, so it might be best to visit during the off season. It’s clear why this location is so popular – there are a variety of hiking trails to suit different levels, a monkey park, a shrine, and waterfalls! If you’re looking for an easy hike, we recommend the Omotesando trail, which consists of wide, paved walkways. But if you want to see the beautiful waterfalls that call Mount Takao home, you should hike the Biwa Waterfall trail. Like the Omotesando trail, it is easily accessible and beginner-friendly. To get to Mount Takao, take the Keio Line Special Express to Takaosanguchi Station. The Mountain is a 5 minute walk from the station.
Mount Koubou is one of the best hikes for beginners on this list. It’s a great place to view Mount Fuji, which can be seen from the summit. The mountain is particularly popular during cherry blossom season. Lanterns that illuminate the blossoms at night are hung from the trees. If you want to take some beautiful cherry blossom photos at night, Mount Koubou is the place to go. To get to the mountain, take the Odakyu Odawara Line to Hadano Station. Mount Koubou is a 20 minute walk away.
Ten-en Hiking Course
For a lesser known hike through a bamboo forest, hit up the Ten-en Hiking Trails. This hiking course is part of the Kamakura Wildlife Protection Area and connects two temples. As you hike, you’ll be able to see tomb caves known as “yagura”. In addition, you’ll get to see stunning views of the mountains and the ocean. The Ten-en hiking course is particularly nice in the autumn, when the leaves change color. To get to the trails, take the Yokosuka Line or Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Kamakura Station. Then, take the Number 4 bus departing from the station until you reach the Kamakura-gu Bus Stop.
Written by Julia Nagai.