Soaking in some natural beauty while staying active during your trip to Tokyo is easy. While you may initially think of walking around the big city to get some steps in, there is an abundance of trails in and around Tokyo for hiking enthusiasts and beginners alike.
Many of these hiking trails are easy to get to and offer various amenities in the area. Hiking around these natural wonders gives you the incredible opportunity to take in the incredible beauty within Japan, and you may even get to meet fellow hikers along the trails or learn more about Japanese culture.
What Is Forest Bathing?
It’s actually a popular pastime in Japan to take a stroll through a forest or on a hiking trail. This practice is known as forest bathing, shinrin-yoku in Japanese.
Given that there are plenty of public transportation options to take you to forests in and around Tokyo, you can still stay within the city while exploring Tokyo’s natural surroundings during the day.
A forest bath can be a very relaxing, invigorating experience whereby bathers open themselves up to the energy that exists in nature.
People who partake in forest baths will take in all the smells, sounds, and textures within a forest. You don’t have to be spiritual in order to get a lot out of this practice.
This mountain is often referred to as the mountain that changes color, as it does appear to radiate different hues depending on the time of day you visit.
The mountain also boasts two peaks, which are said to bless those who are able to climb them with good relationships. Among these peaks, there is also the gama ishi, which is a frog-shaped rock configuration.
You can walk along various paths or choose to take either a ropeway car or cable car to see more of the mountain when you get tired of hiking it.
That being said, the hike to the top of the mountain doesn’t take that long.
Mount Oyama is more of a difficult trek, so if you can’t do an extended hike, you can take a cable car up the mountain so you don’t miss the incredible views.
There are also paths throughout the area that are easier to hike than others.
The Oyama Afuri Shrine is one of the sights to see here, with trails that lead away from it to the main temple in the area.
Once you make your way back to the beginning of the Mount Oyama hike, you can satiate your hunger at one of the famous tofu restaurants at the beginning of the path.
Those familiar with Kamakura may have it on their itinerary to get a glimpse at the Great Buddha statue, but the landmark also boasts a fantastic hiking trail.
Mount Mitake offers a sight-filled hiking experience for those who may not be avid hikers. If you need to take a break or want to stretch out your hike to an all-day affair, you can stop at one of the many ryokans along the way to take a seat and have some lunch.
The climb to the top brings you to the Musashi Mitake shrine. This mountain is just one small part of the very large Chihibu-Tama-Kai National Park that spans through four prefectures of Japan.
Mount Koubou is a beautiful hike for those who enjoy being outdoors but maybe don’t want to hike an overly strenuous path.
If you are in Tokyo in the spring, this is one of many places where cherry blossom trees will be in full bloom.
If you walk the trail when the sun goes down, you’ll get a jaw-dropping scenic view of lanterns lighting up the light pink flowers.
When you get towards the top of the mountain, you can take a break on one of the many picnic benches in the area to have a snack and look out at your surroundings.
On clear days, you can also see Mount Fuji and Sagami Bay in the distance.
The Yatsugatake Mountain Range offers hiking trails for people who hike regularly and want to be challenged.
The range is so expansive that you’d have to take a few days to hike the entire thing, but there are accommodations available throughout the hiking path to rest for the evening.
The views from just about every angle in this mountain range are breathtaking. Even if you are not someone who can hike at an expert level, it’s worth walking a short distance to take in the beauty of the range.
Ten-en Hiking Course
The Ten-en Hiking course offers a day well-spent and offers a more intimate hiking experience. Despite how scenic this trail is, it doesn’t tend to get very crowded in the area.
When you follow the trail, you’ll stumble upon monuments and natural vistas.
As you’re hiking, you’ll be making your way through part of the Kamakura Wildlife Protection Park, so you might see some little critters along the path. There are also the Zuisen-ji and Kencho-ji temples, as well as a stunning bamboo grove.
Mount Takao is made up of a few hiking trails, each of which offers spectacular views. One such trail, known as Number One, leads to the Yakuoin Temple.
You can also stumble upon some adorable monkeys when you make your way to the Monkey Park along the trail.
It’s easy to spend a day at Mount Takao without getting bored, as there is so much to see. For example, the Biwa Waterfall trail rewards you with a breathtaking waterfall once you make it to the end.
If possible, avoid Mount Takao on the weekends so you don’t have to make your way through big crowds on the trails.
Mount Fuji is perhaps one of the most famous mountains in the world, and it by far is not overrated. While it can be crowded, it’s worth trying to head there on a weekday if you can to try and beat some of the busiest crowds.
The hike can be quite strenuous, especially if you want to try and hike the entire mountain. However, doing even just some of the ten stop hikes is a feat, and it’ll be an unforgettable experience as you stop and take in your surroundings.
Keep in mind that there are only certain times of the year when the hiking trails of Mount Fuji are open.
Additionally, be prepared that a lot of other people may be there, especially on the weekend, given how famous and sacred this mountain is to the Japanese and tourists alike.
Mount Kawanori is another hike that can be challenging, especially if you try to navigate through the terrain in the winter. If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll enjoy the physical feat and the reward of some beautiful landscapes.
There are some great places to stop for rest throughout the trail, as well as a couple of diversions that either let you continue toughing it out or take an easier path back.