jpn 052013 chapter 9: crushed … @ takaosan

with patience, a crush can be overcometh

the golden week started that weekend. but no matter. our time in tokyo was finite. and saturday was to be the day for takaosan.

still, we were completely taken aback by the size of the crowd. on route #1, the entire path was filled with people – not a single stone/tile was left unoccupied. at the summit, there was hardly space to walk through (lots of picnickers). here’s proof:

people of tokyo

standing room only: uncle john , did you string a whole horde of tokyoites along?

mt takao is very popular with tokyoites.  it is connected directly by train to tokyo/shinjuku (less than 1 hour). it is large and offers up many trails for exploration. there are ample amenities ie cable car, shrines, restaurants etc to suit every pursuit. on good days, you can see the city of tokyo and mt fuji from the summit.

from tokyo, take a train to takaosan guchi. out from the station, you’d see this huge signage. you can find out more about the hiking trails here.

the treks

many trails to choose from

but the main draw was still the green. walking the trails in the shade of the big trees, getting in touch with nature (stop using that mobile phone!), smelling the flowers etc. it was a great way to relax the mind while we exercised our bodies.

i don't know why there are so many people here!

what are they discussing? i’m leaving!

the city of tokyo

from the top of takao: tokyo


shaded trail

if like us, you’d forgotten to pack your rations, you can purchase a bowl of pipping hot soba at the rest stations.

pipping hot vegetables soba

life-saver: vegetables soba soup

tucking in

tucking in

while these 2 are still waiting

while these 2 are still waiting


they start them young: brothers

each doing their own thing

finally, we have the platform to ourselves!

here's us!

all the hikers – almost


meandering through the woods



after the summit, we headed up/down another trail (don’t ask me where, i was following blindly!) and ended up at another rest station where there’s a nice little shop and a big sakura tree. that was a perfect place for chilling out, watching the world went by and chatting with friends.

teashop at one of the hill stations

chilling out at the teashop 

all rested

all rested and ready to go again

from the teashop, we headed in the direction of lake sagami. by then, the crowd had thinned considerably. it began to feel more like a real hike.

left? right?

left? or right?


no more crowds. the trail’s all ours!

in the woods

in the woods

going down

going down

good friends

our 2 lovely trek leaders: sharon and may

altogether again

altogether again

good light


one by one

one by one

when we emerged from the trail, we were treated to this beautiful scene. a whole village nestled in the valley.

the other side

emerging from trail

grass flower - close up

flowers? maybe

we loved our breaks. at the end of the takao trail we came upon another little shop (hurray!). and it sold beer! (double hurray!) let the drinking begin …

one more break

one more break – biru time!

off to the lake

off to the lake

2 of us were so engrossed with the flowers that we  got separated from the group without realising that they’d turn into a secret path. luckily we met a couple who were walking their dogs; the man (who looked quite burly and didn’t seem like the friendly sort) was concerned by our seeming lack of sense of direction, passed the leash to his partner and walked us to the path. phew! saved by friendly local!

lesson learnt: do not judge a burly man by his beard.

dancing to the wind

dancing to the wind

bridge over .... ?

lake sagami

to the train station

to  sagami station

we were happy we made it to sagami station while there was still light (around 6pm). we didn’t walk very far that day, i think it was only about 12-13km but we took a darn long time (too busy snapping photos, too many breaks, too many distractions). in hindsight, it was certainly worth going against the crush to do it. and we were thankful for our malaysian friends based in tokyo, who organised this hike just for us and patiently waited all the way.

thank you so much, lorena, may, sharon and nick!

arigatou gozaimasu!


Categories: Hiking, Japan

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