Take A Hike!
Mount Takao Itinerary
Just shy of an hour to the west of Tokyo stands Mount Takao, which once negotiated, boasts especially gasp-worthy views of Mount Fuji now that autumn is settling in with its reddening treeline and clear, dry air. There are two means of ascension to the peak: a relaxed cable car ride or an abundance of well-maintained trails (each one to two hours long). Either way, the final stretch winds through the monkey park, the botanical gardens, a grove of centuries-old cedar trees and the grounds of Yakuo-in, a C.8th temple dedicated to the Buddha of medicine and healing.
Kodak urges satisfied, the descending stroll is best undertaken via Trail #1 with its foot-sure paving, and while you’re in the area it would be rude not to explore nearby restaurant Ukai Toriyama (a free shuttle bus awaits at the train station). No ordinary teishoku-ya, Ukai Toriyama is a cluster of miniature thatched farmhouses with various private dining rooms, nestled around a stream and dotted with carp ponds and indigenous trees. The set menus are a choice of chicken, fish or beef which you can grill at your table’s own charcoal brazier, accompanied by warming soup, crunch-fresh veg and steamed rice. A perfect end to a picture perfect day!