Mount Mitake or Mitakesan, as the locals call it, is the perfect place to experience the beauty of rural Japan. It’s only an hour away from central Tokyo, but it feels worlds removed from the never-ending hustle of the gigantic city. Here the air actually feels fresh, and you can see trees in their natural habitat.
The Tama River, running at the foot of the mountain, is incredibly photogenic
You could even go whitewater rafting or canoeing before making your way up to the summit!
There are several ways to reach the top of Mitakesan.
1. You can hike all the way up.
2. You can walk along the river and take about 30 minutes climbing a quiet mountain road to a cable car station, which will quickly and comfortably take you all the way up.
3. If you want to save your energy for actually hiking at the top – and there are plenty of routes to hike – you can also take a bus straight from Mitake Station to the cable car.
I definitely recommend any option that includes the cable car.
The cable car ride in and of itself is a great experience
Once you’ve reached the top you’ll find a few restaurants, some with incredible views of the surrounding area. There are also a few shops selling root vegetables, cakes and canned bear meat. Basic needs covered.
There is also a beautiful shrine at the top of Mount Mitake
The Rock Garden
There are several routes you can take at the top. Whatever you do, make your way to the Rock Garden. It’s a somewhat arduous climb at certain points, but definitely worth the effort. The thick forest surrounding the rocky route and the streams of fresh water trickling down and the sounds of nature make for a truly magical experience. And the best thing? The route leads to some waterfalls!
A slightly tricky route down towards the falls