After a few days in crowded Tokyo, we relished the chance to escape to the mountains to do a bit of hiking, and to walk off all the goodies we had eaten the last couple of days.
We started the hike at the cable car station at Mt Mitake. Proceeded to walk uphill to Musashi Mitake-jinja shrine for about 20mins, which also serves as a pet shrine, and along the way met people who brought their cute doggies along for the walk. From the shrine, there are a few ways to go - one to Nanayo Falls, or the Rock Garden, or Mt Otake. We chose to go to Mt Otake, which is about 4km away from Mitake shrine.
It is mostly uphill from Mt Mitake to Mt Otake, so it was a little strenuous on the knees. We manage well without any equipment, as there are clear signages along the hike and railings for parts which are a bit more challenging. There were certain stretches closer to the peak where we had to climb up/down, but everything was manageable. Being winter, the view during the hike wasn't fantastic but I can definitely imagine how beautiful the sights will be in the other seasons.
It took us about 2 hours to reach the peak of Mt Otake, and we were rewarded with a clear view of snow capped Mt Fuji in the distance. I had seen Mt Fuji from Kawaguchiko two days before, but I thought this view was much more stunning.
We took the same route back to Mt Mitake, which took about 1.5 hours. All in all, the hike from the cablecar stop at Mt Mitake to Mt Otake and back took about 4.5 hours. Definitely one of the best days spent in Tokyo.
We took the JR Chuo Special Rapid from Shinjuku to Ome station, then changed at Ome station to Mitake station (just board the train at the opposite platform, about 950yen). When you exit from the station, right across is the bus stop where you can take the bus to the foot of Mt Mitake (280yen). From there, you can either take the cable car up (590yen one way, or 1,100yen both ways) or hike up, which will take about an hour. The pasmo card can be used the entire way (including the cable car). Also, if you need to grab some snacks for the hike, there is a convenience store near Mitake station.
Have fun at Mt Mitake!
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