Top 5 Japan hikes with views of Mt. Fuji.
Mt. Fuji is by far Japan’s most famous and Iconic Mountain However, one important point to note is when you are hiking Mt. Fuji you can’t actually see Mt. Fuji. Therefore, I would like to suggest some easy alternatives to hiking Mt. Fuji that will give you a great view of Mt. Fuji and you can hike these throughout the year.
#1 Mt. Mitake (Mount Mitake)
Mt. Mitake, located about 50 kms Northeast of Shinjuku, Mt. Mitake is still considered inside the Tokyo ward. The summit is 929 meters high and is covered with beautiful forested area with a picturesque stream, lots of moss covered stones and two nearby waterfalls. Like most mountain in Japan there is also a rope-way that takes you half-way up the mountain. It takes less than an hour to reach the summit after getting off the rope-way. Once you reach the summit you can hike another hour and reach Mt. Otake (1,267 meters).
Access: Mitake station from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou Line
(Change at Ome Station to local Ome Line) Fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass
#2 Mt. Mitsutoge (Mount Mitsutoge)
Mt. Mitsutoge, located in Yamanashi prefecture where half of Mt. Fuji is located offers by far the best view of Mt. Fuji. The Mt. Mitsutoge summit is 1785m and it is a more difficult high than Mt. Mitake. The summit top of Mt. Mitsutoge offers 360 degree panoramic views of Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi and the surrounding areas. The hike is difficult in some places and is moderately long (4 - 6 hours return depending on your route choice) but is well worth it for the amazing views and the serenity at the top. There are several trials but starting from Mitsutoge Station trail and end the hike a Kawaguchi Lake us highly recommend if you have a full day: The descending Kawaguchi Lake trail passes through Mt. Shimoyama, Mt. Kinashiyama and Mt. Tenjo (Mt. Kachi Kachi), Before reaching Kawaguchi lake.
Access: Mitsutoge Station and Kawaguchi Stations are both accessible from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou Line: Fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
#3 Mt. Takao (Mount Takao)
Just a one-hour trip west from Tokyo, the sacred Mt. Takao offers a unique blend of Japanese culture and beautiful nature. The area boasts a variety of hiking courses, historic temples and an exhilarating view from the summit.
In 2007, the famous Michelin Travel Guide, named Mt. Takao a three-star winning mountain and one of the best places to discover the “real Japan”. Mt. Takao, designated as a national park forest state, is covered with a natural mixed forest of old aged coniferous, beech and broad-leaved trees which remain vertically untouched from ancient times. The area is especially beautiful in autumn when the leaves turn color.
The summit 600 meters above sea level provides an exhilarating panoramic scenery of Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto mountains of Chichibu, Nikko, Tanzawa, and Mt. Fuji on a clear day. There are six well-maintained hiking courses starting from the foot of Mt. Takao-san and leading up to the summit, each with a different theme, allowing visitors to learn about the nature of Takao. You can also ride halfway up the mountain by cable car or lift, so that the remaining climb to the top is not so difficult. Near the cable car terminal is the Takao-san Natural Zoo and Botanical Garden, where you will be greeted by monkeys that range freely throughout the area. Hiking on Mt.Takao is an all-year-round destination; After reaching the top serious hikers can continue on to Mt. Jinba (857m) for a whole day of hiking.
Access: Mt. Takao Station from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou or Keio Line: Fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass
#4 Mt. Jinba (Mount Jinba)
Mt. Jinba is located in nearby Kanagawa prefecture and is a higher (at 854 meters) mountain and more changing climb than the more famous Mt. Takao (at 599 meters). Even less people know that you can actually climb from Mt. Takao to Mt. Jinba (or vice versa) in one day. The 7-hour hike, is not as challenging as say a Mt. Fuji climb, however it is a longer hike (18 kms) and easy to get lost if you cannot read Japanese, so it is not recommended you try this trail alone, trying with someone that has done the trail before or getting a guide to go with you is best.
Access: Mt. Takao Station from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou or Keio Line: than take bus to Jinba-Kogen-Shita bus stop and start you hike from here:
#5 Mt. Tenjo (Mount Tenjo)
Mt. Tenjo. also, known as Mt. Kachi Kachi is 1104m high and located in Yamanashi-prefecture, was already mentioned with #2 Mt. Mitsutoge. However, as it offers the closest and clearest views of Mt. Fuji, I would like to include this mountain as a completely separate climb; like Mt. Mitsutoge, Mt. Tenjo offers 360 degree panoramic views of Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi and the surrounding areas. However, Mt. Tenjo can be easily hiked in much less time around 3~4 hours, starting and ending from Kawaguchiko Station. The Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway takes you near the peak of Mount Tenjo from the Eastern Shores of Lake Kawaguchiko however by doing so you miss many of the scenic viewpoints of Mt. Fuji accessible along the trail to the summit.
Access: Kawaguchi Station accessible from Shinjuku Station using the JR Chou Line: Fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass
A more difficult alternative includes Mt. Akadake at 2,899m Aka-dake is the highest peak of the Yatsuga-dake range:
#Mt. Takao, #Mt.Jinba, #Mt. Fuji Views #Mt.Tenjo, #Mt. Mitake, #Mt. Mitsutoge #MtTokyoGuide
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Author: Richard Reay
Adventure lover and Mt. Fuji Climbing and Japan Enthusiast.
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