Mt. Mitake (Mitakesan)

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Mount Mitake (Mitakesan) is one of the many highlights of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, which covers more than 1250 square kilometers of forested mountains, hills, gorges and some rural towns in the prefectures of Yamanashi, Saitama, Nagano and Tokyo. However it does take some time to get there, and you should be properly prepared for hiking.

Besides a popular shrine, Mount Mitake offers various walking and hiking opportunities in virtually unspoiled nature. Located in the Okutama region, the westernmost part of Tokyo, the mountain can be reached in less than two hours from central Tokyo, and is accordingly popular among people looking for a break from the city.

From the upper station of the Mitake Cablecar it is a 20-30 minute walk to the Musashi-Mitake Shrine on the mountain’s summit. On the way, you will pass through a small village with many Japanese style inns and souvenir shops. Then from the shrine, you have various hiking options to neighboring peaks and valleys. About an hour away you can visit the so called “Rock Garden”, which, in fact, is a narrow, forested valley with a picturesque stream, lots of moss covered stones and two nearby waterfalls.

An excellent hiking map, which shows the extensive network of hiking trails in the Okutama region, is available for free at the Mitake Visitor Center (closed on Mondays), halfway between the upper cablecar station and the shrine.

How to get there
From central Tokyo take the JR Chuo Line to Ome Station (75 minutes from Shinjuku). A few trains go all the way to Ome. Otherwise, a transfer of trains is required at Tachikawa.

At Ome Station, change to the JR Ome Line (usually waiting on the opposite platform of the arriving train) and get off at Mitake Station (20 minutes).
From Mitake Station you get the bus to the Mitake cablecar station. (10 minutes, 2 buses an hour). The cablecar to the summit are about 3 departures per hour).

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