Mt Mitake, also called Mitake-san (御岳山), is a great day trip from Tokyo that you will not find in most travel guides. It’s the prefect escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and a place to appreciate some beautiful nature and views.
At this time of the year, it is spectacular with the beautiful colored leaves of autumn in Japan.
Mt Mitake is located in Chichibu Tama National Park, which is in the western most part of Tokyo. The park covers some 1,250 square kilometers of forested mountains. The trip to Mt Mitake is around an hour and a half by local train from downtown Tokyo. Buses run from Mitake Station to the cable car terminus which is a 10-minute journey and costs 270 yen.
There are several ways to climb the mountain. If you have time on your hands, then you can attempt to hike to the top. Alternatively, if time is a premium, then you can take the cable car from the foot of the mountain, which is a 15-minute journey, and takes you close to the summit. The cable car is 570 yen one way and 1,090 yen return. From the upper station, it’s about a 20-30-minute walk to the summit which is at 929 meters.
It is a pleasant walk with stunning mountain forests and foliage. You will also pass by a small village with traditional Japanese style inns and souvenir shops.
The summit contains the beautiful Mitake Jinja Shrine, which is said to date back some 1,200 years. The area around the shrine offers great views of the surrounding mountains and the Kanto plain. On a clear day, from the summit you can see the skyscrapers of Shinjuku in downtown Tokyo.