Japan is well known for its mountains, streams and general amazing nature so you would expect to find great sights around every corner.
In April of this year we climbed Mount Takao (climbed may be a bit of an exaggeration) to try and see the elusive Mount Fuji and maybe find a tengu! Mount Takao is situated on the western fringe of Tokyo, although to many people it isn’t the Tokyo they know at all! As you can see Mount Takao marks the divide between the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo and the wild natural side of Japan.
Being one of the closest mountains to Tokyo Takao gets quite a number of visitors, especially during the autumn season. We only stopped here for one night when going between Kyoto and Kawaguchi-ko to break up the long and arduous travelling. To get some of the way up we took the (rather dangerous looking) lift. It was really fun and enjoyable, a real must do if you are here.
From where the lifts drop you off there is about another 40-50 minutes of climbing to reach the peak, you get to go past a number of shrines and see the famous tengu statues. Once at the top, if you are lucky, you can see Mount Fuji, peeking over the mountains from many miles away (we weren’t lucky that day). To get down you can either follow the lift route or there are numerous other signposted routes to get back down to the train station. We chose route 6 the “Biwa waterfall route” which follows a babbling brook down he mountain. So, instead of visiting shops and spending more time in the shrines and temples we started the 60 minute “difficult” route.
So much disappointment!
The route was nice enough, following a small stream through endless little paths under the leaves of the local trees. It was nice to be out of the sun, and we didn’t really see many people at all, but that was about it. The scenery really didn’t chance much and the “waterfall” was the last straw!
Can you spot it? That little trickle is the waterfall to view on the way down. You can’t even get any closer than I have in this photo as there is a chain link fence and gate in the way. Maybe I have been spoiled by all Japan has to offer, but I think you’d agree that this isn’t worth the hike!
So if you are vising Mount Takao maybe consider taking another route down, or seeing another waterfall all together!