time is flying by and for one of my last weekends in Japan I really wanted to see something outside of Tokyo again. My co-worker Alina came up with the idea to go to Mt. Takao as a day trip and since I also wanted to take pictures of the red leaves here in Japan anyway, I was up for it immediately.
From Shinjuku we took the Keio line rapid train, which brought us to Mt. Takao in a bit less than an hour for 360 Yen. We read online before that Mt. Takao was one of the more famous stops for seeing the red leaves and that especially on weekends in the second half of November it can be really crowded. We did however completely underestimate that warning, as we had to admit as soon as we arrived at the station…
There were SO many people.
On the other hand, we always knew where to go – we could just follow the masses. And with our minds so free from worrying where to go, we really could fully concentrate on the photography. The colours were simply amazing. Even on our way up.
We soon reached the first platform and were able to take our first shots from above.
On our way up we passed small statues and shrines every now and then. But almost half of the way to the top was a temple, that I wanted to see very badly. It wasn’t a big temple, but it had an amazing atmosphere and I just like the lucky charms they sell.
The sun came out and we threw some coins and clapped for luck.
From there on it really wasn’t far to the top anymore. Although with so many people it sure took us a while. We walked for about 2,5 hours. But it was worth it.
We were really proud of us. (^-^)
We found us a place to sit down – it was still so crowded – near some benches on a balustrade.
There were food booths everywhere selling ramen and soba. Smaller ones selled dango – rice cake balls.
We did however bring our own lunch, in my case green tea and onigiri.
As you can already see in these pictures, I am wearing a face mask at the moment. My roommate at Borderless House has had a cold for the last couple of days and I think it got me, too…
I didn’t like face masks back when I tried them on the first time in 2010. I felt like not getting enough air and the feeling was really uncomfortable.
Now I can say, that I really like them. I always have a problem with dry and chapped lips when I catch a cold and the mask keeps the air you breath humid, so they won’t dry out. Plus, I am not caughing as much as usually, because the air is not as dry and cold when I breath in.
(I am also trying to hide a nasty spot with it, haha.)
After finishing our break, we noticed another platform that looked even more crowded than the ones before. We took off to get a look and were amazed as soon as we saw, what everyone was staring at: Mt. Fuji.
Although it is true, that you could theoretically see Mt. Fuji from Tokyo, sure enough you usually won’t.
The sun may shine too bright or the sky might be too cloudy – it really does not happen very often that you get an actual good look at Japan’s most famous mountain.
The light changed gradually and we realized that we would have to get started on our way down. We took a slightly different route than before to avoid the people, which was quite effective in the beginning.
Most people were just getting in line for the lift, so we could walk quite freely down on our own and actually made it in only 1,5 hour this time.
By the time we arrived back in the small town, the sun had already begun to set and the various restaurants started to brim with life.
We decided to rest our aching muscels in the hot spring bath of the town. They had some amazing special basins with carbonized water and even one with more than 42°C – which was actually impossible to stay in.
Visiting that onsen was just really the best way to end our day trip. We felt super relaxed and although we were exhausted, we didn’t feel overstrained anymore.
It was simply a fantastic day and I can definitely recommend going to Mt. Takao in November – just avoid the weekends. Really 😉