For Tokyo locals, Mt Takao, or Takao-san, is a place to spend time in nature, explore old temples, buy a souvenir, and grab a drink or a bowl of soba before getting on the train back to Tokyo. Because of Takao-san’s accessibility from the city, the hike to its summit is filled with tourists and locals trying to take a break from the urban grind.
And while Mt. Takao may be an escape from the city, it’s certainly not an escape from the crowds.
For those who want to be one with nature, truly away from the Tokyo crowds, there is an alternative: Mt Jinba. The Mt Jinba hike is a more challenging, scenic, and under-the-radar version of the Takao-san hike!
What the summit lacks in temples, it makes up for in yuzu sherbet, an interesting horse statue at the top of its viewpoint platform and a lovely picnic area from where you can enjoy the view.
Getting to the start of the Mt Jinba hike
It only takes one extra step from Shinjuku station to get to Mt Jinba. From Shinjuku Station:
Step 1: Board the Chuo Rapid Line or Special Rapid Line to Takao Station (¥550), or the Keio Line to Takao Station (¥360). The trains take about one hour, except for the Special Rapid Line which takes 45 minutes.
Step 2: Get off at Takao Station (Tokyo) and take the North Exit out of the station. The Takao Bus Station will be left of the train station.
Step 3: Board the bus labeled Jinbakogenshita. The bus leaves once every hour, at 34 minutes past the hour. The exceptions are the buses that leave at 8:10 am and 8:55 am on weekends. See the full schedule here.
Step 4: Jinbakogenshita is the last stop that the bus makes. The ride costs ¥670 and takes about 40 minutes. You can use your IC card to ride this bus.
The Jinbakogenshita bus station and its vicinity feel like the middle of the Japanese countryside. There’s a small bathroom facility, some benches, and a map of the Jinba mountain region at the bus station. If you’re hungry already, there’s a beautiful little soba shop right next door that has a view of the trickling stream next to it.
Time to start hiking
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