When Tokyo is just too much, Mt Nokogiri in Chiba Prefecture is your ticket for evasion. This hike is easily accessible by train from Tokyo and offers expansive views to the Miura Peninsula and across Tokyo Bay, the perfect outing before the summer heat hits us. But be warned, its wooded beauty and steep pathways are not for the fainthearted.
Hike at your own pace
The mountain has an elevation of 329.5 meters but allows you to choose between two trails of 90 minutes that take you to the top or taking a ropeway halfway up. The hikes can be pretty intense, so it might be a good idea to choose the ropeway when going with your kids. When reaching the top by ropeway, there is still some hiking to do but way less difficult and with, of course, breathtaking views.
Our family elected to take the ropeway halfway up and this was a good call, as the path immediately takes a steep and, at times, muddy rise. A free map is available at the ropeway station, and following it leads to a trail along with the ragged-tooth profile of the mountain. The trail is constructed mostly of concrete steps. With little consistency in size or shape, these steps make the going hard, but the rewards are great.
Buddhas as hiking companions
After the first 15 minutes of climbing, a narrow canyon opens up, its sides flanked by centuries-old statues of Buddha carved into the rocks or set on plinths of mossy, giant pavers. Vine tendrils and ancient palms give it the feeling of a lost world. It’s cool, calm and inviting.
Still, more concrete steps bring into view a platform suspended from a rocky outcrop.
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