Introducing Oku-tama Region
Oku-Tama is Tokyo's best spot for hiking getaways. Here, the Tama-gawa runs through magnificent mountains with waterfalls, woodlands and hiking trails, ideal for day trips or overnight stays.
Mitake-san (御岳山; elevation 939m) is a charming old-world mountain hamlet that seems light years from Tokyo's bustle. Access is easiest by cable car, and about 30 minutes on foot from the terminus, up dozens of steps, is Musashi Mitake-jinja, a Shintō shrine and pilgrimage site said to date back some 1200 years. The site commands stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Pick up maps at the Mitake Visitors Centre, 250m beyond the cable car, near the start of the village.
If you've got time, the five-hour round-trip hike from Musashi Mitake-jinja to the summit of Ōtake-san (大岳山; 1266m) is highly recommended. Although there's some climbing involved, it's a fairly easy hike and the views from the summit are excellent – Mt Fuji is visible on clear days.
If you're not spending the night on Mitake-san, note that the cable car operates 7.30am to 6.30pm only.