Mount Takao

Mount Takao

Things to do - general

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About one hour by train from Tokyo station there is a place full of nature.  Around 3 million tourists visit Mt. Takao each year.  You can get the full view of the mountain peak of Mt. Tanzawa from the top of Mt. Takao and it is ideal for hiking.  Also you can enjoy seasonal nature and the history of Tokyo.  There is no bad season to visit.  The flowering blossoms in April are especially nice.  Violets, wildflowers, and cherry blossoms are very beautiful in this season.  The best time for fall leaf viewing is from the middle of November to the start of December. 

Mt. Takao is also famous for autumn foliage.  The “Autumn Leaves Festival at Mt. Takao” is held on November 1-30. 


・Mt. Takao

Beginners to experienced climbers can choose their climbing routes and there many families with children and couples that visit.  They all enjoy Mt. Takao.   

There are 6 nature and hiking trails and the Inariyama route.  In total there are more than 10 courses including trails and loops.  One can quickly arrive half-way up Mt. Takao. 

There is a cable car to Takao Station on the mountainside.  It has the steepest slope in Japan at 31 degrees. 

There is also a chairlift for two people and you can enjoy travelling in the air for 12 minutes.   

A 450 year old giant Japanese cedar tree called “Takosugi” is on Mt. Takao.  Takosugi appears on your left when you are walking on the trail to Yakuoin after getting off of the cable car or chair lift.  The root of the tree is shaped like an octopus’s tentacle and Takosugi’s “Tako” means octopus and “sugi” means cedar.  So, the giant cedar is called Takosugi.   Kaiun Hippari-dako is next to Takosugi.  It’s a magnet for luck and people become lucky when they pat its head.   




Power Spot Info

Mt. Takao is protected by the supernatural power of Tengu and there are lots of power spots.


It is thought that Gyoki, the founder of Yakuoin, established it by Emperor Shomu’s order in 744.  It is one of  Kanto’s three Daihonzan (main temple) and a grand head temple of the Shingon sect Chisan-ha.  It is a temple half-way up Mt. Takao and includes Daihondo (main hall), Izunagongendo (Izunagongen is a god of Shintoism and Buddhism which is said to originate form a belief in the mountains of Mt. Izuna in Minochi Country, Shinano Province (now Nagano Prefecture)), Okuno-in (Inner sanctuary), and Diahonbo (priest’s main living quarter). 

The belief in Tengu originates from Shungendaitoku, the monk enshrined at the entrance of Yakoin.  You can taste traditional monk cuisine (Shojin-ryori) at Daihonbo and you can see a lot of beautiful statues at Izunagongendo.  A principal image of Yakuoin, is called “Izuna Daigongen” and it has the shape of a Karasu-tengu (crow goblin) standing on a white fox.



It is for the success of good relationships, marriage, and harmonious relationships for couples.



He has a stern face and deep crimson covers his whole body but he is the Buddha of love and passion.  He is the principal image of “Bonno-soku-bodai” (earthly desires and enlightenment).  He has a weapon and a ritual implements held in six hands  (called “Roppi) and a crown on his head in the shape of a lion.



・Rokkon-shojo-ishiguruma (purification of the six roots perception) 

Rokkon-shojo-ishiguruma stands past Nio-mon (Gate of Deva).  Rokkon means six senses.  It comprises the five senses of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and the mind.  The mind makes a judgement on those five senses.  You can purify your mind tainted by Bonno (earthly desires) when you spin the stones at eighteen locations.  Spin each stone wheel six times while chanting “Rokkon-shojo” to rid oneself of the 108 Bonno.



・Otokozaka (the steeper of two paths to the shrine)

It is a steep staircase made of stone with 108 steps.  The number is the same as the number of Bonno.  You can forget a Bonno when you climb each step.



・Negai-kanau-wa-kuguri (wicket to wishes come true) 

There is a “Daishakujo” (a Khakhara monk staff (literally “tin stick”) and Japanese shakujo) when you pass through the ring it is said to take away Bonno and give wisdom.  It is believed that a wish arrives when making the sound of shakujo and chanting your name and address.



・Kaiun Hipparidako  

This is for good luck.  Legend has it that a tree root was found when clearing an approach to the shrine.  It was in the way and was almost cut.  But they didn’t cut it and bent it like an octopus’s tentacle and cleared the approach to the shrine.


The tree is called Takosugi.  Hipparidako has the power to give good luck.  It brings good fortune and popularity (like pulling the eight legs of an octopus at the same time) to those who pat it on the head.



・Hachidai-ryuo-do (eight great dragon kings) 

They encourage or invite luck with money and thriving business.  There is a clear water spring at the foot of the Hachidai-ryuo statues.  It is said to give divine favor or luck with money and thriving business when the money used for capital is washed in the clear water.



・Kurikara-ryu (a dragon god called Kurikara) 

It provides warning for calamity and invites luck for marriage.  Fudo-myo-o has a kurikara sword and two dragons run up this sword.  It is said to be the shape of dragons copulating.  Therefore this god warns of calamity but is also believed to give luck for marriage.  Tie a tight red rope with a 5 yen coin for a blessing of luck for love, friends, and work.



Jinben-do (enshrines Enno-ozunu, a pioneer of Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concerts) is good for hiking.  There are many power spots.


So, how about visiting the various places and enjoying them?


・Tama Royal Mausoleum (Musashi imperial graveyard) 

Empereor Taisho and Emperor Showa rest in the graveyard erected with 88 views of Hachioji and it has a wide and beautiful view.


・Daikoji Temple 

Daikoji has the same roots as Takaozan Yakuoin.  The roots are from the Shingon sect Chisan- ha.  There is a weeping cherry tree which can be seen in the back and to the right from the entrance.  The 400 year old weeping cherry tree makes feel the history.

Culture and History Info

Emperor Shomu is formally known as being a devout Buddhist and for protecting Japan’s peace through Buddhism.  Also it is thought that the monk Gyoki founded Yakuoin at Mt. Takao.  Bhaisajyaguru (Buddha able to cure all ills) called Yakushinyorai is housed inside as a principal image.  That is why it is called Yakuoin.  Gyoki is a famous monk who established the Great Buddha of Todai-ji Temple in Nara prefecture.  In 1375, 600 years had passed since founding the temple at Mt. Takao.  It is thought Shungendaitoku (high priest of Kyoto-Yamashironokuni-Daigosan) restored the ruined temple at Mt. Takao and repaired it to become a flourishing temple during the Kamakura period.  Shungendaitoku trained at Biwataki (Biwa waterfall) at Mt. Takao and got the inspiration for Izuna gongen.  That is the origin for the Izunagongen faith on Mt. Takao.

・Mt. Takao is About Tengu 

Tengu is a zuishin (guard) of Izunagongen and has been deified since ancient times.  It is the origin of belief in Tengu.

Unfortunately there are no accommodations at this location at the moment.

Unfortunately there are no tour offers at this location at the moment.