Momiji viewing in Mount Takao

Momiji viewing in Mount Takao

Four seasons have very significant difference in Japan, especially in the weather and views. Autumn usually begins in October in the North and then gradually spreads to the South, but the exact timing varies according to the temperature from year to year. Whenever you see autumn-colored foliage, momiji 紅葉, you know that Autumn comes. This year the weather was a bit abnormal, in which we had a very long and hot summer while the weather changed cold lately in November. Therefore, everyone has been long expecting the momiji.

Mount Takao is very famous for hiking and momiji viewing so I decided to have my first momiji viewing experience there with my family in late November. When I first arrived, I was surprised by the big crowd of people rushing there and that car parks were all full at 09:00 am already. I was so glad that we did not drive and in the end used public transport which was very conenvient. Although there were many people, everyone was well behaved and followed the order and even helped each other take pictures friendly. From my observation, half were tourists and half were locals.

Since Mount Takao is very big and and trees are extensive, so the vast momiji view was spectacular and stunning. Everyone cannot help but praised with “WOW”. Some leaves already turned red, while some were yellow and some were still green. Though they were not all red, I think the graduation and layering was perfect and magnificient. No matter you take long shots with the mountains behinds or close shots of the momiji, they were all beautiful. While you were hiking, you will suddenly discovered you had taken hundreds of pictures already.

To facilitate the climbing in Mount Takao, you can take cable car or chair lift to the middle of the mountain. We took chair lift and it was so fun. The journey was long enough for us to enjoy the view. At some point, it was quite steep but it was safe as long as you hold the railing tight and actually I saw many parents bringing their kids to sit together.

One more highlight was that there were so many long lines queueing for sesame soy sauce dango and we were also attracted by the crowd. It was special to taste the snack which was salty on the outside while sweet in the inside. It was best served with a cup of hot tea or cold matcha ice cream.

I highly recommend Mount Takao to everyone of you when visiting Tokyo since it has spectacular views and really easy to go. Take JR Chuo line from Shinjuku Station to Takao Station and then transfer to the Keio Line to Takaosanguchi Station (for weekends there are direct trains from Shinjuku Station to Takaosanguchi Station). The whole journey is just around one hour and is prefect for a day trip location.

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