A Snowy Climb to the Top of Takaosan

Enjoying the First Snow for Winter 2020

While the snow which fell last Saturday may not have been Tokyo’s first official first snow or hatsuyuki for 2020 (there were a few snowflakes the week earlier) it was this year’s first sizeable dumping. For this reason, it provided a good chance to head to the pint-size 599 metre Mt. Takao to witness it up close. To sidestep the crowds and enjoy some early morning stillness I followed the same routine as a few years back, that is ride the first morning train to Takaosanguchi Station even if it meant arising at an unfathomably early 4:00am.

Arriving at the Inariyama trailhead in pitch-black I donned my headlamp and started hiking with a couple of other brave souls in tow. Climbing at a steady pace I managed to reach the top in just over an hour. The summit just before sunrise was in a word ethereal, without a breath of wind to disturb the tranquil spectacle. The mountains abutting Mt. Fuji covered in a light dusting of snow gave rise to a faint purplish red hue at dawn. Slowly but surely more folk started to arrive and by the time I returned to the lower cable car station a little before 9:00am it was bustling with activity. Along the same vein as my arrival I made a beeline back to the station for the short train ride back home.

  Mt. Takao summit plaque.

  Fujisan from Takaosan.

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  Inariyama Trail.

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  Yokohama’s Landmark Tower.

  View of Enoshima.

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2 comments
  • Thanks for doing what I will never do 😉 Takao is my laid-back need to stretch my legs hike, but I’m super lazy and usually get there around 1000. Of course, you being in Tokyo can hop on one train to get there, but for me, living in Kanagawa means I have to take 4 trains to get there 🙁 Awesome pics!

    • Thanks for that Patrick. Getting up at 4:00am on a Sunday morning wasn’t the easiest but pleased I did as the views made it worth it. As you say living relatively close means I can get to the trailhead in less than an hour however if it were 4 trains, I don’t think I’d ever go back.

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