Mt. Mitake and Mitake-jinja Shrine
Mt. Mitake or Mitakesan 御岳山 has been has long been worshiped since a shrine was supposedly founded on the mountain over 2000 years ago. In 736 the shrine was established as Musashi Mitake-jinja Shrine 武藏御嶽神社 and it had been a site to practice religious austerities since then.
* Musashi Mitake-jinja Shrine is usually called just "Mitake-jinja" in short.
In the 17th centuries, visiting Mt. Mitake to pray at Mitake-jinja Shrine on a pilgrimage became so popular that many Shukubo temples lodgings were opened there. Many of those Shukubo lodgings are still in business, now available for anybody to stay.
Mt. Mitake, the place for hiking in Tokyo
Though Mitake-jinja Shrine is definitely a must-see, the shrine is not only the place to visit at Mt. Mitake. In the mountain there are many nature trails leading to attractive places for nature lovers, being one of the most popular hiking site in Tokyo.
Making day hikes around Mt. Mitake
The most popular way to start a day hike is to take a bus (10-min ride) from Mitake Station 御嶽駅 to get to the bus stop “Cablecar Shita ケーブル下 (Takimoto)” at the food of Mt. Mitake where you can take a cable car to the Mitakesan Station 御岳山駅 (Cable Ue Upper Sta.) on the top of mountain (6-min ride).
Exit the station and walk left 30m to get to the bus stop.
The bus stop at Mitake Station.
E-money cards (Suica, Pasmo) can be used to pay bus fares.
Takimoto cable car station, just a 1-min away from the bus stop "Cablecar Shita".
E-money cards (Suica, Pasmo) can be used to pay fares.
The cable car Mitake Tozan Railway runs 1 or 2 per hour.
The bus between Mitake Station and Cablecar Shita (Takimoto Sta.) is served twice hourly or so. You can also reach Takimoto cablecar station on foot, but it will be a 40-minute walk. The Cable car leading up to the top of Mt. Mitake runs 2 or 3 times per hour. If you want to walk up the mountain, take the trail starting in front of the Takimoto carble car station, will be about a one-hour walk.
Viewing mountains at the top of Mt. Mitake near Mitakesan staion
Be sure and get a map of hiking trails at the Cable car stations or at the visitor center on the way to Mitake-jinja shrine. There are many hiking routs and you can easily be lost without a map.
The Torii shrine gate
Getting to Mitake-jinja Shrine
From Mitakesan cable car station to Mitake-jinja Shrine is about a 30-min walk on a paved path. On the way to the shrine you walk pass a visitor center, Shukubo temple lodgings, and then you will see a large Torii shrine gate on the left after walking through a narrow souvenir shop street. Now, you are at the beginning of stone stairways, long stretches leading to the shrine. It is tough but you will be rewarded with the superb views up there.
There is a starting point of hiking trails on the way to Mitake-jinja Shrine.
On the stone stair way from the Torii shrine gate to Mitake-jinja shrine there is a starting point of hiking routes (on the left side) where you can take the one to start your hiking. For example, one of the trails leads to Nanayo waterfall and it will be a one-hour walk.
The trails around Miteke-jinja Shrine are good for both new and experienced hikers. The routes stretching deep inside of Mt. Mitake and the surrounding mountains are only for experienced, well-equipped hikers. Any of hikers should be prepared and be careful when walking on rocks and ground covered with muddy leaves.
A trail leading to Nanayo water fall
A trail leading to Nanayo water fall
One of the most popular routes for experienced hikers is the trail leading to Mt. Hinode, starts from the path near the souvenir shop street on Mt. Mitake. (Leaving from Mitakesan Station, the path is on the left of the street entrance) Along the way going down Mt. Hinode there is an Onsen hot springs called “Tsuru Tsuru Onsen”, good for a soak after hiking on the way home. A bus is served (20 min ride) between Tsuru Tsuru Onsen and Musashi Itsukaichi Station on the JR line, bound for Shinjuku by way of Haijima. Note that Tsuru Tsuru Onsen will crowded with hikers on weekends.
* If you are planning to go deep into Mt. Mitake area, make an itinerary (hiking registration) and leave it at Mitake Station. http://jac.or.jp/oyako/f10/pdf/c2060ws.pdf
Stay at Shukubo and explore more
Having a stay at Shukubo temple lodgings at Mt. Mitake will give you more opportunities to experience something different, such as meditation under a waterfall or watching traditional dance performances by firelight which take place year-round at Mt. Mitake. (Check their event schedule beforehand) Mitake Valley between Ikusabata and Mitake Station has walking paths along the Tamagawa river, dotted with attractions that include Museum of Japanese Combs and Hairpins, Kanzan-ji Temple, Gyokudo Art Museum and Ozawa Brewery. Rafting and canoeing can also be enjoyed at Mitake Valley, the site is near Mitake Station.
Mitake Valley near Mitake Station.
Rafting and canoeing can be enjoyed there.
There are museums, temples and a Sake Brewery on the walking paths along the river.
Getting to Mt. Mitake
To find how to get to Mt. Mitake area from Central Tokyo, see this page:
Mt.Mitake, Oume town and Akigawa Valley area
Oume City Tourist Information
Nishitokyobus (Japanese website)
Mitake Tozan Railway
Mitakesan Shouten Association (Japanese website)
Tsuru Tsuru Onsen (Japanese website)
YouTube by omekanko
Google Maps : Mount Mitake