Tokyo Day Hikes: Mt. Mitake, Ome Town and Akigawa Valley
Go hiking and explore Western Tokyo, the mountain area of Mt. Mitake (Mitakesan), Oume Town and Akigawa Valley. This area has a bunch of attractions; the soothing landscape of nature-rich countryside, historic shrines and temples nestled among trees, scenic rivers with crystal clean water and the mystic mountain worships – all known as the allure of Japan.
These places are good for day hikes. Also, staying at Shukubo temple lodge allows you to enjoy more nature trails. It will be nice to have a soak in the Onsen hot springs after hiking on the way home too.
Where are Mt. Mitake, Ome and Akigawa located?
Mt. Mitake 御岳山 Oume 青梅 and Akigawa 秋川 are located in the western area of Tokyo, about 60Km from Shinjuku in Central Tokyo. Leaving from Shinjuku station, the trains will take you to these places only 60 to 90 minutes by way of Haijima station. Traveling west from Haijima station, the townscape you see out of the train window gradually changes to a serene landscape with mountains.
In this area along the upstream of the Tamagawa River, one of the largest rivers running through Central Tokyo, and along its tributaries, there is a variety of places to explore and things to do, including camping, canoeing, fishing, rafting as well as walking and hiking.
A view from Mt. Mitake
The Tamagawa River runs beside of Mitake Station
Where to choose for your holiday, Mt. Mitake-san? Ome? or Akigawa?
For those wanting to hike on nature trails, the choice will be Mt. Mitake. If you want to do walking on the riverside trails or strolling through a town having a rustic atmosphere, Ome or Akigawa is the place to go.
Mount Mitake (Mitakesan) is a 929m-high, worshipped mountain where the historic shrine Musashi Mitake-jinja Shrine stands. Mt. Mitake is now known as a popular hiking spot within easy access from Central Tokyo., great for both beginners and experienced hikers. The trails lead up and down the mountain and on the way there are views of waterfalls with fresh water, strange-shaped rocks and mossy bushes. Read more
Mt.Mitake Cable Car
The scenic valley between Ome Station and Mitake Station is called Mitake Valley and is one of the best places to take a leisurely hike in Mitake area. The highlight is the wild flow of the Tamagawa river running through forest mountains. On the river at Mitake Valley, rafting and canoeing can be enjoyed.
Ome (Oume) Town
A historic old town flourished as a post station on the Oume Kaido Road between Ome and Shinjuku which was constructed over 400 years ago, still retains the air of the good old days. Being blessed with nature, there are walking trails on the hills and in the park along the Tamagawa river running through the town. Preserved old houses, museums, temple and shrined dotted in the town are also the attractions there.
Read more - Mitake Valley and Ome town
Kamagafuchi Riverside Park in Ome
Akigawa Valley is a nature-rich countryside just one-hour away by train from Central Tokyo, still, retains a serene atmosphere. Musashi Itsukaichi Station is a starting point for many pleasant rambles around the valley, abounds with things to do and see that includes camping, fishing, Onsen hot springs and visiting historic temples off the beaten path. Read more
Getting to Mt. Mitake, Ome and Akigawa Valley
By train from Central Tokyo
The gateway to Mt.Mitake, Ome and Akigawa Valley is Haijima station 拝島駅 about 60-min by train from Central Tokyo. To reach Haijima station there are two trains are available, one is on the JR Chuo-sen Line and other is the Seibu Shinjuku-sen Line, both leave from Shinjuku station. (Fare: 470 JPY for JR, 440 JPY for Seibu Line) In case you take the JR Chuto-sen train to reach Haijima station from Shinjuku, you will need to change train at Tachikawa station 立川駅.
From Haijima station you can take local trains heading for the destinations;
Getting to Oume town
Take the Oume-sen train bound for Oume station. (Travel time from Haijima sta. : 19 min. Fare:220 JPY)
* You can also take the Oume-sen train from Tachikawa station 立川駅 on the Chuo-sen Line, a 33-min ride (310 Fare: JPY) between Tachikawa and Oume station.
* A few trains directly going to Oume station from Shinjuku is also served.
Getting to Mt.Mitake and Mitake Valley by way of Ome
To reach Mitake-station 御嶽駅 near the Mt.Mitake area, you are also to take the Oume-sen train, but you need to change the train at Oume station and take another Oume-sen train bound for Okutama which is called “Oume-sen Okutama-yuki Train 青梅奥多摩行き”, runs every one hour or so. (Travel time between Oume and Mitake station: 19-min. Fare: 170 JPY)
Getting to Akigawa Valley
From Haijima station take the Itsukaichi-sen Line 五日市線 bound for Musashi Itsukaichi station 武藏五日市駅 and get off at the station. (Travel time: 17 min. Fare:220 JPY)
The special express trains run on holidays
The special express trains called "Holiday Kaisoku Okutama-go and Akigawa-go ホリデー快速おくたま号・あきがわ号" are served on Saturdays and holidays. Taking the special train allows you to get from Shinjuku station to Mitake, Oume and Musashi Itsukaichi stations without having to change trains.
One thing you should know is that this special train is parted by cars at Haijima station 拝島. The train car No.1 to No6 head for Okutama (bound for Oume and Mitake) and the train car No.7 to No.10 head for Musashi Itsukaihchi at Akigawa Valley. (As of Oct 2016) Be sure and check the car number when you get on.