Mount Takao is a mountain of beautiful natural sights located within Tokyo itself. It was given the highest rating of three-stars by travel guide Michelin Green Guide Japan and sees a large number of local and international visitors annually - highest in the world, in fact! - because of how accessible it is. Did you also know, however, that the area near Mount Takao in Hachioji town comes packed with plenty of convenient facilities such as restaurants and shopping centers, making it an ideal stopover point to consider for your mountain excursion?
It's likely not every day you get to plan a recreational trip to Mount Takao, so why not enhance your trip by dropping by one of the following five charming sightseeing or gourmet spots located nearby? The satisfaction you can glean from this quick diversion will be worth every effort you put in to getting there!
Grab a "Tengu-Yaki" snack from Takaosan Sumika before or after your climb!
"Tengu-Yaki" is a must-try snack for all Mount Takao visitors. This crispy yet chewy Japanese pastry is shaped like Tengu, which is a long-nosed goblin viewed as the guardian deity of Mount Takao and stuffed full of delicious black bean filling.
Needless to mention, "Tengu-Yaki" will be an excellent souvenir to buy back home, but why not try it fresh from the oven when it's still hot and crispy? Since this is a highly-sought-after product that's often sold out by evening time, do plan to drop by a little earlier in the day to avoid disappointment!
- Address 193-0844 2181 Takaocho, Hachioji City, Tokyo
Transport: 1 minute walk from Takaosan Station; 25 minutes walk from Kiyotaki Station; 30 minutes walk from Takaosanguchi Station
- Phone Number 042-661-4151
Hours: 10:00am - 5:00pm
The plain-looking but tasty "Pankatsu", or bread cutlet that local residents love!
"Pankatsu", or bread cutlet is considered an ultra cheap local food in the town of Hachioji. This snack is basically a piece of sliced sandwich bread sprinkled with wheat flour and bread flour batter, then cooked with lard. Simple as that! The inspiration for this morsel came about when someone wondered, "Is it possible to replicate the taste of tonkatsu with just a piece of bread?" during a time when meat was expensive. "Pankatsu" is nowadays well-loved by many residents in parts of Hachioji.
After being cooked on a grill, "Pankatsu" is then slathered with a sauce that gives it a tonkatsu-like taste. This piece of cooked bread has the most pleasurable texture - crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside. The occasion scent of lard that hits your nostrils makes it seem like you're biting into a genuine slice of tonkatsu. Although this snack looks simple and is really cheap, its light and fresh taste certainly brings back memories and is absolutely something to try out if you're visiting the town of Hachioji on your way to Mount Takao!
Besides the okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) stores "Yamato", "Yuyake", and "Warashibe", you'll also be able to find "Pankatsu" in the Japanese-style izakaya bar "Nika".
- Address 192-0063 2-15-3 Motoyokoyamacho, Hachioji City, Tokyo
Transport: 11 minutes walk from Hachioji Station
- Phone Number 042-622-4475
Hours: 4:30pm - 10pm
Closed: Wednesday, Thursday
Get into the Warring States mood with "Hachioji Castle Ruins"
Hachioji Castle Ruins are the ruins of a castle built by the warlord Hōjō Ujiteru during the Warring States period (1582 to 1587 C.E.) and can be found in Hachioji Shiroyama. You can take a leisurely stroll across its excavated foundations or restored bridges. Since these are just ruins, you won't be wandering through an actual castle, but interesting relics like ancient stone walls made from layers of fieldstone and the Goshuden waterfall are still available for sightseeing, so the site is definitely worth a visit!
The main part of the ruins is about a 30 to 40 minutes walk from Mount Takao's trail head. Since this castle is located on a mountain, some stretches of path leading there are quite rugged and difficult to traverse. For peace of mind, be sure to come equipped with mountain climbing shoes or trekking shoes that are comfortable to move around in and won't easily slip off your feet. Halfway through the trudge to the castle, you'll also come across a viewing spot offering a panoramic view of the Kanto Plains. This little castle side trip will be a slightly different sort of trekking that gives you a taste of history and dynamic nature at the same time. Really, there's no reason not to try it!
Hachioji Castle Ruins八王子城跡
- Address 3-chōme-２６６４ー２ Motohachiōjimachi, Hachioji, Tōkyō-to 193-0826
Transport: 5 minutes by bus from the north exit of Takao Station on the JR Lines, then 15 minutes walk from Reienmae Hachiojijoatoiriguchi Bus Stop; 10 minutes by bus from the north exit of Takao Station on the JR Lines, stop at Hachiojijoato Bus Stop (only in operation during weekends and public holidays)
Visit Mitsui Outlet Park Tama Minami Osawa directly from Shinjuku for all your shopping needs
Located near Mount Takao and just a mere two minutes walk from Minami-Osawa Station on the Keio Main Line is Mitsui Outlet Park Tama Minami Osawa, where you can enjoy browsing through about 120 shops such as restaurants, fashion boutiques, general goods stores, and supermarkets while strolling along buildings that have been designed to look like the quaint streets of Provence in the south of France.
One of the more appealing points of this shopping center is that it has direct access to Shinjuku via public transportation. The nearest train station is only a short walk away as well, making it possible for shopaholics to squeeze every last drop of shopping fun out from this place until it's almost closing time - an experience you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else!
*Wi-Fi is available everywhere except in a few spots.
MITSUI OUTLET PARK TAMA MINAMI OSAWA三井アウトレットパーク 多摩南大沢
- Address 1-600 Minamiosawa, Hachioji City, Tokyo
Transport: 2 minutes walk from Minami-Osawa Station on the Keio Sagamihara Line
- Phone Number 042-670-5777
Telephone reception time: From 9:00am - 5:00pm
Hours: Shop 10:00am - 8:00pm / Restaurants 11:00am - 10:00pm / Supermarket 10:00am - 9:00pm
Closed: Irregular holidays
Join the "Hachioji Ginkgo Festival" for an immersive autumn experience
When the clock strikes November, you'll start seeing bright yellow leaves appearing on the gingko trees all over Hachioji town. The 4.4 kilometers (about 2.7 miles) avenue from Oiwake Station to Takao Station is lined with about 770 gingko trees, and when their yellow foliage starts setting in during autumn, you'll know that the town-organized Hachioji Ginkgo Festival is fast approaching. This festival will be chock full of food booths selling delicious goodies as well delightful events like Checkpoint Orienteering, an activity where participants go around collecting brand marks from 12 checkpoints using an original pass.
Since Mount Takao is located within Hachioji itself, the town is the best place to drop by to experience some local food, nature, and history. Besides the places we've featured in this article, Hachioji also has plenty of other captivating sightseeing spots waiting to be discovered, so do keep this fun and exciting town in mind as you're making your way up or down Mount Takao!
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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