Hike – Mt Mitake and Mt Hinode 御岳山と日の出山

24 10 2009

Quick Overview

View from Mt Hinode

View from Mt Hinode

In the Oku-tama 奥多摩 region, Mt Mitake 御岳山 is a sacred mountain.  You can catch a cable car up most of the way, and at the top is Musashi Mitake Shrine 武蔵御岳神社 and treasure house.  From Mt Mitake 御岳山 it’s an easy hike to Mt Hinode 日の出山, which offers views of the Tokyo skyline.  From Mt Hinode 日の出山, its downhill to the station.  An easy hike, suitable for families if you just want to do the Mt Mitake 御岳山 section of the hike, and with many shops and restaurants around Mt Mitake 御岳山 (but not further on).

Distance: not including bus and cable car -11km
Duration: 3-5 hours
Difficulty: easy to slightly challenging (lots of stairs)
Season:  Suitable all year, but use your discretion in the winter months
Starting point:  Mitake Station 御嶽駅
Finishing point:  Hinatawada Station 日向和田駅

Maps

A map of the hike  can also be viewed at GPSies

There are many different and interesting hikes in this area, so I recommend you buy a map.  The Mapple 山と高原地図 series number 23 map is of the Okutama region, and is available on Amazon.co.jp.  Note, this map is in Japanese, but does include some English and furigana.

The Hike

From Mitake Station 御嶽駅 head out the only exit and turn right.  Not far down the road on the opposite side is a bus stop.  From here you can catch a Nishi Tokyo Bus 西東京バス to Cable Shita ケーブル下, the Takimoto Station 滝本駅 of the Mitake Tozan Railway 御岳登山鉄道.

Head up the road from the Cable Shita ケーブル下 bus stop, and you’ll see the cable car station on the right.  If you want to hike all the way up, just continue following the road.  To the top cable car station by foot should take about an hour.

At the top cable car station is a few shops and an area to sit and have a rest.  To start walking towards the summit of Mt Mitake 御岳山, take the path to the left, also known as Main Street.  Just before Main Street is a map showing you the route to the shrine.  Following the path along, after a short while you will enter a village.  Keep following the main path upwards between houses, shops and hotels, and you should get to the steps leading to Musashi Mitake shrine 武蔵御岳神社 within 20 minutes.

Map of Mt Mitake

Map of Mt Mitake

A quick trip up the stairs to the shrine will have you at the summit of Mt Mitake 御岳山.  The shrine itself was a place of worship popular with Samurai, so just down from the main building is a treasury building holding a couple of lovely examples of armor (entry 300yen).

Musashi Mitake Shrine

Musashi Mitake Shrine

Please also note, the toilets around the shrine and village are the last until just before the end of the trail.

To hike to Mt Hinode 日の出山, walk back down the stairs, and past the shops in front of the shrine.  Instead of turning back the way you came, take a right turn and follow the path through the village.  It can be a little confusing walking through the village, so keep an eye out for signs pointing to Mt Hinode 日の出山.  Once you pass the village you’ll be walking along a ridge line for about an hour.

Along this ridge are a few alternatives, but if you keep to the left and head up hill you will arrive at the summit of Mt Hinode 日の出山.  There are great views from Mt Hinode 日の出山, looking back towards Mt Mitake 御岳山 and the Tokyo skyline.  There is also another rest stop and tables for picnic lunches (but no shops).

When you want to continue on, descend down the other side of the summit.  Once again there are alternative paths, but initially stick to the left and follow the signs that point to Hinatawada 日向和田.  Walking down through the cedar you will pass a road, and eventually a small shrine full of Maneki Cats (lucky cats).  From this point the path will become a little steeper, zig-zagging back and forth, with tall steps.

Towards the end of the hike you will walk alongside a golf course.  It takes about 2 hours to reach here from Mt Hinode 日の出山.  Where the trail joins the road is a portable toilet.  Keep following the road until you reach the traffic lights.  You’ll have passed a Plum tree park on the right along the way.  At the lights turn left, and then at the next set of traffic lights turn right.  You can follow this road along, across a bridge, until you reach the train lines.  Hinatawada Station 日向和田駅 is just a little down the road on the right.

To and From

As always, the following routes are just recommendations.  Please use Hyperdia or Jorudan’s Train Route Finder to find the most suitable route for you!

From Shinjuku 新宿, catch the JR Chuo line 中央線 to Tachikawa 立川 and change to the JR Ome line 青梅線 towards Okutama 奥多摩.  It should take about 90 minutes and costs 890yen, but you might need to change trains at Ome Station 青梅駅 to go further on to Mitake Station 御嶽駅.  Trains run regularly on these lines.

From Mitake Station 御嶽駅 catch the Nishi Tokyo Bus 西東京バス to Cable Shita ケーブル下 bus stop.  Buses leave at least once or twice an hour from Mitake Station 御嶽駅 and cost 270yen for the 10 minute ride.

The Mitake Tozan Railway 御岳登山鉄道 cable car leaves at least once every half hour and costs 570yen.

From Hinatawada Station 日向和田駅, catch the JR Ome line 青梅線 to Tachikawa 立川 (again you might need to change at Ome Station 青梅駅), and then the JR Chuo line 中央線 to Shinjuku 新宿.  This should take about 75 minutes and costs 780yen.

Links

Mt Mitake Tozan Railway http://www.mitaketozan.co.jp/english/index.html includes cable car timetable and map of Mt Mitake

Mt Mitake Tourist website (Japanese) http://mitakesan.com/index.html

PDF Time Table of Nishi Tokyo Bus to Cable Shita (Japanese) http://www.nisitokyobus.co.jp/data/topics/2009/lib/objects/mitake%20kable%20r%20090722.pdf

My Flickr photo set from Mt Mitake and Mt Hinode http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelelisa/sets/72157622492689516/

Map of hike on GPSies http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=njychfygcovmfwsv

Useful Kanji

Mt Mitake 御岳山
Mt Hinode 日の出山
Okutama 奥多摩
Musashi Mitake Shrine 武蔵御岳神社
Mitake Station 御嶽駅
Hinatawada Station 日向和田駅
Nishi Tokyo Bus 西東京バス
Cable Shita bus stop ケーブル下
Takimoto Station 滝本駅
Mitake Tozan Railway 御岳登山鉄道
Hinatawada 日向和田
Shinjuku 新宿
Chuo Line 中央線
Tachikawa 立川
Ome Line 青梅線
Ome Station 青梅駅





The Life Conspiracy

9 10 2009

wow I fail at updating my blog!  As I mentioned before, I am working on a write up about Mt Tsukuba, but I could at least blog about whats going on too right??

Anyway.  Almost directly after my last post, my school had a group of students from New Zealand come on exchange for 12 days.  We had a lot of trouble finding host families, so I had one of their teachers stay with me (in my double shoe box), which was really good because I could also participate with them in their activities.

Each year the Kiwi trip always happens at the same time so that they can see the school’s cultural festival.  However this year things were a bit different.  The festival had been changed from 2 days to 1 day due to swine flu being everywhere in Japan at the moment.  Then, late on Thursday afternoon (Friday is a preparation day) it was announced it was totally cancelled because 4 classes in the whole school had been sent home with the flu.

Which meant that instead of 3 days of culture festival, 2 days at Nikko, and 2 days with their host families, we had a whole week off, only broken by those 2 days at Nikko.

It actually turned out to be really really fun.  On the Friday we had some problems with one of the Kiwi students (she was homesick), so we weren’t able to do much.  Beth (the teacher I was hosting) and I went for a walk at Soka, which has some historical significance in being a trade area.  And then that evening there was a big drinking party followed by karaoke.

Soka River Walk

Soka River Walk

The next day, all the adults from NZ, myself and another teacher went to Mt Mitake to do an easy hike.  Mt Mitake is a lot of fun.  We caught a cable car to the top, visited the shine, and then walked over a ridge to Mt Hinode.  Mt Hinode is great, because on a clear day you can see Tokyo in the distance.  And we could even see a little of Mt Fuji.  However, it’s not easy hiking while hungover…

On top of Mt Hinode

Mt Mitake Shrine

Sunday, the whole group of us went to Tobu Zoo, which is very close by my house.  It actually isn’t just a zoo, it also includes a small theme park, with a brilliant rollercoaster.  Suffice to say, the kids had a great time!

Monday and Tuesday was a pre-arranged trip to Nikko.  We went to Edo Wonderland, which is a village of Edo-era buildings and attractions.  I had been there before, and its okay, but it’s also something I think you could skip on a trip to Japan.  We also went to Tobu World Square, which I had wanted to go to for a long time.  It’s a park full of miniatures, with the theme ‘Travel the world in just one hour!’.  I loved it and highly recommend it!  After that we also went to Toshogu (I think it was my 5th or 6th time), which was pretty unremarkable (see my previous post).

Tower Bridge from Tobu World Square

Wednesday was mostly spent shopping, afterall, what’s a vacation without shopping? And Thursday was once again hiking!  This time we went to Kamakura, home of the biggest outside Buddha in Japan.  Our Kamakura hike was pretty easy, and included a lot of shrines and temples.  The most interesting ones were Zeniarai Benten, where you wash your money and it multiplies (and it really did work for me!), and another temple, of which it’s name escapes me, with a lovely garden.

Garden in Kamakura

Garden in Kamakura

After that it was back to school until the New Zealanders left.  But being back at school has also had its challenges.  We pretty much had to jump straight into preparing our classes for their exams, which are happening this week and next.  AND yesterday a major typhoon passed over Honshu, so school was cancelled for the day.  It was nice to sleep in, however, it did throw a bit of a spanner into the works.

And now it’s mostly back to normal.

Until something else comes up…