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Mount Takao

Mount Takao

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is a mountain in the city of Hachiōji
Hachioji, Tokyo
is a city located in Tokyo, Japan, about 40 kilometers west of the center of the special wards of Tokyo.As of January 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 551,901 and a population density of 2,962.27/km². The total area is 186.31 km². It is the eighth largest city in the...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. It is protected within Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park
Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park
is located around Mount Takao in Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan.The park centers around Mount Takao and encompassing the area of 7.77 km², the smallest Quasi-National Park. The park is visited by 2.2 million people a year...

.

Standing 599 metres (1,965.2 ft) tall and located within an hour of downtown Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, it is a popular hiking spot, with eight hiking courses and more than 2.5 million annual visitors. The Tama Forest Science Garden
Tama Forest Science Garden
The , formerly the Asakawa Experiment Forest and sometimes also known as the Tama Botanical Park, is an arboretum located at the foot of Mount Takao, 1833-81 Todori, Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan. It is open daily except Mondays; an admission fee is charged....

 is also located at the mountain's base.

Mount Takao is closely associated with tengu
Tengu
are a class of supernatural creatures found in Japanese folklore, art, theater, and literature. They are one of the best known yōkai and are sometimes worshipped as Shinto kami...

, minor kami
Kami
is the Japanese word for the spirits, natural forces, or essence in the Shinto faith. Although the word is sometimes translated as "god" or "deity", some Shinto scholars argue that such a translation can cause a misunderstanding of the term...

 from Japanese folklore
Japanese folklore
The folklore of Japan is heavily influenced by both Shinto and Buddhism, the two primary religions in the country. It often involves humorous or bizarre characters and situations and also includes an assortment of supernatural beings, such as bodhisattva, kami , yōkai , yūrei ,...

, and the daitengu Naigubu. A Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 temple
Temple
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template," a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out...

, Takaosan Yakuōin Yūkiji, is located on the mountain.

Climbing Mount Takao


Visitors to Mount Takao can choose to start climbing from the base, or take a funicular
Funicular
A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.-Operation:The basic principle of funicular...

 or ropeway ride halfway up the mountain. The Takao Mountain Railroad
Takao Mountain Railroad
The is a transport company in Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan. The company operates a funicular line and a ropeway to Mount Takao, a popular destination for mountain trekking among Tokyo residents...

 operates both of these services. The system nominally has four stations—two each for the funicular and the ropeway. However, the distance between the pairs of stations is only a few dozen meters (at the base of the mountain) and approximately 150 meters (at the top of the services, which are themselves about a 30 minute scenic uphill walk from the top of Mount Takao itself), so they can essentially both be thought of as coming from and going to the same place.


Some visitors to Mount Takao bypass the Takao Mountain Railroad
Takao Mountain Railroad
The is a transport company in Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan. The company operates a funicular line and a ropeway to Mount Takao, a popular destination for mountain trekking among Tokyo residents...

 services entirely. Trail 1 from the base of the mountain is a somewhat arduous climb, but it is paved and leads past the top stations of both the ropeway and the funicular on the way to the summit. Trail 6 and the "Inariyama Trail" are unpaved trails that start from the base of the mountain and go all the way to the summit, but they do not pass the ropeway and funicular top stations. Some visitors to Takao ride up the mountain and then walk back down.

One end of the Tōkai Nature Trail is at Mount Takao, at the Takaosan-guchi Station. The other end is at Minoh, near Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

.

Wildlife


Despite the mountain's proximity to the metropolis of Tokyo, Mount Takao is rich in wildlife, with more than 1,200 species of plants and a wide variety of native animals and insects. This diversity is currently under threat from the construction of the Ken-O Expressway
Ken-O Expressway
The , or , is a partially completed ticket system toll expressway in Japan, owned and operated by the Central Nippon Expressway Company and East Nippon Expressway Company. In conjunction with the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line and the Bayshore Route of the Shuto Expressway, it will form a full outer ring road...

, which will involve the drilling of two 10 m tunnels through the heart of the mountain.

Access

  • Takao Station
    Takao Station (Tokyo)
    is a railway station located in Hachiōji, Tokyo. It services the JR East Chūō Main Line and the Keiō Takao Line. It is the last major station in Tokyo for the westbound Chūō Main Line, and as such, is a turning point for many local and rapid trains on the line...

     on the JR East
    East Japan Railway Company
    is the largest passenger railway company in the world and one of the seven Japan Railways Group companies. The company name is officially abbreviated as JR East in English, and as in Japanese. The company's headquarters are in Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo....

     Chūō Line
    Chuo Main Line
    The , commonly called the Chūō Line, is one of the major trunk railway lines in Japan. It runs between Tokyo and Nagoya, although it is the slowest direct railway connection between the two cities; the coastal Tōkaidō Main Line is slightly faster, while the Tōkaidō Shinkansen is the fastest rail...

  • Takaosan-guchi Station on the Keio Takao Line

External links