EASY HIKING ADVENTURES AROUND TOKYO
During my everyday life in Tokyo, I happened to meet a lot of travelers who, attracted by the worldwide fame of this buzzing metropolis, fly to Japan and venture to explore the city’s restless streets. Akiba’s Electric Town with its cheap electronic shops, manga & anime stores; Harajuku, the heart of Tokyo’s fashion; the popular shopping and entertainment area of Shibuya with its iconic Scramble Crossing; Roppongi and its never-ending nightlife; the luxurious Ginza area and many more. I’ve no doubt that all these famous spots will make you fall in love with Japan’s unique capital, especially if you are a big-city person (and if you are a huge fan of manga & anime too!!). But what about those travelers who are more into nature, outdoor adventures, or who would simply like to take a break from the lights and crowds of the city? Do not despair!! There’s plenty of day-trip adventures you can take from Tokyo to satisfy your own tastes! Here are two simple inspirations that I tried out myself!!
EASY DAY TRIPS FROM TOKYO:
Mt. Takatori – Kanagawa Prefecture(About 1 hour away from Shinagawa Station – Keikyu Line- get off at Jimmuji Station) A chill hike through the peaceful woods of Mt. Takatori is the perfect way to escape the chaos of one of the world’s most populous cities. On your way to the top, you’ll come across Jimmu Temple (after a brief but nice 30-minutes walk). Jimmu-Ji (Ji stands for “temple” in Japanese) dates back to the VIII century and it belongs to the Chinese Buddhist sect of Tendai. Looking at the old structure of the temple, you can’t help but feel like time has stopped around here. Interestingly, this is believed to be the place where samurai warriors took refuge when fleeing from the siege of Odawara Castle in 1590. Following up the trail, the path gets just a little bit steeper with several stairs and a small area equipped with chains just in case you need to hold on. In about another 30 minutes, you reach the top, which features an observatory (from which you can enjoy a 360° view over Sagami Bay and Tokyo Bay), and training cliffs for rock climbing. This is a very popular spot among rock climbing enthusiasts and what is left of the old mine (several interestingly shaped cliffs) has been equipped for this purpose. Many people just stop here and then start heading to the train station, missing out on what is actually the best part! Yes, because if you continue down the path, you will find an 8 meter tall Buddha carved in a monolith stone and surrounded by trees, branches, and moss. This statue, which is only 65 years old, stands in a small clearing and is definitely a gem immersed in nature. This was absolutely the perfect spot to take a nice break and put my photography skills into practice. Not only did I enjoy the walk there but throughout the whole hiking trail, I found several photogenic spots, so I highly recommend it for all those who love nature photography! If you keep walking down the many stairs, you eventually end up in Oppama, from where you’ll be ready to head back to what I like to call the Tokyo jungle!
Mt. Nokogiri – Chiba PrefectureSo far my favorite day trip from Tokyo! Mt. Nokogiri is another popular hiking spot in the Chiba Prefecture. Rather than going directly there by car or train, I highly recommend taking a different route and accessing the area by crossing the bay on board the Tokyo Wan Ferry.
How to get there by ferry:Head towards Keikyu Kurihama Station in Kanagawa Prefecture (about 53 minutes from Shinagawa Station – Keikyu Line) and, once there, take the Bus No.7 or 8 bound for Tokyo Wan Ferry Terminal (about 10 minutes). Prices are as follows:
- One-way ticket to Kanaya Harbour: Adults 720 yen/ Children 360 yen
- Round trip ticket to Kanaya Harbour: Adults 1320 yen/ Children 660 yen
- One-way ticket: Adults (over 12 years old) 500 yen/ Children (between 6 and 11) 250 yen
- Round trip ticket: Adults (over 12 years old) 930 yen/ Children (between 6 and 11) 450 yen