Nokogirisan / Odakesan / Mitakesan, Western Tokyo, Japan

Three peaks on this longish walk in far Western Tokyo, the highest of which is Odake-san (Mt Odake) at 1266m of elevation. The views can be good if it’s a clear day, but there’s also attractive forest scenery and an excellent shrine near the end of the walk.

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo

If you are travelling to Tokyo it’s possible to do some hiking in the far western reaches of the Greater Tokyo area. We did this walk up and across three peaks – Nokogirisan, Odakesan (1266m), and Mitakesan – in a day, travelling by public transport, and still managed to get back to Tokyo for a shower and then dinner (you’ll want to start early). The views are apparently excellent on parts of this walk (you can see Mt Fuji on a clear day) however not on the day we did it – winter is probably the best time for visibility. We walked in mid autumn before the colours had changed, and it got quite hazy by time we ascended, so we instead enjoyed the walk for the forest scenery, a number of small shrines along the route, and the impressive Mitake Shrine on Mt Mitake itself.

Track Notes

We walked from the town of Okutama at the end of the Ome train line, and finished at the so called cable car (funicular railway), which takes you down to a bus, which then goes to Mitake station. We got a map from the tourist office in Okutama, and that was good enough to follow the Japanese language signs along the way. You can see much of the track on Google maps. This website describes the walk in the reverse direction, which seems to be more common, but I enjoyed finishing at Mitake Shrine.

The Scenery

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
The town of Okutama, at the end of the train line.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
From in Okutama town.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Very steep staircase.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
A pagoda on the initial climb.

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
One of two creatures at a small shrine.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Sophia climbing through forest on the way up to Nokogiri-san.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
It was sunny on the way up, but clouded over later..
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Such uniformity on these trees suggests they might have been planted. There was evidence of logging on the train ride in.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
We walked along this narrow ridge for much of the walk.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Low lying bamboo that I saw a lot of on Hallasan, on Jeju Island in Korea.

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Hazy views from the summit of Mt Odake. You can apparently see Mt Fuji on a clear day. This was definitely not a clear day.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Shrines on the way to Mitake-san.

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
We took a short side trip to a waterfall.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Descending towards Mt Mitake.

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo

Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Mitake Shrine
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Mitake Shrine
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Mitake Shrine
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
I love a bit of relief carving. At Mitake Shrine.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Fearsome looking creatures at Mitake Shrine. Nice puppy…
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Mitake Shrine
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
I like the shape of the traditional roofs.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
You could see buildins on the Kanto Plain from up here, but too hazy to make them out in this photo.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Mitake Shrine
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Leaving Mitake Shrine.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
A substantial tourist village had sprung up below Mitake Shrine, despite the difficult access.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
More hazy views.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Flowers in the gardens of B&Bs.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
Flowers in the gardens of B&Bs.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
The road up to the village and Mitake Shrine was very narrow and winding.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
This funicular railway (they call it a cable car) takes you down to a bus stop and then you take a bus to the Mitake train station.
Nokogirisan Odakesan Mitakesan, Western Tokyo
At the bottom of the train/cable car. You then take a bus to the train station.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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