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Mount Mitake (xR, Mitakesan) is one of the many highlights of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, which covers more than 1250 square kilometers of forested mountains, hills, gorges and some rural towns in the prefectures of Yamanashi, Saitama, Nagano and Tokyo.

Besides a popular shrine, Mount Mitake offers various walking and hiking opportunities in virtually unspoiled nature. Located in the Okutama region, the westernmost part of Tokyo, the mountain can be reached in less than two hours from central Tokyo, making it a popular escape from the city.

From the upper station of the Mitake Cablecar it is a 20-30 minute walk to the Musashi-Mitake Shrine on the mountain's summit (929 meters). On your way, you will pass a small village with many Japanese style inns and souvenir shops, which have been catering to visitors and pilgrims to Mount Mitake for centuries. It is believed that Musashi-Mitake Shrine has been serving as a center of mountain worship for almost 2000 years.

From the shrine, you have hiking options to neighboring peaks and valleys. Among the most beautiful destinations is the so called "Rock Garden", which, in fact, is a narrow, forested valley with a picturesque stream, lots of moss-covered stones and two nearby waterfalls. It takes less than an hour to reach the valley from the shrine.

If you want to walk some more, it is another 40-60 minutes from the Rock Garden to the peak of Mount Otake (1267 meters), from where you can enjoy nice views of the surrounding forest-covered mountains on clear days. Some passages are quite steep but do not require any advanced mountaineering tools. Sturdy shoes, however, are recommended.

Detailed hiking maps of the extensive trail network of the Okutama region are available at the Mitake Visitor Center located halfway between the upper cablecar station and the shrine.

Because Mount Mitake has been and still is a popular destination for pilgrims, there are many lodgings in the village, minshuku in particular, that serve pilgrims as well as regular tourists. Meals are simple and traditional, consisting mainly of locally sourced vegetables, although most also offer fish and meat today.

Rooms are usually traditional-style tatami rooms, and bathing facilities are shared. Some lodgings also offer excursions to experience takigyo, a centuries old ascetic practice of standing or sitting in meditation beneath a waterfall.

Getting there and around

From central Tokyo (e.g. Shinjuku or Tokyo Station) take the frequently departing, orange JR Chuo Line to Ome Station (75 minutes from Shinjuku). A few trains go all the way to Ome. Otherwise, a transfer of trains is required at Tachikawa (40 minutes from Shinjuku).

At Ome Station, change to another orange train on the JR Ome Line (usually waiting on the opposite platform of the arriving train) and ride as far as Mitake Station (20 minutes). The whole trip from Shinjuku to JR Mitake Station costs 940 yen one way and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and Tokyo Wide Pass.

Once at Mitake Station, take the bus to the lower station of the Mitake cablecar (10 minutes, 290 yen one way, about 2 buses/hour) or walk there in about 40 minutes. The cablecar lifts you to close to the summit of Mount Mitake (1130 yen roundtrip, 2-3 departures/hour).

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      Mid-range
      Located in Tokyo, near Honryuin Matsuchiyama Shoden, Sanyabori Park and Chokoin Temple, TOE LIBRARY Tokyo Asakusa features free WiFi. Every unit features a private bathroom and bidet, air conditioning, a TV and a fridge. Some units include a dining area and/or a balcony. Popular points of interest near the apartment include Honryuji Temple, Imado Shrine and Great Tokyo Air Raid Memorial Monument. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 18 km from TOE LIBRARY Tokyo Asakusa.
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    • HISAYO'S INN
      Budget-friendly
      Set in the Ota Ward district in Tokyo, 5 km from Tokyo International Airport Terminal No2 Observation Deck, HISAYO'S INN features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Each room has air conditioning and a safety deposit box. A shared kitchen comes with a refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, toaster and electric kettle. Bathrooms are shared and include free toiletries, towels, hairdryer, mouthwash and toothpaste. You will find a washing machine, tumble dryer and electrical adapter. Guests can try Japanese traditional haori jacket and have their photos taken free of charge. Rental bikes are available, and the staff can assist guests try on a yukata robe for female at a fee. Free luggage storage service is offered. Bike hire is available at this guest house and the area is popular for cycling. Oedo Onsen Monogatari is 8 km from HISAYO'S INN, while Fuji TV Odaiba is 9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 3 km from HISAYO'S INN.
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    • 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Tokyo, 500 metres from Subway Museum, 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe provides rooms with air conditioning and free WiFi. This property is situated a short distance from attractions such as Shin Nagashima River Shinsui Park, Shinsakon River Shinsui Park, and Ario Kasai. The hotel features family rooms. All units in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. The private bathroom is equipped with a bidet, bathrobes and slippers. The rooms will provide guests with a fridge. A continental breakfast is available daily at 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Furukawa Shinsui Park, Gyosen Park and Ukita Park. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 15 km from 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe.
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    • Backpacker's Mini House
      Budget-friendly
      Conveniently situated in the Chiyoda district of Tokyo, Backpacker's Mini House is located 500 metres from Kanda Children's Park, 600 metres from Bellesalle Kanda and 600 metres from Tokyo Sankei Building Metro Square. The 2-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with a shared bathroom and free WiFi. The property is close to popular attractions like Taira no Masakado's Grave, Wake no Kiyomaro Statue and Goto Inari Shrine. Popular points of interest near the hostel include Otemachi Building Shops & REstaurants, Tokiwa Park and Kotoku Inari Shrine. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 28 km from Backpacker's Mini House.
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      Budget-friendly
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    • The Barn Tokyo
      Mid-range
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    • Palace Hotel Tokyo
      Luxury
      Situated right in the heart of Marunouchi business district, Palace Hotel Tokyo is 5-star luxury accommodation boasting 7 restaurants, a spa and a free-access fitness centre and indoor swimming pool. It is directly connected to Otemachi Subway Station and an 8-minute walk from JR Tokyo Station. Free WiFi is provided in the entire area. Offering elegant and chic ambience, each spacious room comes with a large LCD TV, a blu-ray/DVD player and a safety box. A fridge and an electric kettle are also provided. The en suite bathroom includes a small TV, a bath tub and toiletries. While staying at Tokyo Palace Hotel, guests can enjoy a workout at the fitness gym, or receive rejuvenating treatments at the on-site Evian Spa Tokyo. The concierge desk can arrange various services for guests including mobile phone rentals. Tablet rentals, copy and fax services are available for an extra charge upon request at the front desk or club lounge. Guests can enjoy authentic Japanese culinary experiences in Wadakura restaurant, Tatsumi tempura restaurant and Kanesaka sushi restaurant. Esterre offers exquisite French cuisine and the city views, while Grand Kitchen serves international dishes throughout the day. Located right next to the Imperial Palace, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from Ginza shopping area, and a 5-minute train ride from Akihabara electric town. Popular Tsukiji Fish Market can be reached within a 10-minute taxi ride. Airport limousine buses are available to/from Narita and Haneda airports at an extra charge.
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    • The Capitol Hotel Tokyu
      Luxury
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    • The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel
      Luxury
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