Mt. Takao Cable Car
The Mt. Takao cable car is actually a funicular railway that transports visitors halfway up the 1,965-foot (599-meter) mountain. Many visitors like to hike up—which takes about 90 minutes—but the cable car is a great alternative. On the way up, you’ll see beautiful forest, and the top of Mt. Takao affords sweeping mountain views.
Mt. Takao is a popular day trip destination about an hour from central Tokyo. The mountain is within the Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park, with its beautiful forest and mountains. Mt. Fuji can be seen on clear days. For travelers short on time, as well as kids, seniors, or those with mobility issues, taking the cable car saves time and energy. Visitors can also take the cable car one way and hike the other.
Things to Know Before You Go
One-way and return tickets are available.
The cable car operates extended hours on weekends and holidays.
Trains depart every 15 minutes.
The Mt. Takao cable car is the steepest railway in Japan, so stay seated and hold on tight!
The observation deck near the top of the cable car turns into a beer garden in the summer.
Mt. Takao has long been considered sacred, and the beautiful Yakuoin temple near the summit is worth visiting. It’s a 20-minute walk from the station.
How to Get There
Mt. Takao is in Hachioji, west of central Tokyo,. The easiest way to reach Mt. Takao is by rail from Shinjuku in central Tokyo. Take the Keio Takao line from Keio Shinjuku station to Takaosanguchi. Alternatively, take the Japan Rail Chuo line from Shinjuku to Takao, then change to the Keio line and travel one stop to Takaosanguchi. Either way takes just under an hour. The cable car is a short walk from Takaosanguchi station.
When to Get There
Mt. Takao gets very busy on the weekends, so visit during the week to avoid the crowds. It’s an especially popular place to see the autumn leaves in late November. The vibrant colors of the forest at this time are worth braving the crowds. It’s also a good place to check out the famous Japanese cherry blossoms in March.
Travel on the Mitake Tozan Railway
The Mt. Takao cable car isn’t the only funicular railway in the Tokyo area. Another fun and popular line is the Mitake Tozan Railway, which runs up Mt. Mitake in the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park, northwest of central Tokyo. Taking the railway saves a couple of hours’ hiking time.
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