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Mount Fuji and Lake Shoji | © hoge asdf/Flickr
Mount Fuji and Lake Shoji | © hoge asdf/Flickr
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How to Celebrate Mountain Day in Tokyo

Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 3 August 2017
With over 70% of its land masses occupied by mountain ranges, Japan is the perfect place to celebrate Mountain Day. Mountain Day (Yama no Hi) became a national holiday in 2016. Now every year on August 11, the country gets time off to appreciate the wonder of the mountains. Here’s how to celebrate in Tokyo.

Hike Mount Mitake, Takao, or Hiwada

Luckily, Tokyo is surrounded by beautiful mountains and hiking trails. Hop on the Ome Line to Mitake Station and make your way to the mountain village via cable car. From there, you’ll be able to explore the mountains and well-marked trails. If you’re looking for a gentler hike, Mount Hiwada in Saitama (via Koma Station) is a good alternative. If you prefer to take the route well-traveled, Mount Takao is one of the most visited mountains in Japan, thanks to its scenic trails, ancient temples, and convenient access from central Tokyo.

Mitakehonchou, Oume-shi, Tokyo, Japan

A view from Mount Mitake
A view from Mount Mitake | © Guilhem Vellut/Flickr

View Mount Fuji

Take in views of Mount Fuji and appreciate the mountains without ever leaving Tokyo. If the weather is clear, it’s possible to see the famous natural landmark from the city’s many observatories. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building has two free observatories, while the one at the Tokyo Skytree is the tallest in the city. Mount Fuji can even be seen from some high-rise restaurants and hotels.

Tokyo Skytree 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Mount Fuji behind Yokohama
Mount Fuji behind Yokohama | © auntmasako/Pixabay

Attend a Festival

Check the official Mountain Day site (in Japanese only) for news on special events taking place in mountain towns around Japan. There will also be plenty of non-Mountain Day summer festivals and happenings going on within the city of Tokyo. Mountain Day is a good excuse to get out and experience summer, whether or not it involves appreciating nature.

Admire Hyakuhirono Falls

Take some time to admire a natural wonder that wouldn’t be possible without the hills, cliffs and slopes of mountains: Hyakuhirono Falls. The falls can be accessed via the hiking trail at Mount Kawanori. Take the Chuo Line to Okutama, and from there, the bus to Kawanori-bashi. From Tokyo, getting to Hyakuhirono Falls and back will take about a half-day, since from the trail head, getting to the falls takes about two and a half hours.

Okutama Station, 213 Hikawa, Okutama-machi, Nishitama-gun, Tokyo, Japan

Hyakuhirono Fall on Mount Kawanori
Hyakuhirono Fall on Mount Kawanori | © Hajime NAKANO/Flickr

Take in mountain art

Take a trip to the Ota Memorial Museum of Art, which specializes in exhibiting classical Japanese art. Their collection of traditional woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) is one of the most impressive in the world. Nature and mountains are especially important within the Shinto belief system, and this is often reflected in classic Japanese art.

Ota Memorial Museum 1-10-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan