Updated on August 18, 2017
Mount Mitake (Mitake-san) soars to the height of 929 meters at the front entrance of the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park and is considered to be a sacred mountain of worship. It is also known as a treasure house of nature, inhabited by Japanese giant flying squirrels and where several tens of thousands of cute false anemones bloom every August.
To go to the mountain, take a bus from Mitake Station on the Ome Line to Takimoto Station, and get on the cable car, which boasts the steepest slope in the Kanto region. In just about six minutes, you arrive at a paradise, where no air conditioners are needed even in the summer. When you get off the cable car, from the observation deck right in front of you, take a minute and admire the spectacular view of the mountain range.
From a side street, pass through a torii gate and follow the approach to the shrine, surrounded by giant trees such as Japanese ceder and cypress. An old oshi village appears. Oshi is short for “On-kitoshi,” a pilgrim-master who takes care of worshippers. The village established in the Edo period includes pilgrims’ lodgings that retain the atmosphere of the time, making you feel that you’ve traveled back in time. Going on, walk down a retro street lined with souvenir shops and restaurants, and climb some 330 steps to reach Musashi Mitake-jinja Shrine at the summit of the mountain.
Musashi Mitake-jinja Shrine is an old shrine said to date back over two millennia. The shrine has been gaining popularity in recent years as a shrine of “Oinu-sama (a wolf deity),” with an increasing number of visitors bringing their dogs to the shrine. There are hiking trails offering many places to see such as a fresh stream releasing negative ions. If you feel up to walking, why not take a stroll through nature?
◎To get to Mt. Mitake, get off at Mitake Station on the JR Ome Line, take the Nishi- Tokyo Bus for about 10 minutes and transfer to the cable car of Mitake Tozan Railway and ride for about six minutes. You can also walk from Mitake Station to Takimoto Station, which is the first station for the cable car (about a 50-minute walk).
Mitake Visitor Center: Open 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (closed on Mondays and the New Year’s holidays). Phone 0428-78-9363.