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Mt. Takao in Japan (Part 2) – Tengu Legends in Western Tokyo

Mount Takao is a place of Tengu tales. You’ll meet Tengu statues all around there. …What are they?

Tengus are Japanese goblins. They have a long nose, a beak and wings and are wearing Shugen ascetics’ costume.

They have been considered to be spirits of a mountain since old times. Since the middle age, Tengus have been those of today, being mixed up with Shugen-do, which is a mixture of Buddhism and the Japanese spiritualism to mountains, well. So they are highly-originated in Japan.

Mt. Takao is famous for its rich forest with many kinds of trees and it was one of the reasons why Michelin Voyager Pratique gave Mt. Takao 3 Stars as a tourist spot. Here are the great views from Mt. Takao.

Tokyo Skytree is often shy to meMt. Fuji is, too.

Mt. Takao has been one of the best Fall Foliage spots in Tokyo.

And many kinds of birds and animals are inhabiting in the forest as well. Bird watchers visit there to find rare birds and young students on a school trip enter the monkey park in the trail.

See that it is a place where people can imagine that something is living?

I should note one thing so that you don’t misunderstand Tengus.

Tengus are not evil goblins.

In Mt. Takao, they are guardians of justice living with sacred trees. They are often with Buddha statues, and sometimes the Buddha statues take in Tengu styles. They also have Shugen tools in their hand.

In some folk tales, Tengus are scary with being considered to kidnap humans, blow down tall trees, throw stones from somewhere, and laugh at people with hiding. But anyway, they are more powerful than humans and respected in that way.

Just before Yakuoin Temple in Trail 1, you’ll find a Japanese cedar called, “Tengus’ Chair.” It is said that Tengus sit on the top of that particular cedar.

It was the tallest and the most magnificent tree around there. There must be good winds and excellent views to see humans on the treetop.

Do you believe those Tengu legends?

Mt. Takao Travel Information

599 meters high above sea level
Registered as a National Park
There are 6 and more hiking courses in Mt. Takao. The main course is Trail 1 with the Octopus Cedar Tree, the stupa and Yakuoin Temple. It is 3.8 km, 100 minutes to the peak. If you take the cable car or the lift, 50 minutes to the top.
How to Get to Mt. Takao

Take Keio Line from Shinjuku Station to Takaozanguchi Station. (Both stations are the terminals. This is the best and only way. You go to Takaosanguchi of Keio Line, so need to take Keio Line somewhere in Tokyo.)
50 minutes by a rapid train.

Open The Easiest JR Train Map & The Easiest Subway Maps by Tokyo Direct Guide

“Mt. Takao Ticket” sold by Keio Railway is a MUST-BUY. It costs only 1380 yen and it includes the return ticket of Keio trains and the Cable Car or the Lift. Unbelievable saving! (Even many Tokyo locals don’t know – You are right to visit my site!)
You can purchase “Mt. Takao Ticket” from ticket vending machines in Shinjuku or other Keio Railway stations except Takaozanguchi. Valid in the day of your purchase.

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Hotels in Hachioji (near Takao Station)

Hotels in Shinjuku – As a local, I advise you to stay in Shinjuku. Shinjuku is the terminal station of Keio Line to Mt. Takao and it is convenient to go to anywhere in Tokyo. You can choose a hotel from a wide range of hotels in one of the most massive cities in Japan.

2 thoughts on “Mt. Takao in Japan (Part 2) – Tengu Legends in Western Tokyo

    • Hi, Red!
      There are many imaginary creatures in Japan. Must be attractive and interesting for those who look for "only-in-Japan" experience!!


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