Mt. Kumotori-san (#66 of the 100 Famous Mountains in Japan)
What is one hundred mountains in Japan?: http://beauty-of-japan.com/article/japan-one-hundred-best-mountains/
The kanji characters for Kumotori-san directly translate as 'taker of the clouds mountain'. The mountain sits on the three-way prefectural border of Yamanashi, Saitama and Tokyo and lies almost directly west, and at the western-most extent, of Tokyo's metropolitan district. It's hard to believe you're officially in Tokyo when you're up on the peak.
The hike is made easier by the Mitsumine-san cable car at the Chichibu end. In eight minutes it cuts 730 vertical metres of climbing out of your day for the sum of ¥820, whizzing visitors up to the Mitsumine jinja at 1090m. The shrine was founded some 2000 years ago and long-favoured as a mountain retreat by members of the Shugendo sect. If you object to having this big climb taken out of your hike you can always walk up (or do this hike the other way round!).
This hike is best from April to December, that is, spring through to early winter. Kumotori-sanso is open year-round but if you go in winter be prepared for cold and the chance of snow.
This hike is basically a two-day trip, leaving Tokyo on the morning of day one and returning in the evening of day two. One night is spent on the mountain, either at a mountain hut or an emergency hut or even camping. For the purpose of doing the hike alone, it is not necessary to stay in Chichibu or Oku-tama, but should you want to, information can be found in Towns & Facilities.
- Otaki Chichibu, Saitama
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