This large wooden house with a thatch roof near the top of Mitake was constructed in 1866 for the Baba family. This wealthy clan has a long history in the region, serving for the ruler Shingen Takeda as far back as the mid 1600s. Later the family helped visitors traveling to the Musashi Mitake shrine, and their home was was a stopping point for...more
The Mount Mitake areas has many miles of trails connecting famous peaks, water falls, temples, scenic vistas and interesting geographic features. Some of the main trails include the steep trail from the base of the cable car to the top cable car station (about 60 to 90 minutes), the walk from the top cable car station to the shrine (20 to 30...more
Musashi-Mitake Shrine sits perched near the top of Mount Mitake, about 929 meters above sea level. The shrine dates back some 2000 years, and it is home of two Japanese national treasures: a piece of armor donated in 1191 by Hatakeyama Shigetada and a saddle dating back to the 13th Century. Before it became a Shinto Shrine, the Shugendo spiritual...more
Prior to the establishment of Shinto in Japan, Shugendo spiritual mystical religion was very popular. Shugendo centered on this mountain and several others like nearby Takao-san. Followers of Shugendo, known for mountain and nature worship, believe in the bond between nature and humanity. Shugendo legends tell of spirits spirits called Tengu, often...more
Mitake Tozan Railway is the name of the company, under the Keio Group, that operates the cable car and the chairlift at Mount Mitake near Ome. The Mount Mitake Cable Car run on a one kilometer track (0.6 miles), but it rises an impressive 424 meters (1,390 feet) vertically. The cost for a one way trip is about 600 Yen, with a slight discount for a...more
Nanayo Water Fall (in Japanese 七代の滝) is a nice series of falls just a short hike from the top of Mount Mitake near Ome. They say there are seven total drops in these falls, totaling 50 feet from top to bottom, but you can only see one drop easily from the hiking trails. At this drop in Nanayo Falls, there is a pool,...more
Takanosu-yama (鷹ノ巣山) is translated as Falcon's Nest Mountain. During the Edo era, it is said that nobles came here to hunt falcons. This is one of the tallest mountains in the Okutama area, and it very popular for hiking. You can drive on the small, narrow roads quite a ways toward the mountain, but not all the way to...more
Japanese weasels are small orange-yellow colored carnivorous animals native to the Japanese islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. These animals are larger than cats, with a body length of about 14 inches, plus a tail that is another 7 or 8 inches long. These animals are carnivorous, and they consume mice, frogs, reptiles, insects and crayfish....more
Lake Okutama, formed by Ogochi Dam, lies at the far western edge of Tokyo in the town of Okutama, Nishitama District. The large lake was constructed from 1938 to 1957, and it is the largest source of water for the city of Tokyo. At the time of its completion the Ogochi Dam was the world's largest, with a dam height of 149 meters and a length of 353...more
Kotobuki Happy Home is the rough translation of the Japanese name 寿々喜家 of a great little restaurant in Ome. Kotobuki also means "wishing for longevity" or "blessing to one's longevity." The restaurant was established in 1901, so it is celebrating its own longevity. The current structure was built around 1930.The...more
Just to the east of Ome Station, down what is clearly a side street, is Japanese/Chinese noodle restaurant. Based on the Google translations, the name is something like "Enjoying Oneself with Others" (偕楽).We had dinner here on Sunday night, primarily because it was one of only two or three restaurants open near the Ome Station. We...more
In this area, they'll be generally simple food, such as noodles, or grill fish and miso soup etc., and found mostly within walking distance of the JR stations.I might as well combine shopping and lodging tips here as they would also be found in the same places. Shopping includes fish bait, usual sundries, and as for local specialties, wasabi roots,...more
From Tokyo or Shinjuku station to Okutama, use JR. Chuo line, about 2 hours, 1,210YEN. You can begin one of many hiking courses from a few stops before the terminal stop Okutama, for example, get off at Hatonosu station, hike a nice trail which follows to Shiromaru station, thenceforth to Okutama terminal station. If you are interested, try it! I...more
These not-so-behind-the-scenes unsightly structures do spoil the otherwise spectacular scenery, and in trying to find out their purpose, it seems that the dam is called the Ogochi Dam, completed in 1957 after 30 years planning (including stall time during 2nd WW), and is a control for the flow of the Tama River, which is a major water supply source...more
The usual summer mountain activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, river swimming may all be done here.
Just spectacular scenery with reasonably good transport access to Tokyo.
In one of the minor photos, yes there is a rock climber, and yes it's scary for me to lean off the bridge like that to get a good angle shot.