Mt. Nantai & Oku-Nikko (男体山 & 奥日光)

Mt. Nantai and Lake Chuzenji

Nikko (日光), located in 100 km north of Tokyo, is a popular tourist destination. Temples and shrines are registered as a World Heritage Site, so many tourists visit from all over the world.

In the west of Nikko, there is a mountainous area : Oku-Nikko (奥日光). In Oku-Nikko, there are 2000 m class mountains including Mt. Nantai, and many beautiful places. It is the best area for those who like outdoor activities and natural observation.

Area Map

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Mt. Nantai


Mt. Nantai (Nantai-san) is a conical volcano height of 2486 m located in central Oku-Nikko. It is a symbol of Oku-Nikko and one of the “100 Famous Japanese Mountains”.

On a clear day, you can find it from Tokyo. Although it is classified as an active volcano, recently there is no volcanic activity.

Mt. Nantai has long been the subject of faith, and there are shrines and many items related to religion near the mountain.

Climbing Guide

The major climbing course is Omote-sando trail. The difference in altitude of the trail is 1200 m. It takes about 4 hours to go up the mountain and 2.5 hours to go down.

The trail starts from Futarasan Chugushi Shrine (二荒山神社中宮祠). You must pay 500 Yen for a climbing fee at the shrine.

Futarasan Chugushi Shrine
Futarasan Chugushi Shrine

The trail has a steep slope and many rocks, so be careful. At around 1600 m altitude, the trail partially joins the paved road (road for civil engineering work). Check your map carefully so as not to go the wrong way.

The mountain skin is covered with bamboo grasses, coniferous trees and rhododendrons. From late May to July you can see rhododendron flowers.

Rocks and trees
Rocks and trees

As you approach the summit, you will find that the ground gradually turns red-brown. This is because of lava rocks

Lava trail
Lava trail

The summit is very scenic. You can see Lake Chuzenji and many mountains.

Mt. Nantai is a mountain of religion, so there are some religious objects such as torii (monument of shinto), sword and statue of god on the summit.

Summit of Mt. Nantai
Summit of Mt. Nantai


Mt. Nantai climbing is allowed from early May to late October.

MayFresh green, Little cold
June – Early July
Rainy season (But not all rainy)
Mid July – Mid Sept.Warm, Afternoon thunderstorm
Late Sept. – Oct.Autumn leaves, Cold

Best season is from May to July. Although it is the rainy season from June to July, there are fine days, too.


Kegon Falls (華厳ノ滝)

Kegon Falls
Kegon Falls

Kegon falls (Kegon-no-taki) is a 100 m tall waterfall located at the entrance of Oku-nikko area. It is said to be the one of “3 famous waterfall in Japan”.

Access : 10 minutes walk from Chuzenji-onsen (中禅寺温泉) bus stop.

Lake Chuzenji (中禅寺湖)

Mt. Nantai and Lake Chuzenji
Mt. Nantai and Lake Chuzenji

Lake Chuzenji or Chuzenji-ko is a scenic lake located at the foot of Mt. Nantai.

You can enjoy lakeside walking, pleasure boat cruising. There are two boat piers, one is near the Chuzenji-onsen(中禅寺温泉), and the other is near Shobugahama(菖蒲ヶ浜).

There are many accommodation facilities on the lake shore. In the Chuzenji-onsen area, there are some Japanese style onsen hotels. If you are outdoor lovers, camping at Shobugahama campsite will be the best choice.

Senjogahara Wetland(戦場ヶ原)

Senjogahara and Mt. Nantai
Senjogahara and Mt. Nantai

Senjogahara is a vast wetland of 400 ha located in the north of Lake Chuzenji. It’s listed in Ramsar wetland because wide variety of animals and plants are inhabited.

Walking paths are installed in wetlands and you can observe nature by walking. It takes about 2 hours to walk around the entire wetland.

The main entrance of the Senjogahara is Akanuma bus stop (赤沼). There are toilet, restaurant, and information center.

Ryuzu Falls (竜頭ノ滝)

Ryuzu Falls
Ryuzu Falls

Ryuzu Falls or Ryuzu-no-taki is a beautiful waterfall located between Lake Chuzenji and Senjogahara. It consists of two waterfalls. The autumn waterfall is a particularly beautiful and many tourists visit.

You can go there by bus (Ryuzu-no-taki bus stop) and also you can walk from Senjogahara (see area map). There are some small waterfalls between Ryuzu falls and Senjogahara.

Small waterfall near Senjogahara
Small waterfall near Senjogahara

Example Plan

<Day 1>
Move from Tokyo to Nikko
Sightseeing world heritage sites (Toshogu and so on)
Stay at a hotel near Lake Chuzenji

<Day 2>
Climbing Mt. Nantai
Chuzenji-onsen(hot spring) and Kegon Falls
Stay at Shobugahama Camp Site

<Day 3>
Hiking at Ryuzu Falls and Senjogahara
Go back to Tokyo


Tokyo -> Nikko area

If you are in Tokyo, go to Asakusa(浅草). There are many express trains between Asakusa and Nikko. Be aware that there are several Asakusa Stations. What you should go is Asakusa Station of Tobu railway.

At Asakusa Station, get on Kegon Express
(特急けごん) or Kinu Express (特急きぬ). If you use Kegon, get off at Tobu-nikko Station (東武日光) , the last stop of the train. If you use Kinu, get off at Shimo-imaichi Station (下今市) and change to the local train for Tobu-nikko. There are also Revaty Kegon Express and Revaty Kinu Express. These are same as Kegon Express and Kinu Express.

It takes about 2 hours from Asakusa to Tobu-nikko Sta.

Nikko area -> Oku-Nikko area

At Tobu Nikko Station bus terminal, get on Tobu bus for Yumoto-onsen(湯元温泉) . If you are going to go to Kegon Falls, Mt. Nantai or Lake Chuzenji, you can also take buses for Chuzenji-onsen(中禅寺温泉)

It takes 50 mins from Nikko Station to Chuzenji-onsen, and 40 mins from Chuzenji-onsen to Yumoto-onsen.

There are some reduced bus tickets. For more information about the buses, please check here.

Mt. Mitake (御岳山)

Ayahiro Falls

Cable railway – Mt. Mitake – Ayahiro Falls – Mt. Hinode – Cable railway


Mt. Mitake(御岳山), located in the west of Tokyo, is a popular mountain for Tokyo and Kanto region people. The elevation is not so high, and there is a cable car, so you can easily go up the mountain.

On the top of the mountain, there is the Musashi Mitake Shrine (武蔵御嶽神社). Many mountain ascetics and worshipers have visited this sacred mountain since hundreds of years ago. Today the shrine is also famous for the god of dogs.

On the back side of the mountain, there are popular hiking trails where you can see beautiful waterfalls and valleys. At the Ayahiro Falls (綾広の滝), you can experience traditional waterfall meditation called Takigyo (滝行). For more details about Takigyo, please check this website: Mountains and Mediations

About Mt. Mitake

  • Elevation : 929 m
  • Location : Western Tokyo (Okutama area)
  • Belongs to Chichibu Mountains, Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park
  • Non-volcanic


Best Season : May, Oct. – Dec.

Jan. – Apr. Cold, sometimes snowfall
May.- June Warm, Fresh green
July – Sept. Very hot and humid
Oct. – Dec. Cool, Autumn leaves
Nov. Cold

Route Map & Guide

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Mt. Mitake Main Route

This route is the route from the cable railway station to the summit of Mt. Mitake. Most of this route is on a well-maintained concrete road and easy to walk.

On the way to Mt. Mitake, you will pass through a small village with many traditional guest houses, japanese restaurants and souvenir shops.

The road leads to a long stairway at the end. On the end of stairway, there is the Musashi Mitake Shrine and the summit of Mt. Mitake is in the premises of the shrine.

Trail of Falls and Rocks

This trail is along the stream on the opposite slope of the mountain. There are two waterfalls, Ayahiro Falls (綾広の滝) and Nanayo Falls (七代の滝). Both waterfalls are not big but beautiful and sacred. The area between these two falls are called “Rock Garden”. Various shapes of rocks make beautiful scenery of the valley. Since there are steep slopes and ladders, so please walk carefully.

Mt. Mitake – Mt. Hinode

Mt. Hinode (日の出山) is a mountain located next to Mt. Mitake. The Japanese word “Hinode” means sunrise. As the name suggests, you can see nice view of the east side from the summit of the mountain. On a clear day, you can see skyscrapers in central Tokyo.

One hour walking on the trail on ridgelines lead to Mt. Hinode. The most part of the trail is flat. So it’s not so hard.


Course Time

Mitake-san Station (Cable railway) <–> Mt. Mitake 30 mins
Trail of Falls and Rocks
Mt. Mitake <–> Nanayo Fall <–>  Ayahiro Falls <–> Mt. Mitake
2 hours
Mt. Mitake <–> Mt. Hinode 1 hour

*The course time is one way-time.

Example Plan

Normal Plan

Mitake-san Station –> Mt. Mitake –> Nanayo Fall –> Ayahiro Fall –> Mt. Mitake –> Mt. Hinode –> Mitake-san Station

Takigyo Plan (2-Day)

Add 1 day and stay the Komadori Sanso lodge (駒鳥山荘), you can experience the Takigyo next day.

1st day: Same as the normal plan
2nd day: Experience Takigyo


From Tokyo

  1. JR Tokyo Sta. [東京駅] or Shinjuku Sta.[新宿駅] ==> Tachikawa Sta. [立川駅]
    Chuo Line (Rapid, Special Rapid, Holiday Rapid),
  2. Tachikawa Sta. [立川駅] ==> Ome Sta. [青梅駅]
    Ome Line
  3. Ome Sta. [青梅駅] ==> Mitake Sta. [御嶽駅]
    Ome Line
  4. Mitake Sta.[御嶽駅] bus stop ==> Keburu-shita[ケーブル下] bus stop
    Nishi-tokyo Bus route [御10] or [御11] bound for Keburu-shita
    2 buses per hour.

If use “Holiday Rapid Okutama”[ホリデー快速おくたま] train which runs on holidays, you can go from Tokyo or Shinjuku to Mitake Sta. without transfer.