12 Best Trails For Hiking Near Tokyo In Winter In 2024

Planning a hike near Tokyo in winter? Here are the best trails for hiking near Tokyo in winter. Check it out!

Venture into the serene winter wonderlands near Tokyo with our guide to the best hiking trails for the season.

From snow-draped forests to crisp mountain air, these paths offer a refreshing escape from the city buzz, revealing the tranquil beauty of Japan’s landscapes in their winter cloak.

Gear up for an invigorating adventure that’s just a stone’s throw from the capital.

Where To Hike Near Tokyo In Winter?

Mount Takao

Mount Takao, located in Hachioji City, is a stunning winter hiking destination offering a range of trails to suit all hikers. The most popular and accessible route is Trail 1, known as the Omotesando Trail. 

This trail is paved and gently sloping, making it suitable for families and beginners. As you start your ascent, you’ll pass through a picturesque forest of tall cedars covered in a delicate blanket of snow. 

Along the way, you’ll come across Yakuoin Temple, a historic Buddhist temple known for its colorful pagoda and the Tengu statue that stands guard. Take a moment to warm up in one of the teahouses, where you can savor traditional Japanese cuisine and hot drinks. 

As you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, including Tokyo’s cityscape and Mount Fuji on clear days.

Mount Mitake

Mount Mitake, nestled in the Okutama region, offers a peaceful winter hiking experience that combines natural beauty with cultural significance. To reach Mount Mitake, take a train from Tokyo to Mitake Station, and then board a bus to the cable car station. 

The cable car ride itself is a treat, as you ascend over the snow-dusted forests, catching glimpses of the Tama River and neighboring peaks. 

Once you reach the summit, start your hike from Musashi Mitake Shrine, a sacred site that has attracted pilgrims for centuries. 

The trail meanders through ancient cedar forests, their branches adorned with delicate snowflakes. 

Along the way, you may spot a variety of wildlife, including deer and wild boars. As you continue your ascent, listen to the soothing sound of the Ohtama River cascading down the mountain. 

At the summit, explore the shrine and its impressive wooden structures, offering a glimpse into Japan’s rich spiritual heritage.

Enjoy panoramic views of the snow-covered Okutama region and the Tama River Valley, as the surrounding mountains create a majestic backdrop.

Mount Oyama

Located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Mount Oyama beckons winter hikers with its serene beauty and historical significance. From Tokyo, take a train to Isehara Station, followed by a bus or taxi to the trailhead. 

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The hike to the summit of Mount Oyama follows a well-marked trail, surrounded by a dense forest of towering cedars draped in a snowy mantle. The air is crisp and refreshing, adding to the tranquility of the experience. 

Along the way, you’ll encounter several historic shrines, such as Oyama Afuri Shrine and Oyama-dera Temple, where you can take a moment to admire the intricate architecture and soak in the spiritual ambiance. 

As you ascend, the trail offers occasional clearings that provide stunning vistas of the surrounding landscapes, including Sagami Bay and the Tokyo skyline in the distance. 

At the summit, enjoy a well-deserved rest and take in the panoramic views that stretch as far as Mount Fuji, especially on clear winter days when the iconic peak stands majestically against the snow-covered landscape.

Mount Nokogiri

Located in Chiba Prefecture, Mount Nokogiri offers a unique winter hiking experience with its rugged cliffs and panoramic views of Tokyo Bay. To reach the mountain, take a train from Tokyo to Hama-Kanaya Station, followed by a short ferry ride across the bay. 

As you start your hike, you’ll be greeted by a mesmerizing landscape adorned with snow-dusted trees and dramatic rock formations. 

The trail takes you through dense forests and steep slopes, providing an invigorating challenge for seasoned hikers. 

Along the way, you’ll encounter the famous Nihon-ji Temple, known for its massive stone Buddha statues, including the iconic Great Buddha of Nokogiri. Take some time to explore the temple grounds and marvel at the intricate stone carvings. 

As you reach the summit, prepare to be amazed by the breathtaking panoramic views of Tokyo Bay and the surrounding mountains, offering a unique perspective on the winter landscape.

Mount Tsukuba

Located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Mount Tsukuba is a popular winter hiking destination near Tokyo, renowned for its twin peaks and diverse flora and fauna. 

To reach the mountain, take a train from Tokyo to Tsukuba Station, followed by a bus to the trailhead. 

The hike offers two main routes: the steep and challenging Tsutsujigaoka Course and the more leisurely Shirakumobashi Course. Both trails showcase the beauty of the mountain during winter, with snow-capped trees lining the paths. 

As you ascend, you’ll encounter unique rock formations, including the iconic Ishi-no-Torii gate, a natural stone arch that has become a symbol of the mountain. Reaching the summit rewards you with panoramic views of the Kanto Plain and even glimpses of Mount Fuji on clear days. 

In winter, the crisp air and serene surroundings make Mount Tsukuba an ideal place to rejuvenate and immerse yourself in nature.

Mount Tanzawa

For a more challenging winter hiking experience near Tokyo, Mount Tanzawa in Kanagawa Prefecture is an excellent choice. 

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Accessible from Tokyo by train and bus, this mountain offers a range of trails for different skill levels. The hike takes you through dense forests, past serene waterfalls, and along ridges with breathtaking views. 

One popular trail is the Omote-Nanatsugoya Course, which leads you to the Nanatsugoya Hut, a picturesque resting spot. From there, you can continue along the ridge to Mount Tanzawa’s summit or explore other nearby peaks. 

Winter transforms the landscape into a winter wonderland, with snow-covered trees and stunning vistas stretching as far as the eye can see.

While the hike requires stamina and proper equipment, the reward of conquering Mount Tanzawa and witnessing its winter beauty is well worth the effort.

Mount Kumotori

Situated on the border of Tokyo and Yamanashi and Saitama prefectures, Mount Kumotori offers a thrilling winter hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts. To reach the mountain, take a train from Tokyo to Mitake Station, followed by a bus to Okutama Station.

From there, transfer to a bus heading towards Okutama Visitor Center, which serves as the starting point for the hike. 

The trail to Mount Kumotori, standing at 2,017 meters, presents a challenging but rewarding trek through snow-covered forests and rocky terrain. 

As you ascend, you’ll witness the transformation of the landscape, with frozen waterfalls and icy streams adding to the winter wonder. 

On clear days, the summit offers breathtaking panoramic views of Mount Fuji, the Tanzawa Mountains, and the surrounding valleys, all bathed in a serene winter aura.

Mount Mitake and Mount Hinode Circuit

For a longer winter hiking adventure near Tokyo, the Mount Mitake and Mount Hinode Circuit provides an excellent option. Starting from Mitake Station, the trail combines the beauty of both mountains, offering a diverse range of winter scenery. 

As you hike through the snowy forests, you’ll pass by ancient shrines, including Musashi-Mitake Shrine, which stands as a testament to Japan’s spiritual heritage.

The trail leads you to the summits of both mountains, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Tokyo skyline and the picturesque landscapes blanketed in winter’s pristine beauty. 

This circuit is a moderate to strenuous hike, requiring proper winter hiking gear and preparation, but the experience of conquering two peaks and witnessing the winter wonders of Tokyo’s outskirts is truly remarkable.

Mount Takao and Mount Jinba Circuit

For hikers seeking a challenging and exhilarating winter adventure near Tokyo, the Mount Takao and Mount Jinba Circuit provides a thrilling option. 

Starting from Takaosanguchi Station, hike up Mount Takao via the challenging Trail 6, which involves steep ascents and rocky paths. 

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As you reach the summit of Mount Takao, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of Tokyo and its surrounding areas, now transformed by the winter elements. 

From there, continue your journey towards Mount Jinba, navigating through snow-covered forests and undulating terrain. Mount Jinba offers a quieter and more secluded experience, with fewer hikers and a serene ambiance. 

At the summit, revel in the breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped landscapes and the distant city skyline. 

This circuit demands a higher level of fitness and experience, making it ideal for seasoned hikers seeking an unforgettable winter challenge.

Mount Fuji Subashiri Trail

While not located directly near Tokyo, the Mount Fuji Subashiri Trail is worth mentioning for those seeking an iconic winter hiking experience. 

Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest peak, offers a majestic winter ascent that attracts adventurers from around the world. 

To access the Subashiri Trail, take a train from Tokyo to Gotemba Station, followed by a bus to the Subashiri 5th Station. From there, begin your climb up the snow-covered slopes of Mount Fuji. 

The Subashiri Trail, known for its less crowded and more serene atmosphere, provides a challenging yet rewarding hike. As you ascend, the landscape transforms into a winter wonderland, with powdery snow and frost-coated rocks creating a surreal environment. 

The higher you climb, the more breathtaking the views become, especially at sunrise when the snow-capped summit is bathed in golden hues. 

Reaching the summit crater, you’ll be overwhelmed by a sense of accomplishment and awe as you gaze upon the vast expanse of winter beauty below. 

Note that climbing Mount Fuji in winter requires advanced planning, appropriate gear, and knowledge of mountaineering safety.

Okutama Lake

For a scenic winter hike near Tokyo that doesn’t involve climbing a mountain, Okutama Lake offers a picturesque option. 

Located in the western part of Tokyo, Okutama Lake is surrounded by dense forests and steep hillsides. 

To access the lake, take a train from Tokyo to Okutama Station, and from there, enjoy a leisurely hike along the lakeshore. 

The trail provides enchanting views of the serene lake, its waters reflecting the winter skies and surrounding mountains. 

As you walk, breathe in the crisp winter air and appreciate the tranquility of the surroundings. The trail meanders through the woods, with occasional clearings offering glimpses of the snow-dusted landscapes. 

Along the way, you can find cozy spots to stop for a picnic or simply to soak in the peaceful ambiance. Okutama Lake’s winter charm is perfect for those seeking a more relaxed hiking experience while still enjoying the beauty of nature.

Conclusion

From the awe-inspiring challenge of Mount Kumotori to the iconic ascent of Mount Fuji’s Subashiri Trail, Tokyo’s winter hiking trails offer a range of options for adventurers of different skill levels. 

The snow-laden landscapes, frozen waterfalls, and panoramic vistas create a mesmerizing atmosphere, inviting hikers to immerse themselves in the serenity of nature. 

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