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The Best Way to Experience Autumn in Japan? Try the Takao Tozan Railway

Witness carpets of amber and burnt copper come alive amidst Japan’s full fall splendour.

Although the Land of the Rising Sun is well known for its cherry blossoms, the beauty of its autumn foliage is indisputable as well.

explore, travel, the best way to experience autumn in japan? try the takao tozan railway

Image credit: Visit Japan

Koyo is the Japanese word for changing autumn colours, while Momiji pertains to a certain variety of maple tree found in Japan. In many cultures and destinations, the maple tree is the king of autumn colours. And they say in Japan, one of the best ways to admire Koyo and Momiji is by traversing the landscape aboard Takao Tozan Railway’s cable car.

A funicular line and ropeway in Hachiōji, Tokyo, the Takao Tozan Railway cable car presents a unique way of witnessing the grandeur of Japan’s Mount Takao.

Perhaps what’s quite unique about Mount Takao or Takaosan is its proximity to Tokyo. Yet once you get there, you’re transported to a vastness of lush greenery. If you’re looking for a nature escape not so far from the city centre, Mount Takao is a great choice! And the Takao Tozan Railway’s the best way to experience this marvel!

How to get to the cable car boarding station

For those who plan to commute, Mount Takao is located roughly 50 minutes away from Shinjuku by train. Direct express trains depart from the underground Keio Shinjuku Station every 20 minutes. Alight at the terminal station, Takaosanguchi Station, which is located at the foot of Mount Takao.

explore, travel, the best way to experience autumn in japan? try the takao tozan railway
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From Takaosanguchi Station, it is roughly a five-minute walk on foot to the cable car boarding station, Kiyotaki Station. Simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along the trail lined with charming souvenir shops. Feel free to pop into one and purchase a keepsake to commemorate your visit.

Note that departures are every 15 minutes. The cable car’s operating hours differ, depending on the month and the day of the week.

Fun fact: Takao Tozan Railway’s cable car is the steepest cable car lift in Japan!

When aboard Takao Tozan Railway’s cable car

explore, travel, the best way to experience autumn in japan? try the takao tozan railway

Image credit: Visit Japan Now Official Facebook Page

The cable car ride runs from Kiyotaki Station to Takaosan Station, spanning roughly six minutes. We wish we had longer, but this would have to do! This would take you halfway up Mount Takao, a sacred mountain that is the prime spot to witness beautiful fall foliage.


While aboard Takao Tozan Railway’s cable car during this season, your five senses would be awakened by fall’s full splendour. Take in the quiet whirring of the engines, the rustling and crinkling of maple leaves in the autumn breeze, the carpets of amber and gold. Exploring Tokyo’s hustle and bustle can get quite hectic, so savour the peace at Mount Takao. Take this time to unplug, unwind, and fully appreciate Japan’s autumn foliage.

Other activities in the area

explore, travel, the best way to experience autumn in japan? try the takao tozan railway

Witness the autumn colours of Mount Takao come alive whilst aboard the cable car. Don’t you wish you could be here to witness the beauty of Japan’s autumn foliage in person? | Image credit: Visit Japan Now Official Facebook Page

Stargazing at Mount Takao Beer Mount

The observation deck next to Takaosan Station offers an incredible aerial view of Tokyo. Moreover, it is also transformed into a beer garden from late June until mid-October. Its outdoor terrace seats offer a splendid view for stargazing while enjoying a few pints.

Enjoy the fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms

Not only is Mount Takao well known for its autumn colours; it is also home to beautiful cherry blossoms. The best cherry blossom viewing spot in spring is said to be the Itchodaira area. Getting there takes a 30-minute hike beyond the peak of Mount Takao, so wear comfortable shoes!

Pictures and videos only convey so much; nothing beats witnessing the vibrant fall foliage in person. No one can doubt the magic of autumn in Japan, and we definitely hope to be there for it this season!

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