Last month, I was lucky to get a day off of work on a beautifully sunny day.
So my best friend and I decided to head for the mountains. Or THE mountain, in this case. What I mean by that is, we were headed for probably the most popular mountain in Tokyo...Mount Takao!
I heard there are crowds of people climbing it on the weekends, so we went on a weekday. It's close (only an hour by train from Shinjuku), it's convenient (you can hike or take the rail/lift), and it has multiple trails to choose from so I can understand its popularity.
It also offers a beautiful museum at the foot of the mountain, Takao 599 Museum.
The museum just opened this summer. The displays are full of beautiful creatures and plants that you can find on Mount Takao. I also learned fun facts, such as Mount Takao is one of the top three insect habitats in Japan. So it's a treasure trove of critters (which we soon found was true).
There's also a nature wall which exhibit taxidermy animals and birds. I was surprised to learn that there were so many animals living in Mount Takao. We were also lucky and got to see the projection mapping on the nature wall. It was very cleverly made, you'll definitely want to see how all the animals play into it :)
Personally, I was drawn to the insect display. Growing up next to the woods, I used to be fascinated by the lives of various critters. They really are beautiful, the more closely you look.
One of the great things about this museum is that it has a lawn. That's right, grass humans can actually enjoy (if you live in Tokyo, you'll know it's a rare thing)! We stopped by to just sit and stretch for a bit after our hike back down the mountain. It felt amazing. There's also a cafe inside the museum, which sounds perfect for the chilly days.
All in all, I think this is a great place to stop by for anyone visiting Mount Takao, especially if it's your first time!
Here are some photos:
It's only 390 yen from Shinjuku on the Keio Line.
The new Takao Yamaguchi station, designed by Kengo Kuma.
Love the high ceiling and natural light.
So many animals living on the mountain...even a monkey!
The projection mapping was really beautiful (you can't really tell from these photos).