Touring Mount Takao: The World’s Most Visited Mountain
Nothing makes our day more than receiving glowing customer feedback, and that is exactly what we recently got from our amazing guests, Hannah and Albert, after their return to Germany. Mac, Founder of Maction Planet, writes about the recent Tokyo Photography and Hiking Tour to Mount Takao.
On Saturday (17 June), we hosted a full-day photo tour and hiking excursion to Mount Takao. On the tour were our wonderful guests, Hannah and Albert, a couple from Germany on their two-week honeymoon in The World’s Greatest Metropolis!
I led the hiking, historical and cultural aspects of the tour, and the Photography lesson was led by Wang Yayu, one of Maction Planet’s resident photographers and one of Tokyo’s top natural light photography experts.
The hiking tour included rental of a DLSR from us – our guests had one but wanted one each. This also included an SD card which they got to keep at the end of the day.
Mount Takao (高尾山 or Takaosan) is the most visited mountain in the world, with over 2.5mn visitors per year. The summit, 599m above sea level, can be reached by a number of different courses. The main routes up Takao get very busy at weekends. There is always a great atmosphere hiking with climbers and descenders greeting each other with an uplifting “Konichiwa“, or, if you’re struggling, a “Ganbare!” We went up via Hiking Trail Number 1 and came down via the Inariyama Trail. This allowed maximum exposure to different terrain and photo opportunities.
Even the railway station has some architectural distinction – Takaosanguchi station was renovated in 2015 and beautifully redesigned by Kengo Kuma, architect of the new Tokyo National Stadium, the primary venue of the 2020 Olympics. He is also the man behind the design of the New Shinagawa Station – with its origami and shoji-inspired roof – schedule to open in the spring of 2020.
Despite its popularity, there are still spots on Mount Takao which are not known to many people – stupa, beautiful statues and secret caves which are off-the-beaten-track, despite being very close to it.Great photo opportunities are of course at the core of a great photography tour. Certainly, Tokyo has plenty of them, and Mount Takao is no exception. However, one thing that is always important for me when talking about the philosophy of what we do at Maction Planet is that we do not view the various aspects of the Tokyo experience as compartmentalized. On this tour with Hannah and Albert, we had hiking, photography, history, architecture, culture, and amazing food worthy of a separate Tokyo Food Tour!
Yayu’s photography teaching is clear and effective. Very soon after starting the hike, our guests were able to take photos like those you can see in this post. The calibre of shots taken as the day went on was outstanding. They kindly sent us some of their photos, which they have allowed us to post here. As you can see, they were great students and captured some stunning scenes. All the incredible images in this post, even the amazing ‘tree roots’ banner image for this post which replaces our usual Otani garden and waterfall image, were taken by them. All are uncropped, and unfiltered.After the amazing day hiking we headed to an onsen (hot spring) to relax. Truly one of the joys of trekking around Tokyo.
The day was not over yet! Hannah and Albert wanted to grab dinner together, and we were more than happy to oblige. We headed back to Tokyo, stopping at one of the small stations on the way for a bowl of truly unique local ramen. Perhaps it was the subliminal messaging from my “I Love Ramen” T-shirt, soon to be available from Maction Planet Apparel!Yesterday we received this very lovely message which they have kindly allowed us to share:
“Please thank Yayu so much from us. We could feel ourselves improving during the day thanks to her patient and practical teaching. And thanks to you too Mac – who would have thought that the world’s most visited mountain would have a secret side?! Thank you for introducing it to us. Here are some photos for you to use on your blog. We are very proud of them and never imagined at the start of the day that we would be able to take photos as good as this.”As always a heartfelt “Domo Arigato Gozaimasu” to all our guests from the Maction Planet team! And special congratulations and best wishes to Hannah and Albert on their wedding, honeymoon and upcoming life together.
Maction Planet runs Tokyo Hiking Tours to all the incredible mountain ridges around The World’s Greatest Metropolis.
Whether it is a Tokyo Photo Tour, or a Photography Lesson, we can help.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange yours!