Magical mountain of shrines – Mount Oyama

Mount Oyama is a really easy to access mountain from Tokyo. What makes this mountain so special is the countless shrines and temples that can be seem as you make the walk up. There are multiple routes to the top, but I took to longest, starting from the east, and taking the longest route up. It took about 6 hours in total, but I got to see all this!

Within 30 minutes I approached the first temple. There were lots of interesting features, such as this little temple inside a tree. You really need to get out of Tokyo to still see things like this.Mount_Oyama_hiking_1

Further up the road (I had still not actually started to walk on a trail), I was lucky enough to bump into a pagoda. It’s one of the best I have ever seen in Japan, and the fact it was utterly quiet and peaceful made it even more fascinating. No noisy tour groups here!

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Just before starting the actual trail, I came across yet another totally deserted, but well maintained temple. This time there was a nice little garden area and forest to explore. Just like the others, it was also free to enter.

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Finally walking up the main trail, I started to see temples and shrines over the mountain, eventually seeing some of the above from a great distance. You don’t really get such large religious buildings this high up mountains in Japan, apart from old and decaying ones.  The ones up Mount Oyama seem to be still in regular use.

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It’s not just shrines and temples that make this area so cool to explore. The views are also great as you make your way up. There is currently maintenance happening on some routes, but the walk up was generally quiet. I maybe came across someone every 5 or 10 minutes. Not so many people that it’s annoying, but not so few people that you wonder if you are going the right way!

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At the top of Mount Oyama there is another interesting shrine, which makes for a nice place to relax as you look over Tokyo city. There is also a little noodle and refreshment hut if you are a bit peckish.

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View our budget travel guide for Mount Oyama for access information and prices.

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