Mt Takeo is a very popular destination on the western edges of Tokyo. Maybe less popular but an immensely interesting place to visit is Mt Mitake in Ome City where your day can have three distinct elements – the Mitake Tozan Railway, Matsushima Shrine atop Mt Mitake, and the Mitake Gorge walking path along the upper reaches of the Tama River.
From Tokyo central it might take 2 hours to reach Mitake Station. The Lower station of the Mitake Tozan Railway is just 10 minutes away on a regular local bus. Weirdly though the bus stop is a couple hundred metres short of the cable car, with a very stiff uphill walk to Takimoto.
Like a backwards roller coaster, the train draws you up to Mitake-San station, gaining 4oo metres over 1,100 metres of track. The views are spectacular. And with the usual Japan railway efficiency, the up and down trains slide past each other on the one passing loop.
Veronica and I visited during spring, with the line a blaze of colour.