If you want a taste of the great outdoors without straying too far from Tokyo, you have three options.
To get an up-close-and-personal view of Mount Fuji (without hiking it), you can go to Gotemba. To experience the hills and have some great food, head north of Utsunomiya and enjoy Nikko. But if you want a little dirt on your boots, the easiest place to go is a straight shot down the Chuo Line at Mount Takao.
Mount Takao is one of my favourite places to visit. It’s in the greater Tokyo area, yet you feel like you’re in a resort town like Banff or Whistler (minus the skiing and snowboarding.)
Last weekend, Chris, Lucas and I put some good shoes and hauled our butts up the mountain! It was a good 90 minute climb, and there’s video to prove we made it to the top! Check it out.