If you have a day in Tokyo, why don’t you consider going for a hike in Mt. Kawanori in Okutama, Tokyo which is a perfect getaway spot from the city life? It would be a beautiful day hike, which requires approximately 7 to 8 hours in total to climb up and go down the mountain. Some parts of the trail are strenuous, but it is definitely worth climbing up to the Hyakuhiro Waterfall which is the highlight of the hike.
How to get to Mt. Kawanori?
First, you need to get to the Okutama station. The popular trailhead is Kawanori-bashi bus stop which can be reached by bus from Okutama station. To get to OKutama station, you can take the Holiday Rapid Okutama train from Shinjuku station. The first four compartments of the train won’t go to Okutama station so please make sure to get into the 5th compartment or behind. Also, it is better to line up for the train 15 minutes before the departure as the train gets crowded with a lot of hikers, especially on the weekends. It takes about 15 minutes from Okutama station to the Kawanori-bashi bus stop.
Once you get to the bus stop, the entrance to the trailhead is right in front of you. The picture below is a sign at the entrance which is a gate to the Hyakuhirono Waterfall.
The first 3km after the entrance is a paved road that leads you to the trailhead. Once you enter the trailhead, you will see mountain streams elsewhere. As you can see in the photo below, the little wooden bridge over the mountain stream creates a picturesque scenery.
The name of the mountain “Kawanori” comes from the words river and moss, which is due to all of the mountain streams, ponds, and waterfalls that can be seen throughout the climb. You will be amazed by beautiful nature that surrounds the trail as you hike up the mountain.
The highlight of the hike is definitely the Hyakuhirono Waterfall.
You will have to keep climbing up after the Hyakuhirono Waterfall to get to the top of the mountain. The trails are partially steep and narrow so be careful! Once you get to the top of the mountain, it is time to take the pictures of the great views from there.
Most people trail down the other side of the mountain and end up at Hatonosu Station, from where you can return to Tokyo. Going down the trail is not an easy task, but it is definitely worth overlooking the picturesque river valley of Okutama!