Okutama Mukashimichi Hiking Trail
Okutama is a popular hiking spot and one of the recommended trail is called “Okutama Mukashimichi” which can be translated into “Okutama Old Trail”. It is a 4-hour trail from the JR Okutama station to the Okutama Lake. JR Okutama station is about two hours from JR Shinjuku station. Please see a map below of the trail. When you get out of the exit of JR Okutama station, you can find a little information center where you can get the map of the trail.
The pictures below are from the hike in October. You can see the colored leaves in parts of the mountain. All the way to the Okutama Lake, you are surrounded by the beautiful nature and also, history of the area. As you hike up the mountain, you will see the rivers, shrines, old houses, and the bridges throughout the trail.
The trail is partially hilly so you are recommended to wear hiking shoes or sneakers. In the past, the railroad was built on the trail for the purpose of constructing the Ogouchi Dam. There are also serveral nice waterfalls along the way. In old days, horses were one of the most useful mode of transportation so you can still find the old resting and watering places for the horses in the middle of the trail. The beautiful scenary makes you feel like you are not in Tokyo.
You will see the sign like below on the trail so no need to worry about getting lost in the mountain.
Once you get to the Okutama Lake bus stop of Nishi Tokyo Bus company, you will see the beautiful Okutama Lake below. Close by the lake, there is a building called “Okutama sui to midori no fureai kan” where you can have meals and buy some souveniours.
There is also an observatory from which you can oversee the Ogouchi Dam.
After over four hours of the hike, you deserve a nice Tempura lunch by the Okutama Lake. On the way back to the JR Okutama station, you can take the bus from the Okutama Lake bus stop which takes less than 30 minutes. The bus will run the new road built in pararell with the old trail that you just hiked up.