As an outdoor sport fan, hiking becomes one of my favorite. Mount Oyama is one of most popular hiking spots near Tokyo. The trail is generally easy even for beginners. There are several hiking course you can choose depend on your choice.
By an hour and a half from Yokohama or Shinjuku, you can reach Mt. Oyama either by car or public transport.
Access by public transport:
- Take Odakyu line to Isehara Station
- Get off from the train and go to the bus terminal from North Exit.
- Find the bus number #4 towards Oyama Cable (300yen one way fare)
Arriving to the final stop, you will see travel information center. They have a great hand drawn map (in English) explaining the sights you will see on your hike. The stone stepped promenade leading to the cable car is called Koma (spinning top) Sando and many of the souvenir shops along the way feature these handmade toys, a traditional folk craft of the region.
Upon reaching Oyama Cable Station (after few hike through the stairs for around 15 mins), you get to make your decision whether you will do full-hike or take a cable car to the half of the mountain. There is a woman’s (女坂) and men’s (男坂) trail (the men’s trail being steeper) that will ascend past Oyama Temple (大山寺) and continue to the Oyama Afuri Shrine, where the cable car also lets off. The woman’s trail features the “Seven Wonders”, small power spots with magical properties.
This time, we chose the men’s (男坂) trail to go up and woman’s (女坂) to go down. So let’s begin!
1. Take the cable car to the final stop (Afuri Jinja Shimosa)
Getting here by cable car will cost 640 yen one way. Cable car departs every 20 minutes (first car at 9:00 a.m. and the last car Mon-Fri at 4:30 p.m., weekends and holidays at 5:00 p.m.). The final stop, Afuri Jinja Shimosa is located half way the mountain summit (678m). Here, you will be surprised with marble and stone paths ascending through the hilltop of Afuri Shrine. There will be a small yet satisfying resturant here. If you don’t bring enough water, I recommend you to buy some water here (on the top of mountain, one bottle of water will cost you 400 yen).
2. Choose the hiking course
As mentioned, there will be 2 hiking course. For visitors who will hike, walk the trails up leading you to the divergence of Onna-zaka trail or “women’s trail” and Otoko-zaka trail or “men’s trail” (steeper and more rocky trail). We chose the Otoko-zaka trail or “men’s trail” instead because we want to go down later on different course (which is easier after the tough one)
3. Reaching the summit and Afuri Shrine (The Head Shrine)
In about 90-120 minutes we reach the summit. Seriously the men’s hiking course is about Rocks. So if you are completely beginner hiker I don’t recommend you to take this course. However the view at the summit was amazing. Everything feels totally worth it. On the top of the mountain you will find a small shop selling soba, udon, yaki onigiri, and of course beverages. The price varies from 400 yen for beverages untill 1000 yen (foods).