Okutama – A Complete Travel Guide
Okutama is just a stone's throw from Tokyo, making it the perfect day trip location. Find out everything you need to know before you arrive with us.
On the outskirts of Tokyo lies Okutama, a hiker’s paradise surrounded by trees, valleys and lakes – the perfect getaway from the city. It’s also home to three major mountains (Kumotori, Odake and Mito) and several minor peaks, blessing the area with several trails – ranging from easy to difficult – to choose from.
With a range of other activities to choose from and a selection of camping grounds in the area, Okutama is also perfect for an overnight stay or even an extended trip. Find out everything you need to know before you get there with our extensive guide.
Mount Mitake (Mitakesan)
Located in Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, this 929m mountain is a popular hiking destination for Tokyoites. Find here the popular Musashi Mitake Shrine among the trees.
Mount Odake (Odakesan)
Pass the summit of Mount Mitake and find another, that of Mount Odake, one of the Three Mountains of Okutama (the other two being Mount Kumotori and Mount Mito). This hike can be done all year round, but take extra precautions during winter when the ground can get icy.
Mount Kumotori (Kumotorisan)
At 2,017m, Mount Kumotori is the highest mountain in Tokyo. While scaling this mountain, find yourself humbled by the towering evergreen trees. Additionally, en route to the summit is an “emergency” hut. The perfect overnight shelter for the less physically inclined. Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with views of Mount Fuji barring bad weather.
Mount Mito (Mitosan)
Mount Mito used to be off limits to the public during the Edo period. As a result, it’s overgrown with large beech trees. Come autumn, these trees turn brilliant red and attracting more people than usual. The journey to the top boasts a view of the Tokyo Peace Pagoda on Mount Odera, while the summit boasts views of Mount Kumotori and Mount Fuji on a clear day.
Below is a list of some of the more popular trails around the aforementioned peaks:
1. Mitake Station -> Mount Mitake -> Mount Odake -> Mount Nokogiri -> Okutama Station
Duration: <6 hours Length: 10.5km Difficulty: easy Sights: Tama River additional info on Ridgeline Images...
2. Mitsumine Shrine -> Mount Kumotori -> Mount Mutsuishiyama -> Okutama Station
Duration: <48 hours Length: 31km Difficulty: hard Sights: Mitsumine Shrine additional info on Ridgeline Images...
3. Okutama Station -> Ogouchi Jinja Bus Stop -> Mount Iyo -> Mount Nukazasu -> Mount Mito -> Musashi Itsukaichi Station
Duration: >4 hours Length: 8.5km Difficulty: medium Sights: Lake Okutama Floating Bridge, Mito Otaki Waterfall and Hinohara Tokyo Citizens’ Forest additional info on Ridgeline Images...
4. Okutama Station -> Nippara Shonyudo Bus Stop -> Mount Takanosu -> Mount Kayanoki -> Mount Kurato ->Kuratoguchi Bus Stop -> Okutama Station
Duration: <48 hours Length: 14km Difficulty: medium Sights: Lake Okutama additional info on Ridgeline Images...
5. Okutama Station -> Kawanori-Bashi Bus Stop -> Hyakuhiro Waterfall -> Mount Kawanori -> Hatonosu Station
Duration: <7 hours Length: 14.2km Difficulty: medium Sights: Hyakuhiro Waterfall additional info on Ridgeline Images...
6. Kori Station -> Hatonosu Keikoku Valley -> Okutama Station (also known as the Otama Walking Trail)
Duration: ~4 hours Length: 8km Difficulty: easy Sights: Soryu Falls and Shiromaru Dam additional info on gvlt's blog...
Lake Okutama and Mugiyama Floating Bridge
The largest lake in Tokyo, Lake Okutama was formed when the Ogouchi Dam was built on the Tama River in 1957. The construction cost the lives of 87 workers. As a result, a monument was erected to commemorate these fallen workers.
Sitting atop Lake Okutama is the Mugiyama Floating Bridge, also known as the “drum can bridge” because drum cans were once used to keep it afloat. Crossing this bridge takes you to the trailhead of Mount Mito (trail #3).
Access: Ogouchi Jinja bus stop
Nippara Limestone Cave
At 800m, Nippara Limestone Cave is the longest cave in the Kanto region. With a constant temperature of 11ºC all year round, don’t forget to bring a sweater during summer. This cave also marks the start of the trek up to Mount Takanosu (trail #4).
Hatonosu Keikoku Valley and Soryu Falls
The Otama Walking Trail allows casual hikers to stroll alongside the Hatonosu Keikoku Valley. In addition to the gushing Tama River below, find on this trail suspension bridges, Shiromaru Dam and Soryu Falls.
This valley is also popular for koyo, a traditional Japanese custom of viewing fall foliage.
Access: Hatonosu Station
Shiromaru Dam Fish Pass
The longest fish ladder in the whole of Japan can be found next to Shiromaru Dam, 10 minutes away from Hatonosu Station. Open to the public from April to November, visitors can marvel at this 27m deep and 330m long installation for free!
Access: Hatonosu Station
Abandoned Okutama Ropeway
Okutama Ropeway is an abandoned cable car that once connected both banks of Lake Okutama.
As with the principles of haikyo (urban exploration), the location is never to be divulged. What we can say is that it’s found along the lake, hidden behind some abandoned tennis courts.
If you’re ascending Mount Kawanori (trail #5), you’ll be rewarded with a view of one of the highest waterfalls in Okutama. The trail is open all year round, so come winter you’ll encounter a frozen and majestic Hyakuhiro Waterfall.
Access: Kawanori-Bashi Bus Stop
Hikawa Camping Ground
This campsite is conveniently located minutes away from Okutama Station on the banks of Tama River. Hikawa Camping Ground provides cheap rental gear and BBQ facilities. Additionally, surrounding convenience stores offer a quick and easy bite.
Website: Hikawa Camping Ground
Kawai Camping Ground
East of Hikawa Camping Ground and along the Tama River find Kawai Camping Ground. The best thing about it is that you’re allowed to build an open fire!
Website: Kawai Camping Ground
Odake Camping Ground
Off the beaten path, this camping ground is perfect for those who just want to explore Mount Odake. Also find here Odake Falls.
Website: Odake Camping Ground
Kanotoen Camping Ground (神戸園キャンプ場)
Away from the main attractions of Okutama, this campsite is located in Akikawa Valley. Find here cheap fishing and free rock climbing.
Website: Kanotoen Camping Ground
In addition to these camping grounds, feel free to pitch a tent anywhere during one of your hikes here. No, it’s not illegal.
Moegi No Yu
Perhaps the most famous onsen in Okutama, Moegi No Yu makes for the perfect wind down after having explored the many sights Okutama has to offer. It’s also conveniently located 10 minutes away from Hikawa Camping Ground on foot.
Website: Moegi No Yu
Seoto No Yu
Featured in our Onsens in Tokyo article, Seoto No Yu is difficult to get to but certainly worth it. Soaking in the onsen while being surrounded by luscious greens make for the perfect getaway. They even have a cottage for those who wish to stay the night!
Website: Seoto No Yu
More Things to Do in Okutama
Okutama Mizuto Midorino Fureaikan (奥多摩水と緑のふれあい館)
This free museum details the history of the construction of Ogouchi Dam which is only a stone’s throw away. The restaurant on the second floor also serves generous portions of Japanese curry whilst boasting panoramic views of Okutama – making it a great pit stop for lunch. Additionally, find here a 3D theater!
Website: Okutama Mizuto Midorino Fureaiakn
Shinrinkan (Forest Museum/奥多摩町森林館)
After exploring Nippara Limestone Cave, head on over to Shinrinkan to learn about the life and history of the giant trees of Okutama. You might even be able to catch a glimpse of a Japanese deer or Japanese serow from the observation deck.
Yama No Furusatomura (Mountain Hometown Village/東京都立奥多摩湖畔公園 山のふるさと村)
Yama No Furusatomura is an all-in-one facility that promotes Okutama’s rich biodiversity. Find here guided hikes, BBQ facilities, cabins, a camping ground and much more. You can even make your own soba noodles here too!
Come mid-October, Yama No Furusatomura hosts a mountain themed musical festival.
Website: Yama No Furusatomura
Okutama Noryo Fireworks Festival
Come mid-August, you’ll be greeted by 1,000+ fireworks as you step out of Okutama Station.
Access: Okutama Station
Wasabi, grown in some of the finest spring water, is a local speciality here. You might even find random patches of wasabi on your hike.
Deemed one of three major wasabi producers, come get your wasabi souvenirs from one of the various shops dotted around.
Sawanoi Sake (Ozawa Shuzo/小澤酒造(株))
After fishing by the Tama River, head on over to Swanoi Sake brewery for a refreshing glass of sake.
In addition to hiking, Okutama offers a wide range of outdoor activities from zip lining to rafting. Check out the services below:
Home to some of the biggest bodies of water in Tokyo, Okutama is the ideal region to do some fishing. By the Tama River is Okutama Fishing Center (奥多摩フィッシングセンター), a popular fishing site. Find here whitespotted char, rainbow trout and cherry salmon.
American Camp Village
American Camp Village offers quaint log cabins by a stream. In addition to this, they also offer a wide range of facilities and services such obstacle courses, onsen and BBQ.
Website: American Camp Village
Price: >5,000 yen
Mitake Youth Hostel (御嶽ユースホステル)
As the name suggests, this hidden gem of a hostel is the perfect accommodation for those looking to scale Mount Mitake. It’s also only a 15-minute walk from Musashi Mitake Shrine!
Website: Mitake Youth Hostel
Price: >3,000 yen
Suiko-En Ryokan (奥多摩 温泉旅館 水香園)
If you’re looking for a luxurious accommodation, then Suiko-En Ryokan is for you. With prices starting at around a whopping 20,000 yen per night, you’re guaranteed a peaceful retreat.
Website: Suiko-En Ryokan
Price: >20,000 yen
Arasawaya Ryokan (荒澤屋旅館)
This family owned and operated traditional Japanese inn gives off a warm and friendly vibe. Their private onsen sources its water from Tsurunoyu hot springs which is great for soothing your aching muscles after a day of trekking.
Website: Arasawaya Ryokan
Price: >5,000 yen
*Prices are for single occupancy and per night.
From Tokyo by Train
Take the JR Chuo Line for Ome at Shinjuku Station; stay on the train as it merges into the JR Ome Line. After about 2 hours, the train will arrive at Oku-Tama Station. The entire journey one-way costs 1,080 yen. Other stations of interest on this line include Mitake, Kawai, Kori, Hatonosu and Shiromatu.