Keio Takao-san Onsen Gokurakuyu 京王高尾山温泉極楽湯

There is a brand new onsen at the Keio line Takao-san Guchi station. It is located just behind the new station, designed by Kengo Kuma. If you are going by JR Chuo line, when you get to Takao station, transfer to the Keio line and go one more station. Mount Takao is a great mountain for hiking. For those looking for an easy climb, take a ride to the top and do some simple walking around.

There are indoor and outdoor baths, a sauna, a micro-bubble bath, and more. On the first floor there is a big shokudō (dining hall), but the food was disappointing. I would go back for a beer and some small bites, but don’t plan on having your lunch or dinner here. There are many soba shops nearby that are worth the short walk. If you are looking for a very special meal, then make a reservation at Ukai Toriyama. I love coming here for lunch to see the gardens in the light.

The onsen was very busy, even though we went first thing in the morning. I imagine that in the afternoon when hikers are coming down from the mountain looking to refresh that it would be packed.

The onsen water is slightly cloudy and white and is alkaline. Most importantly, it isn’t too hot, so if you are not used to onsen, this is a good spot to start.

It’s only 1,000 JPY for adults, 500 JPY for kids, and children under 3 are free. There is a short period (only about 3 weeks of the year) that the prices go up by 100-200 JPY.

Keio Takaosan Onsen 京王高尾山温泉

Tokyo-to, Hachioji-shi, Takao-machi 2229-7  東京都八王子市高尾町2229-7

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (last entry is at 10:00 p.m.)

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Ukai Toriyama in Takao

Gardens of Toriyama

Gardens of Toriyama

On the outskirts of Tokyo in the shadows of Mount Takao (Takao-san) is Toriyama. Part of the famous Ukai chain of restaurants, is a garden filled with private rooms for a meal based on grilled chicken kaiseki. This is a dining experience that is worth the trip out to Hachioji, about an hour from Tokyo station on an express train, followed by a shuttle bus to the restaurant.

Grilled Fish at Toriyama

Grilled Fish at Toriyama

Several courses are presented, including this grilled fish presented on pine leaves.

Rice Course

Rice Course

A view of the room and the rice course (shime).

Kimono-clad waitresses in the garden

Kimono-clad waitresses in the garden

While dining in your own private room you feel as though you are the only one there. On your way home after your meal you may see the waitresses in colorful kimono bringing courses to the different guest rooms scattered throughout the garden.

Ukai Toriyama

Hachioji, Minami Asakawa 3426

0426-61-0739

www.ukai.co.jp/toriyama/index.html#english