5 to try: Mt Takao's tasty treats

Snacks for your backpack on the world's most popular climb

5 to try: Mt Takao's tasty treats

天狗焼 The entirely pleasant and ever-so-friendly Tengu-yaki

With some 2.6 million visitors scaling its not-so-lofty peak each year, Mount Takao is the most frequently climbed mountain in the world. Hardly surprising, when you consider that it's only an hour's train ride from Shinjuku, and come the weekend its slopes are swarming with sightseers.

On a less strenuous note, Mount Takao is also home to many cha-ya (teahouses), which make for a pleasant stop-over if you can time your visit to avoid the massed throngs. Time Out Tokyo has picked five worth visiting during your next mountain excursion, though be aware that they may be closed if the weather's really rotten – such is the precarious life of a mountainside vendor.

Tezukuri sobako-oyaki (Koeido, near Takaosanguchi Station)

Located on the way from Takaosanguchi Station to the mouth of the mountain trail, Koeido specialises in earthy, natural food. Their sobako-oyaki (bun-like dumplings made with buckwheat flour) come filled with nozawana (a leafy Japanese vegetable related to the common turnip) or azuki beans. You'll spot them in a steamer at the front of the restaurant, where they're kept at mouth-searing temperatures. Koeido’s oyaki are springy on the outside and come generously stuffed with filling, making for a satisfying snack before you hit the trail. Tezukuri sobako-oyaki, ¥200 each. Click for information on opening times and location of Koeido

Takao-san no Tengu-yaki (Kasumi, near Takaosan cable car station)

It'd be remiss to hop aboard the cable car without picking up one of these treats. Kasumi's Takao-san no Tengu-yaki cake is shaped like the mountain sprite from which it takes its name. It's crispy on the outside, while the black soybean filling is just the ticket when you need a good dose of sugar. Be warned, though: at busy times, you may have to line up for over 30 minutes to get your hands on one (though they keep excess batter bits in a basket near the till, just to tide you over). These little beauties also taste great cold, so make sure you pick up a couple as souvenirs. Takao-san no Tengu-yaki, ¥120 each. Kasumi is located midway along trail number one, so you'll miss it if you take any of the other trails. Click for information on the opening times and location of Kasumi

Shojin man (Yakuo-in Temple, halfway up the mountain)

Between the lookout platform on trail number one and the top of the mountain, you'll find Yakuo-in, one of three head temples of the Chisan sect of Shingon Buddhism in the Kanto region. And, yes - they've got a specialty too: the shojin man steamed bun. Shojin ryori is a kind of vegetarian Buddhist cuisine, and these tasty bites are made using soy instead of meat. They are quite small - not quite enough for a whole meal, but perfect for when you're a little peckish. Shojin man, ¥200 each. Available from the stall next to the Goma Fire Ritual applications office

Kinoko-jiru (Yamabiko Cha-ya, Takao summit)

If you got all hot and sweaty on the way to the summit, you can replenish some of that body salt at Yamabiko Cha-ya. The speciality here is kinoko-jiru, a mushroom soup made with sansai (edible wild plants). At ¥350 a bowl, it may seem a little pricey, but considering the location and the liberal amount of mushrooms and sansai that go into each bowl, you could do a lot worse. Kinoko-jiru, ¥350. Click for opening times and location of Yamabiko Cha-ya

Tororo soba (Okutakao Hosodaya, Momiji Dai)

Tororo soba (soba noodles served with grated yam) is probably Mount Takao’s best loved dish, and you can get it at pretty much any restaurant on the mountain. While each eatery claims to lend its own distinctive spin on the dish, you'd have to be a hardcore tororo nut to spot the subtle differences yourself. We’ve chosen Hosodaya, for a killer soba-scenery combo. Momiji Dai is about ten minutes' walk from the peak of Mount Takao, towards Mount Jimba. Even on days when Takao itself is thronged with crowds, it’s comparatively empty, yet the view of the surrounding mountains and Mount Fuji is stunning. Okutakao Hosodaya's viscous tororo is smooth and easy to eat and the soba has a delicious, firm texture - top quality for a mountaintop meal. If the visibility's good, you can enjoy your meal amidst the quiet mountain landscape while looking out all the way to Mount Fuji. Can't say fairer than that. Tororo soba, ¥900 per serving. Click for the opening times and location of Okutakao Hosodaya

より大きな地図で 高尾山で味わう名物 5選 を表示

テキスト / 撮影 Yohei Tsuburaya
Translated by Virginia Okno
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


Add your comment

Copyright © 2014 Time Out Tokyo