From where I live it is a 2-hour trip so I got up early and headed to Takao leaving my apartment around 8:30am. I arrived with my friend to Takaosan-guchi at around 10:30. This station made it very apparent to us that the area sees many tourists. It was very fancy and surrounded by tourist-trap buildings.
We made our way past the tourist traps and the cable car station to the entrance of trail #6. One thing I think is really cool about Takao-san is how many trails it has. From cable car and chair lift, to the paved path of trail one, and more importantly the actually hiking trails 3, 4, and 6. The mountain also has two loop trails that go around the mountain and the summit of Takao is the starting point of a 5 hour hike to Mt. Jimba. (Unfortunately due to time, we could not take that one).
So my first review of the mountain is of trail #6. Each trail has an "interesting point" to is and 6's point is the Biwa Waterfall. But be careful, because I'm still not 100% sure what the waterfall is even though I think I have figured it out. Along the trail there are streams, shrines, small waterfalls, and of course a lot of green. It was absolutely wonderful and entirely unpaved.
Trail 4 crosses with Trail 1 for the entrance of Yakuoin temple, so of course we went to see it. When climbing Nokogiri-yama a few weekends ago, I learned about these awesome little books that you can take to all the temples and shrines you visit, pay 300 yen, and get the (probably monks) to sign your book. At Yakuoin, you get to actually watch them do this. So naturally, now I want to study calligraphy and work in a temple doing this. Foreigners can do that right?????
Then, we took trail 1 down to the station and I'm so glad we didn't take it up. It was paved THE ENTIRE WAY. Naturally, we ran down most of it (partly because it was less painful on the knees, mostly because who doesn't enjoy running down mountains when they can?).
I'm glad I didn't wait any longer than that though!! Not only was the atmosphere possibly the best sports atmosphere I've ever experienced, I also found out that my favorite player from the Japan National team in the Asia Cup is one of Tokyo FC's top players and FC won the game! It was great because the game was close for the entirety of the match and the players were really cool! I want to go to another game, but there aren't many left before I leave, oh no!!