“A steep climb with a rewarding view followed by a long descent to a lake.
— Dylan Pradas
Lake · Views · Wildlife
This route rewards the runner with burning calves after a steep forested ascent and a magnificent view of Mt. Fuji and the nearby mountain range.
We did see a few trail runners approaching from the south which is less steep.
Access to trailhead: From Okutama Station, take the Nishi Tokyo bus bound for the Nippara Shonyudo 日原鍾乳洞 (25 mins, 450 yen). Get off at the Naka Nippara 中日原 bus stop. There is a restroom and a large map of the area at the stop. The actual trailhead is up the road a hundred yards or so to the left.
You first descend into a ravine, crossing a bridge and then make your way up Inamuraiwa Rock 稲村岩. This is then followed by a long ascent along the Inamuraiwa Ridge 稲村岩尾根. After about 2.5-3 hours from the trailhead you'll reach the summit of Mt. Takanosu 鷹ノ巣山 (1,736 m).
Stop and enjoy the view! If you are doing this on a nice weekend, you'll probably not be alone, but the climb is difficult enough that you'll be one of only two dozen or so, which is basically as close to alone as you might get in Japan!
From here, you have a few options to return to Okutama Station. The longer route takes you east directly towards Mutsuishiyama, dropping you off directly in Okutama. Alternatively, the route south, highlighted in this trail map, takes you to the Kuratoguchi 倉戸口バス停 bus stop. You then have to take a bus back to Okutama. This bus runs about every hour. Googlemaps or navitime appear to have accurate bus schedules listed.