Mt. Takao is one of the most popular hiking mountains in Japan. It's a beautiful, easy hike that attracts visitors of all ages and capabilities. In addition to its natural beauty, it is home to the amazing Yakuo-in Shrine, Mt. Fuji can be seen from its observation deck, and perhaps best of all, it has its very own beer garden on it.
The Beer Mount is an all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink treat atop Mt. Takao. For 90 minutes, guests can stuff themselves full of a fantastic selection of food and drinks. The variety and quality offered is very, very good. In terms of food, they have a wide selection of Japanese and international foods, featuring everything from sushi and tempura to pizza, Chinese map doufu, a salad bar, chicken, fish, Korean food, and on and on. The "on and on" is particularly emphasized here, because even after making the Beer Mount an annual traditional, the wide selection continues to surprise and impress me on every visit. There's dessert, too. For drinks, there is a decent selection of beer, wine and cocktails, as well as a make-it-yourself highball setup. There are soft drinks as well.
Best of all, the Beer Mount provides some wonderful views of Tokyo and Yokohama. On a clear day, you can make out particular buildings in those cities, including the Tokyo SkyTree. While the day views are nice, if you happen to be dining when the lights come on at night, you'll be in for a special treat. Or, if you prefer, grab a seat on the opposite end of the beer garden and catch the sun set over the mountains for a gorgeous sight.
Entrance to the Beer Mount costs 3,500 yen for men and 3,300 yen for women, and provides unlimited food, drinks and scenery for 90 minutes. Add an additional 30 minutes for an extra 500 yen. There are also price discounts for children and students. It is only open during the summer, from late June until early October. It tends to be quite crowded towards the end of the season, and there can be long waits to enter on weekends and holidays. During the off-season, the area is open for free to the public as an observatory. There are both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
The Beer Mount is located next to the top station of the cable car that runs up Mt. Takao, so visitors can enjoy it without breaking a sweat. (It's also a handy way down for those who take the "all-you-can-drink" offer literally.) It's also a 5-minute walk from the top of the chair lift.
For hikers looking for a way to quickly gain back the calories they burned off, the beer garden is located on Trail #1 (see map), and is just a ten-minute walk from Yakuo-in Shrine. For those preferring alternate routes (since Trail #1 isn't the prettiest), take the course of your choice to the summit, and then follow Trail #1 back down. It's about a 25 minute walk from the peak.
Mt. Takao can be accessed from Takaosanguchi Station, on the Keio Takao Line.