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Revision as of 02:54, 2 June 2009
Okutama (奥多摩) is a mountainous region located along the Tama River, at the extreme western end of Tokyo.
Okutama station is located at the end of the JR Ome Line. Although a few direct trains run from Tokyo and Shinjuku, the usual way to get there is to take a Chuo Line rapid service to Ome or Tachikawa, then change trains for Okutama at either Ome or Tachikawa. The trip from central Tokyo takes around 2 hours and costs about ¥1,200 one way.
Several buses ply the main routes in Okutama, and taxis and rental cars are also available around Okutama Station.
The town itself and several mountain hiking areas are within walking distance of the station.
The areas around Okutama and Mitake stations receive the most visitors, but the smaller stations in between are also good for hiking in the hills or enjoying riverside scenery and camping.
- Lake Okutama, (奥多摩湖)located behind a large dam on the Tama River, is the largest lake in Tokyo; the western end of the lake extends into Yamanashi. Regular buses are available from Okutama Station (20 min). There's also a mostly gentle 9-km hiking trail called the "Mukashi-michi" (昔道) that can get you there in about 4 hours.
- Hiking trails lead to the top of Mount Ozen (1,405 m) and Mount Otake (1,267 m), two of the tallest mountains in Tokyo.
- The Nippara Caves (日原鍾乳洞), full of stalagmites and stalactites, can be reached by bus.
- Mount Mitake (御岳山) (929 m) is famous for the mountaintop Mitake Shrine. If you don't want to hike up the mountain, a ropeway and bus service cover most of the distance between the shrine and Mitake Station on the Ome Line. On a clear day you can see all of Tokyo as well as Nikko's peaks to the northeast. From the mountaintop there are trails, some quite strenuous, that can make for a good half-day of hiking.
- Okutama is home to several onsen (hot springs). Among them, Moegi-no-yu , 10 minutes walk from Okutama Station, is open to the public and features views of the Tama River valley. Admission is ¥750 for adults. Closed Mondays.
Okutama is home to many campgrounds, quite a few of which will allow you to pitch a tent for free.
There are a number of minshuku in the area, charging around ¥6,000 per night.
- Ryokan Goshuen (旅館 五洲園), Mitake Honcho 266 (3 min upstream from Mitake station), ☎ +81-428-78-8375. Small traditional inn with clean well-furnished rooms, pleasant location overlooking the river, and a spectacular dinner. ¥8,000 per person for groups of two or more.
- Suiko-en  near Kawai Station is the most expensive ryokan in the area, with rooms starting from ¥18,000.