All About Japan

4 Rock-Climbing Paradises Right in Tokyo

| Mountains , Extreme Sports

The large, sprawling city of Tokyo isn’t known for nature. But if you visit the western part of the prefecture, you'll run into Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, an excellent getaway for both the avid hiker and the extreme mountain climber!

4. Tsuzura-iwa & Tengu-iwa

Occupying the westernmost corner of Tokyo Prefecture, Okutama (奥多摩) presents a number of cliffs for climbers. Located in the village of Hinohara (檜原村・Hinohara-mura), Tsuzura-iwa (つづら岩) is one of the trickier rocks to access: it will take you roughly one-and-a-half hours on foot from the Senzoku (千足) bus stop, which is itself about 30 minutes from Musashi-Itsukaichi Station (武蔵五日市駅・Musashi-Itsukaichi-eki) on the Itsukaichi Line—and there are just eight buses a day! The rock welcomes beginners but also has a 30-meter (98-ft) challenge route—the Yamazaki Hang Route (山崎ハングルート)—which is recommended only for skilled climbers.

While you're in the area, you can also free-climb Tengu-iwa (天狗岩), the rock face alongside Tengu Falls (天狗滝・Tengu no Taki), which can be found about halfway along the route to Tsuzura-iwa.

3. Koshizawa Buttress

3. Koshizawa Buttress

The Koshizawa Buttress (越沢バットレス) is a huge, rocky cliff standing 80 meters (252 ft) high and 70 meters (230 ft) wide. It’s located in the Nishitama District of Okutama, and can be reached in about 40 minutes on foot from JR Hatonosu Station (鳩ノ巣駅・Hatonosu-eki) on the Ome Line. There have been cases of ropes being cut by the sharp rocks on the cliff face, so it's best to come well prepared before attacking this one!

- www.climbing-net.com (Japanese)

2. Mitake Boulders

2. Mitake Boulders

The best-known climbing site in Tokyo may be the Mitake Boulders (御岳ボルダー). This site can be found along the Tama River (多摩川・Tama-gawa), where huge and unusual rocks are strewn across the riverbed. Visitors have found more than 250 courses on the rocks, and many climbers flock to the area to experience each and every one. The Mitake Boulders are located in Ome City (青梅市・Ome-shi)), and are easily accessible from Mitake Station (御嶽駅・Mitake-eki) on the JR Ome Line.

1. Tenno-iwa

The last major climbing site on our list is Tenno-iwa (天王岩) in Akiruno City (あきる野市・Akiruno-shi). Literally "Emperor Rock," this particular site is notable because several great climbers have blazed 46 trails on this giant rock. The site is also easily accessible, allowing the climb to easily be enjoyed by both beginners and intermediate climbers alike. However, be aware that there is no official parking found onsite (there's a nearby fishing hole, but they got fed up with climbers using up all their parking), so it's best to visit using public transport. The nearest bus stop is Sorigo-bashi (曽利郷橋), which is about 10 minutes from Musashi-itsukaichi Station on the JR Itsukaichi Line.

As you can see, there's plenty of real rock climbing to be found right in Tokyo. All you have to do is go west!