This is a hike from my mountains of Chiba guidebook. Although it can be done as a day trip, by walking one hour from Chikura station on the Uchibo line, I decided to drive from Tokyo and spend the night at Nojima cape, the southernmost point of the Boso peninsula; from there, it was a short drive to a parking near the trail entrance. I had done many hikes on the Boso peninsula, but it would be my first to hike in Minami-Boso.
View of the Pacific from the summit
Walking to the trailhead through the fields
I had been wanting to climb this low peak for several years, but had to be patient since the hiking trail was closed for a while after the powerful typhoons of 2019; online reports showed that the path was now more or less back to normal. After heading straight up the mountain, I go down following the ridgeline, and then walk back through the countryside. The weather was supposed to be sunny and so I was looking forward to new views in a new area.
View of the forested ridge through a break in the trees
Late autumn leaves on the summit
I drove along the Pacific coast under the late morning sun to the nearby Nanbo Chikura Bridge Park Parking (南房千倉大橋公園), from where it was a 20 minute walk to the trailhead next to a temple. At 1230, I started up a series of steps, following the winding path through the evergreen forest of Japanese stone oaks (マテバシイ matebashii). Very soon the trail became level and the forested summit ridge appeared through a break in the trees.
Fantastically shaped trees along the summit ridge
Summit shrine (left) / Valley bottom lake (right)
A little further, I passed under a stone Shinto gate at the top of a flight of steps, looking like the entrance to some long-lost ruin. I then made my way up a steep, muddy path, being careful not to slip, and at 1pm, emerged onto the flat summit of Mt Takatsuka (高塚山 たかつかやま takatsukayama), a kanto 100 famous mountain; the summit marker, wrecked by the typhoon, and had yet to be replaced and was nowhere to be seen.
Shinto gate at the mountain base (different from the one on the mountain itself)
Temple at the base of Mt Takatsuka
I was surprised to see a towering oak above a tiny shrine, its yellow trees still clinging on at the very end of autumn. On one side was a bench in the sun, with a view of the Pacific ocean, the perfect spot for lunch on a cool day. Before heading down, I explored a path behind the shrine building leading to a view point from where I could make out the faint outline of Mt Fuji. Once back down at the stone gate, I took a small path on the left side.
Mt Takatsuka in the late afternoon sun
Heading back through the fields
I marveled at the fantastic shapes of the tall trees as I followed the ridgeline northeast, here and there broken branches sill on the ground. The path descended gradually into a quiet, forested valley and ended at a peaceful lake, next to a paved road. After enjoying this magical spot, I walked down the road to the base of the mountain. From there, I followed a footpath through fields, golden in the late afternoon sun, past the starting point of the hike, and arrived back at my car just after 3pm.
See the views of the Mt Takatsuka hike
Slideshow of more photos from the Mt Takatsuka hike