Travel: Quick getaway from Tokyo

Travel: Quick getaway from Tokyo

From Takaosanguchi station, Mount Takao can be accessed via cable car and chair lift. The serenity and peaceful atmosphere make it a nice place to spend an entire day. Along the way to the Yakuoin temple on the hilltop, there are a number of gigantic mountain pine trees.
From Takaosanguchi station, Mount Takao can be accessed via cable car and chair lift. The serenity and peaceful atmosphere make it a nice place to spend an entire day. Along the way to the Yakuoin temple on the hilltop, there are a number of gigantic mountain pine trees.

It is a simple day-trip, taking a train to hike a mountain, visiting a peaceful temple and enjoying grilled chicken in a garden – quite different from the typical trip to Tokyo.

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This is the opening of a longer travel story in our Lifestyle section today. You can read the full story here:

Far from the madding crowd

Peerawat Jariyasombat

It is raining in Shinjuku, one of the busiest districts in Tokyo, Japan. To avoid the strong wind, my guide Yuji "Dave" Otsuka decides to lead me into an underground walkway.

"Keep close to me, we are about to walk through a number of pedestrians that flood out of the railway stations," Dave explains.

I try to walk fast while looking around at the crowd. The underground walkway is like a small town beneath the city. It is busy and confusing. On both sides, there are hundreds of shops, entrances to shopping malls, restaurants, businesses, kiosks and a tourist information centre. Intersections lead to bus terminals and subway stations on different lines. Every single minute, hundreds of people walk through.

"Even Tokyo residents find it quite complicated. I cannot find any locality map or it would be easier," says Dave.

Yakuoin Temple houses the Izuna Gongen god from Mahayana Buddhism. The statue is kept inside the pavilion, behind a door, but worshippers can come in contact with the god by holding ropes leading to the statue inside.

After getting to the right station, we get on a crowded outbound train on the Keio Line, a heavily-used commuter service, with more than a million passengers a day. Some 30 minutes later, passengers gradually get off the crowded car. There are empty seats now and the atmosphere is more relaxing. I look around and find myself in the countryside. This is peaceful Tokyo, a place tourists may overlook.

From Takaosanguchi Station at the end of the line, we switch to a mountain train, which slowly makes its way through a forest to the mountaintop.

Ukai Toriyama Restaurant is very impressive. It can fascinate diners with a stunning Japanese garden set on both sides of a crystal clear stream. Every detail is delicately decorated in traditional Japanese style. Grilled chicken becomes a very special dish when served here.

Mount Takao or Takaosan is 599m-high and is surrounded by an old forest and a view of cities in the distance. When the weather allows, Mount Fuji can be seen, too. This is an escape for many Tokyo residents who love hiking. This trip comes with a meal package offered by the Keio line and adds to the off-the-beaten track experience for foreign visitors.

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  • atmosphere: the mood or feeling that exists in a place - บรรยากาศ
  • avoid: to stay away from a place; to try to prevent something from happening - หลีกเลี่ยง
  • commuter (adj): involving people who regularly travel between work and home - เกี่ยวกับคนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
  • complicated: difficult to deal with, do or understand - ซับซ้อน
  • confusing: difficult to understand; not clear - น่าสับสน
  • crowded: packed; full of people or things - แน่น
  • crystal clear: completely transparent (you can see through it) and very bright - แจ่มชัด, แจ๋วแหวว
  • decorate: to make something look more attractive by putting nice things on it or in it - ประดับ, ตกแต่ง
  • delicately: dealing with something carefully so it is not damaged -
  • diner (noun): someone who is eating a meal, especially at a restaurant - คนที่มารับประทานอาหารในร้านอาหาร
  • dish: food prepared and cooked in a particular way - อาหาร
  • district (noun): an area of a country, town or province, especially one that has particular features - เขต, อำเภอ, บริเวณ, แขวง
  • entrance: a door, gate, passage, etc. used for entering a room, building or place - ทางเข้า
  • fascinate: to interest someone a lot - ทำให้ลุ่มหลง
  • flood: to go in large numbers - เข้ามาอย่างท่วมท้น
  • gradually: slowly and in small stages or amounts - อย่างทีละน้อย
  • grilled: cooked by direct heat, especially under a very hot surface - ย่าง
  • guide (noun): a tourist guide, a person who brings tourists to interesting places to see on a tour - ผู้นำเที่ยว
  • hiking: going for a long walk in the countryside - เดินป่า
  • house: to be the place where something is kept, or where an activity is carried out - บรรจุ
  • impressive: something that people admire because it is very good, very large or shows great skill - ซึ่งน่าประทับใจ
  • intersection: a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก
  • kiosk (noun): a small shop/store, open at the front, where newspapers, drinks, etc. are sold. In some countries kiosks also sell food and things used in the home. - แผงขายหนังสือพิมพ์,ตู้โทรศัพท์,ปะรำ,ศาลาพักร้อน,เวทีดนตรี
  • locality: a particular area or district - สถานที่, ถิ่นที่อยู่
  • madding (adj): behaving in a crazy way; making you feel angry or crazy (Far from the madding crowd: in a quiet and private place) - บ้า,คลั่ง,วิกลจริต
  • off the beaten track (idiom): far away from other people, houses, etc. - อยู่ในเส้นทางที่ไม่คุ้นเคย
  • outbound (adj): travelling towards a particular point, particularly away from a city, country, etc. - ขาออก (opposite of inbound ขาเข้า)
  • overlook (verb): to fail to notice or consider something - มองพลาด, มองไม่เห็น, เพิกเฉย
  • passengers (noun): people who travel in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร
  • pavilion: a building with open sides at a temple used for sermons or a resting place for the public - ศาลา
  • pedestrians: people who are walking, especially in an area where vehicles go - คนเดินถนน, คนเดินเท้า
  • residents: people who live in a particular area - ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
  • rope (noun): very strong thick string made by twisting thinner strings, wires, etc. together - เชือก
  • statue: a human or animal image that is made of stone, wood, metal, etc. - รูปปั้น
  • stream: a small narrow river - ลำธาร
  • stunning: extremely beautiful or attractive - น่าทึ่ง
  • surrounded: having something,people, etc. completely around all sides - ถูกล้อมรอบ
  • switch: to change - เปลี่ยน
  • terminal: a large building where passengers arrive and leave - อาคารผู้โดยสาร
  • traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา
  • worshipper: someone who is showing love and respect for God, especially during a religious ceremony or prayer - ผู้นับถือ,ผู้สักการะบูชา, ผู้สวดมนตร์
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