Around Hachioji Station
JR Hachioji Station and Keio Hachioji Station are surrounded by buildings that house lots of shops that cater to young people. Walk down Nishi-Hoshasen You Road and you will find Nakamachi/Kurobei district, a remnant of the hanamachi (geisha district) of the old-time Hachioji, which once boasted of its textile industry. Some old buildings of geisha houses still remain along Koshu Kaido Highway. You can purchase ties and scarves made of Hachioji fabric at Beneck, a shop directly managed by Hachioji Textile Industrial Association. You can also find several historic Japanese sweets shops in the area. The Hachioji Station area is spotted with historical sites such as Koyasu Shrine and Ichimori Otori Shrine where Tori no Ichi (Rooster day fair) is held in November every year.
Hachioji ramen comes with a rich, soy sauce based soup with chopped onions for topping. A recent underground boom among local people is pan-katsu, deep-fried battered bread. A new place of interest recently opened at the South Exit of JR Hachioji Station is Tsumami to Okazu no Meitengai Hachioji Roman Chika (the underground food court for nibbles and dishes). This food court with a nostalgic atmosphere is designed using the “streetscape” representation of the 1960s. One of the Hachioji’s specialty sweets, Miyako Manju, is a small, flat bun stuffed with navy bean paste.
In front of Hachioji Station, there are lots of anime-related shops such as Animate. Ryoho-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple attracting otaku (geek) people as a “moe-temple,” or enthralling temple. You can find moe signboards and moe statues. Moe goods also can be purchased.
Tokyo Kokeshi is a pretty doll known for its large head and small face. It is carved out of one piece of wood using a special technique. You can experience painting a doll (by appointment 0426-22-2978, Japanese only).
Mount Takao has been awarded three stars by the Michelin Green Guide along with Mount Fuji. It takes only about one hour by train from Shinjuku Station to get to this magnificent natural area. Mount Takao has been worshipped as sacred mountain since ancient times. Takaosan Beer Mount, a popular beer garden with a “ten million dollar night view,” is open from July to end-September. The Takao area has been famous for its soba noodles since a long time ago, and you have a large choice of soba restaurants at the foot of Mount Takao. Takao Trick Art Museum is near Takao-sanguchi Station. Takao Komagino Garden features picturesque Japanese gardens. Plum trees in Takao Baigo and cherry trees in Tama Forest Science Garden beautifully bloom in spring. Takao has historical attractions such as Musashiryo Imperial Cemetery, which is solemnly surrounded by woods, and the site of the former Hachioji Castle, which was built in the 16th century.
Takaosan-nanushi Gonsuke is a restaurant where you can enjoy Japanese cuisine in a traditional atmosphere around the irori, or sunken hearth. Ukai is one of the most sought-out restaurant chains in Tokyo, and its Hachioji restaurants Ukai Toriyama, Ukai Chikutei, Tofu-ya Ukai Owada shop, and Hachioji Ukai-tei offer you a fine Japanese dining experience including teppan-yaki.
Site of Hachioji Castle (about 3 hours)
A 4-minute ride from Takao Station, get off at Reien-mae bus stop, and start walking. Look around Goshuden-ato (site of the castle residence), the stone walls, Hachioji Shrine, the site of Hon-maru (main tower), and then stroll back to the bus stop.
Along the Minami-asakawa River (about 3 hours)
Start from JR Nishi-Hachioji Station. Take the path alongside the Minami-asakawa River, go through Tama Forest Science Garden and Musashiryo Imperial Cemetery. Cherry trees along the river are at their best in April. Koinobori, or frying carp streamers, are seen around Ryoto Bridge every May.
Jimba Kaido Road (about 3 hours)
A 16-minute ride from Takao Station, get off at Okubo bus stop, and walk along Jimba Kaido Road, which is a back street of the main Koshu Kaido Highway. Peaceful country-side scenery stretches out in front of you. Take a look at the weeping cherry trees in Jofuku-ji Temple. Drop in at Kokei-ji Temple, Yuyake Koyake Fureai no Sato, which is a facility where you can enjoy agricultural experiences and other activities, Miyao Shrine, and reach Sekiba bus stop.
Tokyo Station → Hachioji Station: about 50 minutes by JR Chuo line, or Shinjuku Station → Hachioji Station: about 40 minutes by JR Chuo line or Keio Line