After the South Takao Ridge, we now have its counterpart on the north side. The photographs in here come from two separate December hikes, catching the back end of 2012's autumn.
Again, you can find instructions and details here if you'd like to attempt this one yourself. This is among the best so far for splendid views, as north Takao is packed with deciduous woodland with fewer of the south's evergreen plantations, and frequent openings provide panoramas in both directions. To the north, Tokyo's sprawl subsides into spreading Oku-Tama mountainscapes, while the south offers the main ridge's colourful slopes and some impressive views of Mt. Fuji.
Be warned. This is a serious trek, and a jump up in challenge from the south or main ridge. Though you will not go higher than 731m, almost the entire route consists in steep climbs or descents, alternating unrelenting. The ridge is far less travelled than Takao itself, and there are few escape routes should you run into trouble once on it. Treat this walk with respect: go at a decent level of fitness, and bring a map and a compass as well as sufficient food and water. There are no toilets, so be sure to bear a toilet roll. And especially in winter, start walking as early as possible, to make sure you make it down before darkness sets in around 4:30-5pm; a flashlight is recommended just in case.
The paths are in good condition, not too rocky and often soft. Signposting is good, despite a few spots of confusion.
North Takao Ridge
Length: Approx. 14km. However, it will feel like a lot longer.
Hiking Time: Allow at least 7-8 hours.
Height: After the first hour-and-a-half's ascent to 556m (starting at 211m), the main section is an arduous 6km up and down a long series of peaks. Eventually the ridge merges into the Takao-Jinba ridge at Mt. Dōdokoro (堂所山), the walk's highest point at 731m. From there a sustained descent returns you to the road at 237m, with a final half-hour of flat pavement to Sagami Lake.
1) Go to Takao Station (高尾) on the Chuo or Keio Line, and go out of the North Exit.
2) From the bus terminal there, many buses go to the Hachioji Cemetery entrance (Hachioji reien-mae, 八王子霊園前) where the walk starts, including buses 1, 2 and 11. It only takes about 6 minutes to get there.
3) The walk ends at Sagami Lake and Sagamiko Station (相模湖駅), one stop past Takao Station on the Chuo Line.