Mt Takao area to be developed for tourism

An artist’s rendering of Keio Corp.’s Takaosanguchi Station after its planned renovation.

Keio Corp. will develop locations around Takaosanguchi Station on the Keio Line, which serves as a gateway to Mt. Takao in Hachioji, Tokyo, through the construction of spa facilities and other efforts, the railway company has said.

Aiming to boost the number of visitors, the company is trying to make the area into a more attractive destination for sightseeing. The company plans to open a hot spring day facility in spring 2015, remodel the station building and develop a public square in front of the station.

The bathing facility for visitors on day trips has been under construction on a 3,832-square-meter plot of land next to the station. The company initially aimed to open the facility this summer, but decided to postpone to spring 2015 due to a delay in verifying the flow of hot springs.

The spa facility will use 26.2 C water flowing out of a hot spring source, but the water will be heated to make the temperature comfortable for bathing. The water has been identified as a simple alkaline hot spring, according to the company.

The steel-framed building will have two stories and a total floor space of 1,787 square meters. The bathing facility will also contain an eatery and spa services.

A new design for the station was conceived by 59-year-old architect Kengo Kuma. "The station will have an atmosphere that is suitable for a sightseeing spot and evokes the nature around Mt. Takao," an official of the railway company said.

The Hachioji municipal government will operate a tourist information centre inside the station that will offer information in foreign languages for visitors from abroad. The company and the Hachioji government plan to develop a square for walkers in front of the ticket gate.

In 2007, Michelin Travel Guide Japan gave Mt. Takao its maximum rating of three stars. The company said it has been focusing on the spot as an important tourist site on the Keio Line as a result.