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Tokyo’s Secret Wilderness: Exploring Todoroki Valley

Shockingly, the valley is only a 20 minute train ride from Shibuya station, the epicentre of Tokyo’s hustle and bustle. What’s not to love?

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Todoroki Valley is one of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets. Had your fill of busy streets and perfectly manicured gardens? Craving something mercifully secluded, unsparingly green and unapologetically wild?

These Tokyo parklands are here for you. Defying generations of dutiful landscapers, Todoroki is a 1.2 kilometer stretch of Tokyo’s original forests, bisected by the peaceful Yazawa River. Ghibli-esque paths, bridges, and stepping stones bring its explorers past curious wildlife, benched resting nooks, and even a 7th century tomb before leading up to a lively teahouse, popular shrine and well-maintained family park.

Setting Your Course

Shockingly, the valley is only a 20 minute train ride from Shibuya station, the epicentre of Tokyo’s hustle and bustle. It’s also in the same ward (Setagaya) as Shimokitazawa, a popular, hipster-y neighbourhood stocked to the brim with second-hand clothing stores.

Head south from Todoroki Station and you’ll pass by some convenience stores and, before long, a Seijo Ishii supermarket just before the valley’s entrance pathway. Take heed traveller! This is your opportunity to pick up one of my favourite things about hiking: a picnic lunch.

The supermarket offers delicious, wonderfully cheap Japanese bento, onigiri and sandwiches. Or, just saying, you could always try this writer’s personal addiction, convenience store egg salad sandwiches. Don’t let the setting fool you—they’re a taste of (easily portable) pure heaven for less than $4.

(You can read the rest of the article at this link. This article was first published by Team JJ on January 7, 2021. Check here for deeper and unique insights into visiting Japan, including wellness, travel, cuisine and more. Find us on Instagram and on Facebook.)

Tokyo based Japan Journeys delivers the inside scoop on travel destinations, tips and experiences. Visit their website to discover more about Japanese culture, great travel itineraries and the very best things to do in Japan.