Translated by Hilary Keyes
Enjoy Japan's Four Seasons In The City - Tokyo's Todoroki Valley
Take a break from the bustle of the city while only 20 minutes from Shibuya! Todoroki Ravine Park is a natural valley of green amid the concrete jungle of Tokyo's 23 wards.
Written by Kenta Kiyomiya
Todoroki Ravine Park is a natural valley found within Tokyo. An oasis of green amid the concrete jungle, it is a popular spot for those looking to get away from it all, go for a walk and relieve their stress.
Nature Only 20 Minutes from Shibuya
To reach Todoroki Ravine Park, you will first need to take the Tokyu Toyoko line train from Shibuya Station. Then, after about a -5 minute ride, get off at Jiyugaoka Station and switch to the Tokyu Oimachi line, which will take you to Todoroki Station. A 5-10 minute walk from the station, you should be able to see the signboard for the Todoroki Ravine Park entrance right away. Once you pass under the signboard and walk down the stairs, you will find yourself at the start of your nature walk.
The Completely Red Golf Bridge
Just after entering the park, you will see the brilliant red bridge, called the Golf Bridge, right before your eyes. At the time, this bridge lead to a golf course, and the name just stuck. The striking contrast of the red bridge against the green surroundings is very impressive.
Scenery You Wouldn't Imagine in Tokyo
When you find yourself almost swallowed up by the greenery around you, it's incredible to think that you are a mere 20 minutes away from the crowds of Shibuya. Even on the hottest days of summer the sounds of the brook and gentle breezes in the valley make it easy to cool off naturally.
Along the main route through the valley you will find a path leading down to the stream itself where you can touch the water. The source of this brook is a natural spring; in the waters you might see crabs, pond skaters and other aquatic life, while ducks and other birds rest their wings along the banks and in the water. It's a wonderful spot to see Japanese wildlife. Swallowed up by the greenery around you will make you appreciate even more the subtle beauty of sunlight as it gently streams through the leaves overhead. This is a brilliant place to take a walk.
Italian Restaurant Otto
Continue along through Todoroki Ravine Park and you will come across another sign, this one reading 'Otto'. If you walk up the stairs next to this sign, you will reach an Italian restaurant overlooking the park. Enjoying a delicious meal while surrounded by nature sounds like a fabulous way to spend the afternoon. If you start on your walk in the morning you should stop here for lunch - you won't regret it.
Sweet Shop 'Setsugekka' (Snow, Moon and Flowers)
At about the halfway point through Todoroki Ravine Park you will find the sweet shop Setsugekka, (or Snow, Moon and Flowers). Their most popular treat is kuzu mochi, a sweet springy rice cake that almost has the texture of a gummy.
Enjoy the Faces of the Four Seasons
When visiting in the summer you will be surrounded by green and in the autumn the brilliant varied colours of the leaves here are simply stunning. The faces of all four seasons are elegantly expressed here in Todoroki Ravine Park, no matter what season you visit in.
After Your Walk, Visit Todoroki Fudoson
From Golf Bridge onward it takes roughly 20 minutes to reach Todoroki Fudoson shrine. Here you will find Shikinohana, a rest spot where you can take a break and enjoy the lovely scenery around you. This area is best known for its delicious coffee and soft serve ice cream. And after walking through the valley, it would be a great idea to pay a visit to Todoroki Fudoson, where you can experience part of Japan's traditional culture.
If You Visit in Fall, See the Gingko Trees
Within the premises of Todoroki Fudoson are some incredible gingko trees, and if you visit in the autumn, you can experience walking over a carpet of golden fallen leaves. Along the route from Todoroki Ravine Park all the way through to Todoroki Fudoson, you can enjoy the sights and sensations of summer and the fall to the fullest. Todoroki Ravine Park is a natural green oasis far from the rush of Shibuya Station; a unique haven that many would not expect to find in Tokyo. If you would like to see an unusual facet of this metropolis, by all means please make your way to Todoroki Ravine Park.
Todoroki Ravine Valley
Address: Tokyo, Setagaya, Todoroki 3-15-1 (Todoroki Fudoson) N
earest Station: Todoroki Station (等々力), Oimachi Line
Access: Take the Toyoko line from Shibuya to Jiyugaoka Station then the Oimachi line to Todoroki Station, it's a 5-10 minute walk from Todoroki Station
Phone Number: 03-3705-1622
Website: Todoroki Fudoson (Japanese)