7 Beautiful Scenic Spots and Nature Escapes in Tokyo

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7 Beautiful Scenic Spots and Nature Escapes in Tokyo

Despite Tokyo's reputation as one of the largest cities in the world, the city limits are filled with small stretches of greenery along with mountains and lakes surrounding the outskirts. For times when the glitzy malls and electric entertainment districts are getting a little too much, these crowd-less vast expanses of nature are a welcome sight.

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7 Beautiful Scenic Spots and Nature Escapes in Tokyo


beautiful view of Okutama valley in Tokyo

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Deep in the mountains to the west of Tokyo, Okutama is a large area full of picturesque places to explore such as mountain paths and forest treks. Head deeper into the valley to get to Okutama Lake, a sprawling reservoir with incredible scenery.

Despite its rural location, Okutama is quite easy to get to, only requiring a change in Ome from Shinjuku, along with several direct trains that run from Shinjuku straight to Okutama Station at the weekend. It's not quite as popular as Mount Takao and Mount Mitake, and with numerous different trails and areas to explore here, you can easily stray from civilization. If you want to spend a little longer exploring the area, there are a number of great camping spots available for public use in Okutama.

Todoroki Valley

todoroki valley in setagaya,tokyo

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A respite of greenery just a short journey from the center of Tokyo, Todoroki Valley is an explosion of nature you'd never expect that's still in the city. This almost jungle-like ravine follows the Yazawa River with waterfalls, bridges and overhanging trees to make you feel like you've been transported into the countryside for a short while. The trail only stretches for just over a kilometer however, but is well worth spending around an hour or so to appreciate the nature here.

Mount Takao

Beautiful Mountains View from Mount Takao

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One of the more well-known nature day trips in Tokyo, Mount Takao is the area's most famous mountain, favorited by locals residing in the capital. As one of the highest mountains surrounding the city area, it's one of the best places to get a view over Tokyo, providing the weather is clear enough. Takao is also well connected to the city, direct trains run from Shinjuku Station straight to the cable car platform, that takes you most of the way up the mountain.

If you're looking for more of a challenge, the hike to the top is still a fairly easy pleasurable climb that takes about two hours. If you're lucky, you can often see all the way to Mount Fuji from the summit of Takao. Its popularity means it can get a little busy on weekends and national holidays, so try to go during weekdays if you can.

Lake Sagami

Stunning view of Sagami Lake, Japan

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Although it's not actually in the boundaries of Tokyo, on border of Kanagawa Prefecture, this lake is easy to reach from Tokyo. The next stop after Takao Station, Lake Sagami tends to be much less crowded compared with Takao. The scenery isn't quite as dramatic as the beautiful views you'll get at Okutama Lake, however it's much easier to reach and perfect for those wanting a bit of peace and quiet from the busy city. It's also fairly easy to see the lake on the same day trip as visiting Mount Takao, especially if you leave a little earlier.

Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen Park, Tokyo, Japan

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Unlike most of Tokyo's inner city parks, Shinjuku Gyoen requires an entry fee, but for just 500 yen it's well worth it. The park is honestly one of the most beautiful in the city, carefully planned and cared for with French, English and Japanese landscaped gardens along with stunning spots for viewing the sakura or cherry blossoms in the spring. It's also one of the best places to head to for seeing Tokyo's brightly colored autumn leaves in the fall season.

Inokashira Park

Inokashira Benzaiten Temple

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For an easy day out to enjoy a breath of nature in one of the world's largest metropolitans, head to Inokashira Park. Right at the heart of Kichijoji, a short ride from Tokyo Station, the park is full of wildlife and greenery, with a large pond as the park's eye-catching centerpiece. For the full experience, rent one of the rowing boats avaliable to traverse across the lake's waters, particularly popular in the spring when the banks are covered in beautiful cherry blossom trees.

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park

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One of Tokyo's largest parks, Yoyogi is always a hive of activity. This huge area of greenery lies next to Harajuku Station, full of wide open spaces and walkways at an arm's length from popular tourist attractions. The south area of the park is often used for food festivals and various cultural events at the weekend. To the north side lies the impressive Meiji Jingu Shrine, surrounding by towering forest trees and torii gates.