It‘s the beginning of our second year living in Yokohama, near Tokyo, and there are still so many places in Tokyo on our bucket list. One of them came highly recommended for hot summer days by Tokyo tourist website „Tokyo-go“: Todoroki Valley.
The valley is easy to reach as it’s just a few stops away from Jiyugaoka and short walk from Todoroki station. The path along the valley is shaded and follows a small river and consequently the temperature was 3 degrees cooler than the nearby street (there was a thermometre telling us!). It’s amazing what trees can do!
We started off walking along the river, turned right to see the Japanese garden inside the valley and just before the end of the path, stopped at the impressive temple. Pro tip: there is an amazing traditional Japanese tea place near the temple overlooking the lush greenery, but they stop serving at 15:30!
On the walk back to Jiyūgaoka, we spotted a temple complex on Google maps and thought we would investigate. Having no expectations, we were delighted to find a huge 17th century castle and temple complex full of majestic Buddhist buildings and gates. Listening to the Buddhist chant from a ceremony taking place in one of the shrines mixed in with the sound of cicadas in the setting sun was a perfect way to conclude our walk.
If you’re looking for nature in Tokyo, especially in the August summer heat, we’d highly recommend these two places for a day trip. We’ll certainly be back ourselves in autumn to check out the autumn colours.
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