Japan Journey: 24 Hours of Okutama
As the warmth and humidity soars in Tokyo, the considered touring can rapidly go from ultimate to an ordeal. The proposition of dragging baggage on Shinkansen or lengthy cross-country drives is sufficient to surrender on the entire concept, leaving a day at house beneath the air conditioner as the perfect plan of motion.
In true Tokyo model, nonetheless, there’s at all times an alternative choice. For these trying to get near nature and beat the warmth — with out the long-haul journey — there isn’t any place higher than picturesque Okutama.
Lower than two hours from Shinjuku by way of the JR Ome Line, a day journey will go away you with loads of time for fishing, canoeing or dipping your toes within the chilly mountain water of the Hatonosu Ravine.
Solid a Line
Okutama’s most important attraction, and the topic of most of its actions, is the water. From quiet blue streams to sprawling lakes, the pure waterscapes all through the area provide quite a lot of methods to get pleasure from them.
For anglers, the Nippara River, house to the Hikawa Worldwide Trout Fishing Spot, is the right place to forged a line — and should you’re fortunate, hook your self some lunch. Solely a 10-minute stroll from Okutama Station, the river is a superb spot to chill out and land a lunker.
Catering to each skilled anglers and freshmen alike, fishing and barbecue tools can also be accessible for rent. For individuals who are a little bit squeamish, you can even pay to have your catch cleaned, prepared for grilling.
Seize a Paddle
For those who choose to be on the water fairly than beside it, you’ll be able to lease quite a lot of small watercrafts which can can help you expertise the fantastic thing about Okutama at your individual tempo.
For a extra relaxed expertise, there isn’t any higher approach to soak up the area’s pure magnificence than from a canoe or stand-up paddleboard. Cruise alongside the Tama or Nippara rivers whereas surrounded by lush forests, or head out throughout Lake Okutama to the distant sound of birds amongst the bushes. The selection is yours and neither will disappoint.
However in fact, these with a necessity for velocity have not been forgotten. For thrill-seekers, the choice of rafting alongside the white-water rapids of the Tama River is there to get your adrenaline pumping. Once more, all expertise ranges are welcome, as guides will educate you the whole lot you must know, from paddling strategies to security procedures.
Hikes within the Hills
Whereas Okutama’s pristine waters steal a lot of the present right here, a particular point out should be made for the mountainous areas surrounding it. With dense forest above and verdant moss beneath, the mountaineering trails all through the area are gorgeous from each angle — the most well-liked being the paths of Mount Mitake.
Not removed from Mitake Station, the stroll to the summit will be accomplished totally on foot, or should you’re taking the extra laidback method, a cable automotive service can take you a lot of the approach.
On the journey up the mountain, you may go by way of a small village dotted with memento shops and conventional inns, whereas on the high, you may be met by the traditional Musashi-Mitake Shrine. Stated to be over 2,000 years previous, Musashi-Mitake Shrine is steeped in historical past as a sacred place of mountain worship. Whether or not you are a devotee or an off-the-cuff customer, the shrine grounds provide a picturesque relaxation cease with panoramic views of the encompassing peaks and valleys.
If mountaineering up a mountain is not sufficient climbing for you, Okutama can also be house to a few of Tokyo’s hottest bouldering spots.
Rock formations are scattered alongside the riverbanks, a lot of them fashionable with seasoned boulderers. They usually lay protecting matting down throughout the rocky floor to interrupt any premature falls. Must you want to take part, watch out to not attain past your talents. With rocks nicknamed “Ninja” and “Useless Finish,” the climbing scene in Okutama is to not be taken evenly.
For those who’re new to climbing, the Okutama Customer Heart has a smaller indoor climbing wall that serves as an amazing start line. Workers there may provide info concerning climbing spots within the space.
Cease For a Soak
Though the summer season warmth could deter the much less devoted, for these prepared to wash irrespective of the climate, Okutama’s Moegi no Yu is the place you may discover certainly one of Tokyo’s most serene sizzling spring experiences.
Providing mountain views from the indoor onsen, and scenes of the Tama River from the open-air bathtub, Moegi no Yu makes use of pure sizzling spring water sourced from beneath the Okutama space. It is the right spot for soothing afternoon muscle groups after scaling boulders or a finishing a troublesome hike by way of the encompassing forests.
For these much less eager, the ability additionally has a communal foot bathtub, which is nice for a fast soak.
Go Your Personal Approach
However even with all of the actions that Okutama has to supply, it should be stated which you can benefit from the area’s magnificence just by being there. For those who’re somebody who likes to take issues gradual and simply searching for a break from town’s hustle and bustle, you may don’t have any bother discovering a quiet spot away from the crowds to take a seat alone or with pals within the calm of nature.
Have a picnic by the Hatonosu Ravine and dip your toes within the cool water. Individuals-watch as boulderers climb and anglers battle to land the most important catch. Breathe within the clear mountain air and reset your self in probably the most naturally stunning areas of Tokyo.
Images by Lisa Knight