Friday, June 25, 2010

A Real Jungle in Tokyo

Tokyo is known for being a concrete jungle but unknown to many visitors is that there is a real jungle of sorts within the city limits.

Located just 6 kilometers from Shibuya in a cozy residential area of Tokyo lies Todoroki canyon. Todoroki is well-known among Tokyo dwellers as a desirable neighborhood. The suburb is home to several smaller foreign embassies and wealthy company directors but still has a relaxed, quaint atmosphere. One possible reason for its popularity could also be its natural canyon.

Todoroki canyon follows a stream that flows into the Tamagawa river for approximately one kilometer. It is conveniently located only minutes from Todoroki station. Once inside the canyon you would have no idea that you are in a suburban area let alone a suburb in Tokyo. Locals jokingly refer to it as the "Todoroki jungle." Lush vegetation and tall trees block the majority of sunlight into the canyon making it an ideal respite from Tokyo's intense summertime temperatures. Following the stream trail will take you about fifteen minutes. Along the way you can buy souvenirs, stop for soba noodles or pray at the shrine. One or two restaurants are situated above the canyon and provide fantastic views.

Getting there is easy. From Shibuya you can take the Tokyu Toyoko line and transfer to the Tokyu Oimachi line at Jiyugaoka, or the Tokyu Den-En Toshi line to Futako Tamagawa where you can transfer to the Tokyu Oimachi line. Todoroki station lies between Jiyugaoka and Futako Tamagawa stations.

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