Exploring Japan Our Slice of Tokyo

Nature Walk in Oji City

With the temperature starting to warm up and with some free Mondays, my husband and I went to Oji City for an afternoon walk sometime last February. Still in Central Tokyo but away from the big crowds, Oji offers a different good solitude ambiance.

I have learned about interesting places to visit in Oji through Find My Tokyo Challenge launched my Tokyo Metro Subway. And we are so happy to tick a few more from that checklist.

A Quiet Monday Walk around Oji

Oji City is a mixed of residential, commercial, and institutional spaces. But despite the changes in the area, it has kept its quaint and historic vibe. It is reachable via Kehin-Tohoku Line or Namboku Line.

Our walk started from the North Exit of Oji Station with a beautiful tunnel welcoming us.

These art works filled the tunnel at Oji Station

The commercial street beside Oji Station

Not far is the Otonashi Shinsui Park which a former valley now turned into a beautiful landscape of boulders, small streams, and fine bridges.

Otonashi Shinsui Park in late winter

From there we headed to Nanushi-no-taki Garden with brief stops at Oji and Ojiinari Shrines.

The Main Hall of Oji Shrine

Challenge No. 60: Let’s ask Mr. Oishi whether his wish will come true!

Ojiinari Shrine is known for its Rakugo (comic storytelling) of a fox troubled at a nearby Ougiya restaurant. The shrine is on a slope that is why getting to its different areas felt like hiking on a mountain.

The entrance to Ojiinari Shrine beside a nursery school

The guardian of the the inner shrines

Small red torii gates leading visitors to the inner shrines of Ojiinari-jinja

One of the Inner Altars of Ojiinari Shrine

Challenge No. 56: Let’s see the waterfall drawn by Ando Hiroshige!

Serenity and Refuge at Nanushi-no-Taki Garden

This garden is a Japanese take on the Secret Garden during the Edo Period. The intricate-designed gate lures its visitors to enter and discover its hidden beauty.

The beautiful wooden gate of Nanushi-no-taki Garden

Under the lush green tall trees are different water features such as a big pond and waterfalls connected by a natural looking stream. I enjoyed walking on the wooden bridges and stone steps surrounded by ferns and Aspidistra plants.

Stone pathway under the lush green trees

A big pond waiting for spring

Bridges connecting to the different areas of the garden

Lovely ferns and Aspidistra leaves along the pathways

Walking along the shallow stream at Nanushi-no-taki Garden

Enjoying the crisp sound of falling water

There were very few people in the garden that day. Hence, we can clearly hear the sounds of the birds and the flowing water as we walked around.

Enjoying Asukayama Park

After and hour or so, we walked back to the Oji station to explore the other side. Just outside the station is the Asukayama Park. This park is on top of a hill. In summer, people enjoy walking along its slope while looking at the hydrangeas in different hues. As for us, we decided to go up via the small monorail.

The Asukayamakoen Monorail

Fragrant Naricissus flowers welcomed us as we enter the park from the monorail

And so these colorful Pansies

Challenge No. 62: Let’s find cherry blossoms that bloom in the fall!

Compared to the places we have been earlier, this park is filled with children’s laughter and excitement. There were already some sakura trees in bloom for people to enjoy hanami.

Waiting for sakura to bloom at Asukayama Park

Fall sakura at Asukayama Park, one of the go-to places for hanami

A lovely sunny deck for picnic and train spotting

Asukayama Park Oji City
A huge playground for kids and kids-at-heart

steam locomotive at Oji City
Preserved steam locomotive for children to explore

Adorable animal sculptures near the playground

Challenge No. 57: Let’s time slip in the Jomon period!

A quick look inside Asukayama Museum

West and East Fusion at Kyu-Furukawa Garden

With a a couple of hours left before sundown, we have decided to go to Kyu-Furukawa which is about 10-15 minutes walk from the park towards Tabata.

The Earthquake Science Museum

Inside, we were welcomed by a beautiful English-style mansion adorned by nicely-trimmed hedges. The hallows are planted with varieties of roses waiting for spring. A few steps below are bushes of Rhododendron. No buds or flowers yet but still beautiful to look at because of their forms.

Kyu Furukawa Oji City
The mansion from the Rhododendron Garden

From the western-style rose and Rhododendron Garden, we headed to the enchanting Japanese-style garden.

A serene path connecting the Western and Eastern Gardens

The Japanese Pond at Kyu-Furukawa

Spring blossoms at Kyu-Furukawa Oji City
An enchanting view of plum and sakura blossoms at Kyu-Furukawa

As we walk back to Nishigahara Station going home, we have both agreed that Oji is now included in our will-visit-again list. Maybe next time when the situation is calmer and safer. Have a good Sunday everyone!

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