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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