Todoroki Valley is a sweet escape away from the busy life in the metropolis without going too far from it. In search of places to explore during Golden Week minus the clamour, my husband and I went to this gorge for an afternoon walk.
From Nishi-Kasai it was about an hour and a half to Todoroki Station by train. The moment we got off from Oimachi train, the quaint vibe welcomed us. From the station, going to the gorge is just a few steps away.
Exploring Todoroki Valley
The entrance to the gorge is beside the Golf Bridge. The name was derived from an old golf course nearby during Showa era.
Walking down towards the river is a bit steep and tends to get crowded with people taking photos of the popular red bridge. I find the pathways along Yazawa River quite narrow especially with people coming from the opposite way. So, be careful not to fall.
Both sides of the river are filled with towering trees with lots of ferns at the bottom. Being the only gorge in Tokyo, it has its own microclimate suitable for palms, bamboos, ferns, and other shadow-loving plants.
Brief Stops Along the Gorge
The whole course took us less than 45 minutes with brief stops at Todoroki Fudosan, the secret tomb site, and the Japanese Garden.
Contemporary Urban Space
From the valley, we walked a little further going to Futako-Tamagawa Park via Tamagawa Recreation Ground. That day was warm and very sunny. However, walking at this green corridor was fun because of the wild meadow flowers .
When we reached Futako Tamagawa Park, there were a several families and group of friends having picnics, exploring Tama River, or just doing some sun bathing.
The park is very contemporary as well as its Japanese Garden. Walking around the garden is very relaxing because of the sound of water coming from different heights.
A little further is the a mixed complex of high rise residential buildings, shopping center, and restaurants. We enjoyed watching a live jazz band performance and checking some of the shops particularly Tsutaya Electrics.