Great Picturesque Spots in the Outskirts of Tokyo to Visit in Summer
Many people may think that summer in Tokyo is so hot and unbearable, with people crowding in the reflected heat of the concrete. During those hot summer days, won’t it be nice to head out to a scenic spot with abundant nature in the outskirts of Tokyo that can be enjoyed on a day trip? Here are some of the recommended picturesque areas in Tokyo’s suburbs, so please try to use this article as your guide.
1. Mt. Nokogiri (Chiba)
The standard places that are visited in the summer are the sea and the mountains. Mt. Nokogiri, where people can enjoy both is found inside the interior Boso (referred to as “Uchibo” in Japanese) region in Chiba. This mountain, which was named after the cut rocks that are as sharp as saw, features a ropeway that goes as high as the point near that summit with an elevation of 329m, so even those who hate exercise will be able to climb this mountain without any worries. The 330,000-sq.m. mountainside is found inside the precinct of Mt. Nokogiri Nihonji temple that was opened about 1,300 years ago, and the contrast of the stone steps and stone Buddhist images with nature gives the place a vibe that is characteristic of ruins. You can also enjoy the view from Jigoku Nozoki (View of Hell) at the precipice of the summit, and it feels like you are floating on air. After gazing at the panoramic view of Boso, try to savor the appeal of a town that is near the sea, too, by having fun sea bathing at the swimming area nearby and smacking your lips to the taste of fresh seafood.
The Hyaku-shaku Kannon that was carved for approximately six years from 1960 through 1966
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2. Ozegahara (Gunma)
Oze National Park spans across four prefectures: Gunma, Fukushima, Niigata and Tochigi. Within this park, the most famous hiking trail is the Ozegahara on a site that is about 1,400m above sea level. This vast marshland that is surrounded by 2,000-meter-high mountains is filled with various alpine plants such as watasuge (cotton grass) and nikko kisuge (day lilies) that bloom around summer. This spot stretches over four prefectures, it features many mountain climbing trails. However, the Ozegahara Course is the most recommended trail on the Gunma side, which is the main route to this national park. Regulations on private cars are in place here, and touring takes roughly half a day on the short route, so how about arranging your itinerary first before you visit?
3. Mt. Mitake (Tokyo)
Mt. Mitake, with an elevation of 929m, is a mountain that is recommended to those who want to fully enjoy lush nature within the bounds of Tokyo. Musashimitake Shrine sits close to the summit, and has been loved as a place for mountain worship since the old days. At present, visitors can get to a spot near the summit through a cable car, with numerous souvenir shops and thatched-roofed lodgings lined up in the area around the station. If you want to enjoy the coolness of summer on your way back from worship, then the route via the Rock Garden is recommended. The area that measures about 1.5km from Nanayo no Taki and Ayahiro no Taki waterfalls is called the Rock Garden, and it is such a therapeutic spot given its cool atmosphere that is created by big and small moss-covered strangely shaped rocks.
4. Fukiware no Taki (Gunma)
If you’re looking for a cool spot for summer, then you must go to a waterfall. And for those who want to check out a waterfall, then the recommended spot would have to be Fukiware no Taki (Fukiware Falls). Designated as a natural monument and a place of scenic beauty in Japan, the strong stream of the 7-meter-high, 30-meter-wide river flowing from three directions looks just like a gigantic rock has been split open. The majestic beauty of that sight has led to this waterfall being called the “Niagara of the East.” There are hiking trails and bridges here, and you can follow the path surrounding the waterfall. Go ahead, try to hike in this waterfall to enjoy the superb vista created by the “hannya iwa” (a frightful looking rock) and other huge and strange looking rocks, as well as such spots as the Ukishima Kannon-do hall (floating Kannon-do hall) and the Masutobi no Taki waterfall.
5. Nagatoro Keikoku (Saitama)
Located approximately 2 hours away from the center of Tokyo by car or train, Saitama’s Nagatoro area is a popular spot where people can enjoy various activities on a day tour. Here, there is vast nature that you won’t believe is just outside of Tokyo, and in the middle of that nature is a valley with a total length of 6km that has been designated as a place of scenic beauty and a natural monument of the country. It is such an overwhelming sight. The Line Kudari (River Boating) that will take visitors down the river to enjoy the valley from the waters is popular here. You will be glad to know that you can also engage in various activities at this spot, including rafting, camping and barbecuing. Aside from the valley, another spot you have to check out is Mt. Hodo. You can get on a ropeway to the Hodosan Jinja (Mt. Hodo Shrine), which is said to have been built about 1,900 years ago, so it would be safe to bring along your family. Enjoy the scenery that has won a star from the Michelin Green Guide. And if you get a little tired after the hike, then you must try the local specialty kakigori (shaved ice). The kakigori made with natural ice at the shop directly operated by Kuramoto is a rare sight all over Japan, and it has been drawing a lot of visitors into the area.
There are many spots close to the center of Tokyo where you can feel and enjoy nature. So, during summer, try to capture that cool breeze by going to a picturesque spot in the outskirts of the city.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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