Experience an Authentic Hike on a Day Trip from Tokyo! A Guide to Enjoying Tanzawa, Kanagawa
Aside from Yokohama and Kamakura, there are many hidden hot spots in Kanagawa. Here is a full guide on how to enjoy Tanzawa with its abundant nature especially if you are looking for an active day out.
Mountain Climbing at Omote Tanzawa (Mt. Oyama Course, Mt. Tonodake Course)
The peaks of the Tanzawa mountains located in the northern part of Kanagawa which measure up to an altitude of 1,500m all join together to create what is called the "roof of Kanagawa." Convenient transport in this area enables easy access for those looking to mountain climb. While there are many courses to choose from, the Mt. Oyama course is recommended for beginners and Mt. Tonodake course for intermediate climbers. The most popular route is the Mt. Oyama course course which enables you access to the Afuri Shrine's Shimosha by cable car. In the middle of the route, you should be able to see the Tanazawa Omoteone trail and from the summit, the Kanto plain as well as the Shonan sea. The Mt. Tonodake course serves as a direct route from Okura to the top of Mt. Tonodake itself. It should take you about 6 hours for a round-trip hike, since the altitude is extremely high. This course requires a sufficient amount of endurance. From the top of the mountain, you will be able to enjoy the panorama of the Sagami Bay as well as that of Mt. Fuji. You may try out either route during your day trip. Please enjoy a safe mountain climb by first picking out a course suitable to your endurance as well as experience and planning accordingly.
The Yushin Valley is perfect for those looking for a world heritage-class view. This popular valley is nicknamed "Yushin Blue" due to its blue, translucent waters. The valley is a 45 minute bus ride from the Shin-Matsuda station on the Odakyu Line, followed by a bus ride to Kurokura bus stop. The hike begins along the Kurokura River which is approximately 7km. While walking, you may enjoy the view of Lake Tanzawa. There are about 8 tunnels along the pathway, and they have a bumpy exterior. You should be able to see the long-awaited view of the valley near the 2nd Kurokura Power Station about 2 hours into this adventurous hike. You will definitely shake off the fatigue from your hike once you see the waters that change to either emerald green or cobalt blue depending on the lighting and weather. On a side note, please remember to bring your own flashlight as there are tunnels without any light.
The Oyama-Afuri Shrine is for those looking to experience Japanese culture within abundant nature. This is located in the middle of the Mt. Oyama course along the Omote Tanzawa route mentioned earlier. You may access the shrine's shimosha at an altitude of 700m by cable car. The structure is said to have been built more than 2,200 years ago. They have also excavated many earthenware from the Jomon period around the area, which are believed to have been used for rituals. Depending on the weather in the area, you may have a view of Enoshima Island in Sagami Bay as well as that of the Miura Peninsula. As the main shrine is located about 90 minutes along the climbing trail from the shimosha at the top of Mt. Oyama, you can pay it a visit on your way there.
Lake Miyagase is a man-made reservoir created by a dam facility in the eastern side of Tanzawa. It is divided into three areas - the Miyagase lakeside, the dam site area, and the Toriibara area. I would recommend the Prefectural Aikawa Park in the dam site to families as they have a child-friendly road train as well as the "fuwa fuwa dome." In the summer, try the canoe school as well as the dam for tourist purposes. This dam spouts out 30 cubic meters worth of water per second and is popular also due to its difference in height of 70m.
Mountain Stream Fishing, Fishing Ponds
The Tanzawa area has been known as a mountain stream fishing area for a long time. As the mountain stream's current is comparatively slow, it is also known for being easy on beginners. What is charming about this place is that you may enjoy catching river fish by the stream without having to bring anything, as there are places where you can rent materials such as the West Tanzawa Stream Fishing Area. Of course, you may cook and enjoy the fish that you have caught. For those of you who are a bit worried about fishing at a stream, try the Minogemasu Trout Fishing Center, where you may fish at a pond.
※This image is for illustrative purposes only.
Please give Tanzawa a go as you may access the area easily on a day trip from the city and enjoy the nature it has to offer.
*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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