Take a day hike in western Tokyo -
Mitake Valley, Ome
Tokyo has mountain forests covering almost 40% of the prefecture. A clear stream runs through the valley in the mountains and the river landscape gives a refreshing feel - The forest spreads in the west end of Tokyo Prefecture and Mitake Vally is one of the best places to take a leisurely hike.
Ome-sen train takes you to the Mitake Valley
Mitake Valley or Mitake Keikoku 御岳渓谷 lies among the mountains in the northwestern part of Tokyo Prefecture, reachable by train on the JR Ome-sen Line, the 37km-long railway between Tachikara station and Okutama station, running along the Tamagawa river.
The forestland spreads into the area from Ome station and the riverside near Mitake station is the Mitake Valley (Mitake Keikoku). In this area walkable from stations between Ome station and Mitake station, walking routes have been laid out for a short hike both in the mountains and along the riverside. Here is the one good for walking along Mitake Valley.
Mitake Valley (Mitake Keikoku)
Mitake Valley Riverside Walking Tour
The walking route provided along the edge of the river in the Mitake Valley is about 4.3km, and it takes about one hour.
The starting point is Ikusabata Station 軍畑駅, an unmanned station 5 stops from Ome station. Going down the slope from the station, you will see a bridge and a traffic light where you cross the light and turn right to follow the road.
Walking down the road for some 400m, a 10-min walk or so, you will see a guide sign indicating the stairs leading to the walking path. The sign is on the left side of the road, is small and easily overlooked. Be sure not to miss the stairs as there is no other way to reach the path around there.
You should not across the bridge as there is no path along the river on that side.
Cross the light and turn right. Keep walking the road until you see a small green board indicating "Path begins here" or 入口..
Now, you can start a walk on the path along the edge of the Tamagawa River.
The blue-green river water flows with splashing waves.
Rest at the riverside terrace and taste fresh Sake at Ozawa Brewery
Walking up along the river about 950m, you will reach Sawanoi Garden operated by Ozawa Brewery, a long-established brewery with a history over 300 years, known for its quality Sake made with spring water from Mitake Valley. Sawanoi Garden is the place that comprises Japanese restaurants, a cafe, and an open-air cafeteria as well as the brewery. The cafeteria offers various snacks and drinks; Soba, Onigiri, Oden, Coffee, Ice cream (In summer), etc., enjoyable while sitting back and relaxing for a little break.
Sawanoi Garden and the museums close on Mondays. For details see their official website.
Sawanoi Garden http://www.sawanoi-sake.com/en
Sawanoi Garden also has a museum across the river from the brewery, is about 5 minutes on foot. The museum features Japanese hair accessories created by artisans in history, and the collection includes almost 4000 items. To start your walking again after visiting the museum, go over the bridge and back to the path in front of Ozawa Brewery as there is no path at the edge of the river on the opposite side.
The bridge in front of Sawanoi Garden (Kaedebashi Bridge)
The highlight of the valley is the wild stream
Walking further toward the upper stream, about 10 minutes from Ozawa Brewery, you reach the steep part of the valley. The highlight is the river with whitewater where you may see people canoeing or rafting.
For those wanting a little retreat, Gyokudo Museum 玉堂美術館 standing on the riverside is a place to stop by. This museum has a stone garden which you may often see at temples in Kyoto; will gives you a feeling of Zen in a natural setting.
(The museum is operated by Sawanoi Garden and closes on Mondays. For details see Sawanoi Garden's website. )
Your walking tour ends at Mitake Station
There are stairs and slopes around the largest bridge “Mitakebashi Bridge” leading to the Mitake Station up from the valley.
From Mitake Station, you can take the Ome-sen train bound for Ome station where you transfer the train to go back to the central Tokyo area.
Mitakebashi Bridge in front of Mitake Station
Ome town also has attractions around Ome Station
Ome station in Ome 青梅 is the gateway to the Mitake area and has many walking routes on hills and the riverside. The park Kamanofuchi Park 釜の淵公園 on the riverside is especially favored among locals to do splashing at the river in summer. The stream around the park is slow and shallow enough to go into, not as wild as the stream in Mitake valley. However, you should keep in mind the risk of drowning as the flow unexpectedly gets rapid and deep in some area. Drowning accidents have happened there.
The Tamagawa river at Kamanofuchi Park. The BBQ area crowds in summer.
An old farmhouse remained in the park. There are paved walking paths for pleasant rambles.
Kamagafuchi Park is about 20 minutes walk from Ome Station, and the way to get there is a bit complicated. At the Ome station is a tourist information office where you can get a guide map. The office provides various maps of Mitake and Ome area as well.
Getting to Ome and Mitake Valley
From Shinjuku in Central Tokyo, Ome Station is about 60 minutes by train.
From Ome Station to Ikusabata Station is some 15 minutes by train.
From Ome Station to Mitake Station is about 20 minutes by train.
*The doors of the Ome-sen train open by pressing the button.
To find the detailed information, see this page:
Tokyo Day Hikes: Mt. Mitake, Ome Town and Akigawa Valley
There are not many places to have lunch between Ikusabata and Mitake Station. There are a few restaurants and cafes near Mitake station, but many of them close irregularly on weekdays.
Oume City Tourist Information
Oume Railway Park (Ome)
Ome Municipal Museum of Art
Ome Kimono Museum (Hinatawada)
Shiofune-kannnon Temple (Higashi Ome)
Umenoyu Onsen (Kabe)
Google Maps : Ome Station