Grand nature found in Tokyo
The Tamagawa River runs through Tokyo, with its biggest tributary being the Akigawa River. The 20-kilometer valley between Akiruno City to Hinohara Village where this river runs through is called Akigawa Valley. Many outdoor activities can be enjoyed here such as mountain stream fishing, trekking, and barbecue. The beautiful natural scenery constantly changes during the four seasons, from fresh greenery to fall foliage. In particular, Ishibune Bridge is a suspension bridge popular not just for its scenic view of the valley from the bridge, but also for being a photogenic bridge itself.
Akigawa Keikoku Seoto-no-Yu Spa
The hot spring facility Akigawa Keikoku Seoto-no-Yu can be found just across the Ishibune Bridge and going down a walking trail in the forest. The spring water quality is one of the most highly alkaline in Japan, and it has a reputation as a hot spring for beautiful skin, winning first place in Japan for the Moist Skin Category of the General Election of Hot Onsen 2019. Located only 60 minutes from central Tokyo, the authentic hot spring can be a great day trip or an overnight stay in a cottage. There is also a direct sales store selling fresh local vegetables harvested early each morning, as well as a restaurant where you can enjoy the scenery of fresh greenery in the summer and fall leaves in the fall while dining.
During the rainy season from June to July, colorful hydrangeas blooming are a beautiful sight in the Akigawa Valley. Minamisawa Hydrangea Mountain is a famous hydrangea viewing spot with around 10,000 bright pink and blue blossoms. The flowers were grown over half a century by the hands of Mr. Minamisawa, also known as Hanasaka Jiisan (from the Japanese fairy tale of the old man who made withered trees bloom), who owns the mountain. The hydrangeas embody Mr. Minamisawa's heart and stories and are now being passed down to the young people in the community. In addition, Wonderful Nature Village is an outdoor activity facility where you can bring and play with your dog. There are 15,000 hydrangeas of around 60 species blooming in the park.
Splashing in the river and barbecuing in Akigawa Valley
During the summer peak season, Akigawa Valley is teeming with many visitors enjoying river activities and barbecues. Since the Akigawa River has relatively shallow waters, you can enjoy frolicking in the water in various places. In the middle and lower stretches of the Akigawa River where the flow is gentle, there are barbecue facilities where you can easily have a barbecue using rental tools.
|Address||1421 Tokura, Akiruno-shi, Tokyo|
|Access||From JR Musashi-Itsukaichi Station, take the Nishi Tokyo Bus to Jurigi bus stop, then walk about 5 minutes.|
|Inquiries||TEL: 042-595-1135 (Office of Tourism and Town Development Promotion, Akiruno City Hall)|