Tokyo Area Nature Parks

Tokyo Area Nature Parks
Tokyo Area Nature Parks

The city of Tokyo is one of the largest metropolises in the world. It is extremely congested and crowded with people, buildings, construction, and traffic. Within, or close to Tokyo, there are many nature parks where people can escape the busy city life and spend some time outdoors and relax in a natural nature setting. Here is a list of Tokyo Area Nature Parks.

Tokyo Area Nature Parks

Nature Parks

Institute for Nature Study – Nature Reserve

The Institute for Nature Study – Nature Reserve is in the middle of Tokyo. This Nature Reserve is operated by the National Museum of Nature and Science. It is primarily used for research and education of high school and university students. The park’s goal is to preserve the natural environment of Tokyo’s forests and marshlands.

The park has a very long history, being designated a nature reserve in 1951. The Nature Reserve has various walking paths that are surrounded by large, forested areas. It has a variety of ponds, marshlands and various kinds of local greenery and vegetation. Location: 5-21-5, Shirokanedai, Minato, Tokyo Train Access: Meguro Station, 10 min walk Google Maps

Todoroki Valley

Todoroki Valley is a unique park that is located in west Tokyo. The valley is located in a small canyon with a long walking trail about a kilometer long. The trail moves along a small river that is full of trees, plants, flowers, and assorted vegetation. This park is popular for its scenery of a Japanese garden, a waterfall, bridges, an ancient tomb, and many cave graves on the side of the canyon walls.

There is also a nice collection of seasonal blooming trees and plants, such as the winter plum flowers, spring cherry blossoms, and the fall changing of the many kinds of tree leaves. Location: 22, 1 Chome, Todoroki Setagaya City, Tokyo Train Access: Todoroki Station, 2 min walk Google Maps

Rinshi No Mori Park

Rinshi No Mori Park has a long history and began in 1900 as the Meguro Experimental Nursery and it evolved into a Forestry Research Station. It was open to the public in the 1980s and there is a number of walking paths, streams and ponds and a day campground. Rinshi No Mori Park is home to several hundred Japanese and foreign trees. Some of these trees are over 100 years old, and others are endangered or rare.

This park is educational with large signs that illustrate the local species of wild birds and insects living in the park. There is also a large number of wild birds present, including kingfishers and goshawks. Being in the center of Tokyo and having great photo opportunities, it is popular with the bird-watching crowd.

This park is a very family-friendly place with several playgrounds and a children’s wading pool that is great to play in during the summer. Location: 2-6-11 Koyamadai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo Train Access: Musashi-Koyama Station, 7 min walk Google Maps


Meiji-Jingu or Meiji Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken who lived between the 19th and 20th Centuries. Surrounding the shrine and its connected buildings is a large forested area with a network of walking paths. These trails are great for taking a walk in a quiet forest or to sit down and relax in a nice natural setting that is minutes away from the busy activity of Tokyo.

Tokyo Area Nature Parks
Meiji Jingu Park Aerial View

Meiji-Jingu has over 100,000 trees which were were donated from different regions across Japan. Walking through this park you would never know that you are totally surrounded by the city of Tokyo. The sights, sounds, and feel of the area will bring a sense of nature to the visitors.

Location: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo Train Access: Harajuku Station, 5 min walk Google Maps

Mountain Parks

Mt. Takao

Mt. Takao is a forested mountain that is located west of Tokyo. The mountain and the surrounding area have been considered sacred for more than 1000 years. Near the mountain’s summit is the impressive Yakuo-in temple. Here the visitors stop there to pray to Shinto-Buddhist mountain gods for good fortune. There is a large collection of statues of various gods scattered around the mountain. This is a popular hiking spot due to its close proximity to the city of Tokyo.

The area has a large assortment of well-organized, numbered, hiking trails that lead up to the top of the mountain range. For the people who do not wish to hike to the top of the mountain, there is a cable car lift that visitors can ride that will cut the time in half. There is an observation deck from where you can look out over the city of Tokyo and on clear days you can get great views of Mt. Fuji.

Tokyo Area Nature Parks
View of Mt Fuji from Mt Takao

The most popular walking trail is the number 1 trail. This trail is paved and passes all of the major sites and winds its way to the top of the nearly 600-meter high summit. This route will take about 90 minutes to get to the top of the mountain. There are many smaller unpaved hiking trails that visitors can use to hike all around the mountain. At the top of the mountain, there is a network of hiking trails that connects to the many peaks of the nearby Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park.

Tokyo Area Nature Parks
Shrine at Mt Takao in autumn

Location: Takaomachi, Hachioji, Tokyo Train Access: Takaosan Station, 30 min walk Google Maps

Mt. Mitake

Mt. Mitake is located in the western area of Tokyo and is a popular hiking destination. At the summit of the mountain at close to 1000 meters, is the home of the Musashi-Mitake Shinto Shrine which has been a sacred mountain in Japan for almost 2000 years. The hiking trail from Kori Station takes about two and a half hours to reach the summit. The Mitake Cablecar brings visitors to the Mitakesan village, a collection of Japanese style shops, Inns and souvenir shops. There is a 30-minute walk to the Musashi-Mitake Shrine on the mountain’s summit.

About an hour away from the shine there is the famous “Rock Garden”. This is a forested valley with a nice stream, two waterfalls and a nice collection of natural and moss-covered rocks. For the adventurous who want to take a longer, more challenging hike. About an hour away is the peak of Mt. Otake at just over 1250 meters. From the summit, there is a nice view of the area and surrounding forest-covered mountains. Location: Mitakesan, Ome, Tokyo Train Access: Mitakesan Station, 20 min walk Google Maps

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