Green Space in the Metroplex

Finding places to walk, hike, climb, outdoor exercise in general, can be a harrowing experience in the Tokyo Metroplex. This is especially true if you lived part of your life outside of urban centers – outside of Asia. You do need a bit of an imagination, the ability to cancel unwanted visual (and auditory) information out, and take pleasures in simple things, in order to gain peace of mind here.

Imagination is needed to get beyond the fact that no matter how hard one looks, Tokyo does not have a Yosemite Park hiding at some yet undiscovered train station. Although the government has made efforts to allow for available green space, and the Tokyo Region doesn’t have a deficiency in this respect, that doesn’t mean there is a huge park in every neighborhood.

Recently I’ve been trying to better utilize the green space that is closest to my apartment. It took me quite a lot of exploration of my neighborhood before I was able to narrow down just what my options were. Last fall I kept in the back of my mind a walking park just about a 20 minutes stroll from my place. I now use this place at least twice a week to get some much needed, non-train station walking.

The course consists of a 2.4 kilometer (one way), well maintained path, mostly made up of a wooden boardwalk. Along the entire length of the course runs a small man made stream that features plenty of black koi as well as several more brightly colored orange/white varieties, and many ducks that make their way up and down the length of the channel. Most striking is the wide variety of flowers that line your way and change frequently from whites to dark purples to bright oranges.

There are frequent rest points and a bathroom at the halfway point. And eco-conscious walkers will be encouraged by the use of solar cells, stationed periodically, to power lamp posts that keep the walkway well lit through the evening.

Getting out of the city to the more rural mountain trails is sometimes a bit inconvenient, and during the weekdays a place like this does the body some real good. It has just enough natural (although man-made) points of interest to give a positive contrast from the drab blacktop most urban exercise offers you in this city.

Begin your walk at Motosumiyoshi (Tokyu Tokyoku Line), walk through Bremen Street all the way until you reach the first major road (this will take at least 15 minutes maybe more). Turn right and you will soon pass a Denny’s and come to a Yamaha Bike Dealership. Just past that the park begins; follow the maps that are posted frequently along the way. The path terminates near Mushashi-Shinjou Station, where there are plenty of places to catch a bite to eat or get a drink.