When most people think of Tokyo, they think of tall buildings and neon signs. A lot of concrete and very little green. If you live in Tokyo, you know that this is not necessarily true. Yes, there are skyscrapers, the necessary infrastructure and everything else that comes with a megapolis, but there is also a reasonable amount of green space.
But maybe you are after something a little wilder than the many parks of Tokyo. Here is a quick guide to finding nature inside greater Tokyo.
A place where you can hike mountains, play watersports and explore the wilderness that is still technically Tokyo? Okutama!
You can get to Okutama station from pretty much anywhere from Tokyo 23 in about two something hours. A full day might not be enough since there are various outdoor attractions. Like rafting, sliding down a waterfall, cave exploration, camping, fishing, hiking, and many different nature walks.
Once you have had enough of nature, you can visit the famous natural spring. And when hunger strikes, the local food and many craft beers and rice wines are well worth a taste.
Nature Study institute
Bang in the middle of Tokyo, a short walk from Meguro station, and you find yourself in a primal forest. The National Nature Institute is just what it says on the label. It was built in the fifties to study and preserve nature. The only tricky part getting there is that you might have to wait to get in. Not to annoy the various wildlife too much, the number of people who can visit at once is limited.
Meiji Jingu Forest
Meiji Jingu Forest is the pick for those who want nature but in espresso format. The Meiji Jingu Forest is close to Harajuku and connected to Yoyogi Park and the Meiji Jingu Shrine.
Really easy to get to and just perfect for a quick walk through something that does not just feel like a forest but actually is one. The Meiji Jingu is the refreshing nature oasis of the busy streets of Tokyo.
Suzume no Oyado Ryokuchi Park
This one is for people who want nature, but something that is different from the European and North American. Suzume no Oyado Ryokuchi Park is a Bamboo forest close to Toritsu Daikaku station. It is a bit of green that is hardly ever crowded. When you are on your way to visit one of the many coffee shops of Jiyugaoka or the many bars of Naka Meguro, you might want to get off at Toritsu Daikaku station that is in between and have a quick walkabout.
Despite all the luxuries and thrills that big city life offers, sometimes you get the urge to be in nature. Luckily Tokyo has plenty of parks and green spaces. If that is not enough, hopefully, the places in the article will be of help or inspiration in finding nature in Tokyo.