Tokyo- World’s most populated city.. Japan’s busy capital is a mixture of the ultramodern and the traditional. The lively city offers a lot. From Korean town in Shin-Okubo to the traditional Japanese Shrine such as Meiji Jingu. I have been living here since two years and there is still lot to explore. Since I am the kind of a person who gets allergic to the crowded places, every weekend I try to escape from the hustle and go somewhere in the wild. I own basic gears of camping and absolutely love to go little further away from Tokyo and sleep in wild. It just resets my mind and when I head back I am ready for the not so stress-free city life. But sometimes spending an entire weekend is difficult. So one day escapes is next to necessity for people like me. It is almost like an addiction now.
Luckily there are many one day hikes around Tokyo. The transportation is great and these hikes can be done by almost anyone with minimum gears. I am going to list few of my favorite one day hikes around Tokyo.
Okutama is a town located in the western Tokyo. Although it is just two hours train ride from Tokyo city this area has many mountains and valleys. There are few really good hikes in Okutama. One of such hikes is Hyakuhiro Waterfall situated near Tama river. This is a great place to visit especially in the humid summer of Japan.
The name Hyaku-hiro means “100 hiros”. Hiro is an old Japanese unit of measurement. This measurement system is part of Shakkan Ho or traditional Japanese measurement system. Shaku is unit of length and Kan stands for Mass. The system originated in ancient China. 1 Hiro = 1.8 meters. Now, the waterfall isn’t exactly 100 hiros tall, which would be over 4 times its actual height. The actual height is 40 meters, making it one of the largest waterfalls near Tokyo.
Getting there is very easy. Take a 15 minutes bus ride to “Kawanoribashi Bus Stop” from Okutama station. Once you are at the bus stop there is a huge sign board in English reading “Hyakuhirono Taki Kawanoriyama”. A very simple map is also there for guidance.
The waterfall is situated in a valley of Mt Kawanori. From waterfall the summit is another 2 hour hike. Slightly difficult.
You start with 45 minutes of walk on a forest road. Which can be boring for those who like to walk on the hiking trails. But on one side there will be beautiful streams and the sound of water will be very soothing. Water is very clean and potable after boiling.
At the end of the forest road there is a bridge. From here you will have a nice view of surrounding mountains. Here after it is a 3km hiking trail with few slippery bridges. Expect few steep places but there are ropes for help.
The waterfall itself is very beautiful. I visited last summer, the water was literally freezing. It was nice to have lunch while enjoying the sound of tiny streams and gorgeous view of Hyakuhiro Waterfall.
Although I did this hike in summer it is popular during all seasons. In winter the waterfall freezes so should be very beautiful.
For more hiking stories visit my blog once in a while.