WESTERN PART OF TAMA
Okutama is a town full of nature. Located 30 minutes by Nishi-Tokyo Bus from the JR Okutama Station, the Nippara Limestone Cave is the largest in the Kanto area. The cave is 1,270 meters long and is up to 134 meters high at some points. The atmosphere inside the cave is magical and mystical. Visitors can see various stalactites up close.
Another great destination is the man-made Lake Okutama. It was created in 1957 after the Ogouchi Dam was built. The observation tower at the Ogouchi Dam has amazing views.
■Mt. Mitake and Mitake Valley
Mt. Mitake (elevation 929m) has been regarded as a sacred mountain by pilgrims since ancient times. It is also known for its wild birds, insects, and plants. Mt. Mitake offers a variety of hiking routes, such as the Rock Garden route in which you hike on rocky trails with moss covered stones, waterfalls, and fresh mountain streams. You can stay overnight in one of the many Japanese style inns for visitors and pilgrims. The night views in the mountain are absolutely stunning. There is a cable car that goes up to the middle of the mountain.
The Mitake Valley is another great place to enjoy nature. There are 4 km long developed riverside walkways. The valley is also a popular spot for water sports, such as canoeing and rafting. There are museums and memorial halls in the Mitake Valley. The Kushi-Kanzashi Museum exhibits approximately 4,000 traditional Japanese hair accessories (Kushi and Kanzashi) from the 17th to 20th century. The elegant and delicate craftsmanship are not to be missed.
Experience Okutama’s local cuisines. There are restaurants that specialize in tofu dishes, such as yuba. Ozawa Shuzo is a local sake brewery using fresh water from the local mountains. Taste over ten different types of sake. Each cup of sake is available from 200 yen.
Trekkling Okutama is a bicycle rental store where you can rent various types of bicycles including, cross bikes, MTB, and electric bicycles.
Surround by beautiful nature, Akikawa Valley offers many outdoor activities: walking, trekking, barbequing, camping, and swimming. Another great destination is the Hossawa Waterfall, located about only 5 km from the Akikawa Valley.
Located halfway up Mt. Mitou, Hinohara Forest of Tokyo Citizens is a large park offering a variety of hiking routes and outdoor activities, such as taking a relaxing stroll down wood chip carpeted walkways, or enjoying an invigorating walk in the beech forest.
There are many hot springs around in the Tama area. The Hinohara Onsen Center Kazuma-no-yu and the Shogai-seishun-no-yu Tsuru-tsuru-Onsen are a few of the one-day hot springs facility you can enjoy. After a day of outdoor activities, soaking in a hot spring is the best way to end the day and relax your body.