Date Visited: May 7, 2017
With the summer heat and humidity upon us, heading outdoors is becoming more of a struggle than a pleasant endeavor. And for people like me who aren’t fond of high temperatures, Todoroki Valley promises a cool escape from Tokyo’s sticky atmosphere.
Todoroki Valley (or Todoroki Ravine as Google Maps prefers to call it) is a park with a towpath approximately one kilometer in length. Surrounded by green foliage, the valley provides scenic views and a relaxing atmosphere to its visitors. I went to the valley during Golden Week and while there were perhaps more people than usual, it was neither too crowded nor too noisy.
Leaves rustle and fall as the wind blows, making the walk along the brook a pleasant one. You can also catch sight of ducks swimming by, and on the particular day I went, I happened to spot what I can only describe as a “duck love triangle.” I guess ducks don’t take to two-timing too well either.
Somewhere in the middle of the path is a set of stairs that leads to an Italian restaurant called Otto. Lunch is a little over a thousand yen ($10), but they serve decent oven-grilled pizza. If you fancy a short break while on your walk, this one should hit the spot.
Much further down the path, you will see signs for tomb tunnels. There are three in Todoroki that date back to the Kofun Period, but only one of them retains its shape to this day. I found it quite exciting to peer into something so ancient!
The end of the walking path leads you to Fudo Falls, with scant water flowing from two dragon heads carved from stone. Once used for ritual purification, the area is now closed off but is available for viewing. There’s also a teahouse that serves tea and sweets nearby, but I am more fascinated by the dragon head statues of the koi pond. One looked rather funny with a leaf sticking out of its mouth.
Going up from here, you can also check out the Todoroki Fudoson Temple, which has a large wooden veranda that overlooks the valley. End your pleasant stroll with ice cream like I did, and you have yourself a nice little afternoon away from the crowds of the city.
Todoroki Valley (Todoroki Ravine Park, 等々力渓谷, Todoroki Keikoku)
Access: 5-minute walk from Todoroki Station of the Tokyu Oimachi Line
Entry: free, pet-friendly
Hours: Open 24 hours
Google Maps URL