Okutama – Nature at the edge of Tokyo

Although a trip to Tokyo doesn’t really bring up the image of nature, you may be surprised at the beautiful places you can find if you travel a bit.

On the weekend, I got together with some friends to go camping on the side of the Tama River. Although it is technically part of Tokyo, the area is quite remote making it perfect for enjoying Japanese nature.




The camping ground is easily accessible by public transport, just an hour and a half from Shinjuku. We took the JR Chuo and Ome lines to Kawai station, then walking around 10 minutes to the riverside.

You can do either “day camping” or an overnight stay. BBQ and sleeping equipment are available at the reception for a very reasonable price. Just remember to bring meat or veggies for BBQ as there aren’t many shops in the area. They do have vending machines if you get thirsty.



Who needs a refrigerator when you have a cool river to keep your food and drinks cold?




You can see here just how crystal clear the water is!

The water here is around knee to thigh deep, so remember to bring shorts you don’t mind getting wet and beach sandals! If you forgot to bring beach sandals or flip flops to Japan you can buy them at the 100 yen store😉



As well as cute ducks, I also got to see some swallowtail butterflies “ageha-chou” in Japanese. They feature prominently in Japanese popular culture including song lyrics, being the basis for the Pokemon Beautifly and even having a nightclub named after them. Pictured is the black swallowtail butterfly or “kuro-ageha”.



Here is a bird’s eye view of the camp site. It is a popular destination for university student club events, but it would also be a great place to go as a family.





If you’re looking to return to nature or bask in the sun after experiencing Tokyo’s busy lifestyle, I highly recommend checking out Okutama.

See you next blog!




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