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Updated: April 2, 2018
Todoroki Valley—the only ravine valley in central Tokyo—is a place of beauty in every season, with a canopy of green trees, the Yazawa River and chirping birds muffling the sounds of the city. Around 20 minutes away from Shibuya in the leafy suburbs of Setagaya, it's just a three-minute walk from Todoroki Station on the Oimachi Line.
Walk the valley’s narrow cobblestone path alongside the river and across the log bridges. Take your time to set up a photo of the red iron bridge that spans the valley, or simply enjoy a quiet stroll away from Tokyo’s intensity. If you’re here in summer, you’ll notice the temperature drop a few degrees as you descend into the valley—sweet relief from the intense heat of the city.
Along the path you’ll reach a steep staircase to the left that leads to Todoroki Fudoson—a well-kept temple with a wooden viewing platform that overlooks the valley and the Tama River, and next to a waterfall called Fudo no Taki. Take a right, and you'll come to winding stone steps that lead up to Todoroki Japanese Gardens. With the feel of a secret garden, this small grassy area is ideal for a leisurely picnic or as a place for young children to play. The cherry trees bloom bright pink in early April, and the leaves of others turn a brilliant red during November. The valley is well signposted, and while generally quiet, its residential location makes it popular with local families on weekends.
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