THIS LONG STRETCH OF DAY TRIPS OLDER ENTRY THAT NEED VERIFYING. WE’LL EDIT AND BREAK EACH TRIP INTO A SEPARATE ENTRY. FEEL FREE TO TAKE ON A SECTION
Mount Mitake Museum and Garden
Secluded in this small rural village is the small Gyokudo Kawai, a Japanese artist whose displayed work captures the essence of Japanese painting. Admission to this museum and garden is ¥300. A few prints and sets of post cards are for sale. Serious artists might find the books illustrating Gyokudo’s technique appealing. The mountaintop shrine, Mitakedaira, is also a delightful getaway to fresh air and exercise. If you go by train you will need to take a local bus or taxi to the cable car (otherwise it is a 50 minute walk). Museum hours: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, closed December 25 – January 4.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: from the Fussa Station, catch the train bound for Okutama and exit at Mitake station. When exiting the station go to the left. After about a block you will come to a bridge crossing the Tama River. In the distance you will see a suspension bridge. Two paths lead to the museum. Facing the suspension bridge, the path to the right, across the main bridge, leads directly to the art museum. The path from the left approach begins a short way down the road. In addition to the art museum, you can find a boulder on which to sit and watch the kayakers and fishermen. Cross the suspension bridge and you will see restrooms. A short ways ahead is a small trout fishing pond. You can get bus information and a map of the area outside the train station to the left.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: follow Okutama Kaido (Route 411) out of Fussa, toward Mitake. Just before the bridge crossing into Mitake is a winding road that ends in a small parking area near the art museum. Parking is also available near the trout pond for ¥500.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS for Mitakedaira: continue up Okutama Kaido, until you see the huge red Torii Gate on the left. Turn under the Torii and continue up the road. Parking is available in several places. The cost is around ¥900 per day. The uppermost lot is where you can board the cable car to ascend up the mountain. The cost is ¥560 one-way or ¥1070 round trip, but is well worth it. A small chair lift for an additional ¥50, will take you up to another level, but the walk is pleasant and winds through the mountaintop village. We took the main trail to the mountaintop shrine area. The shrine itself is not as spectacular as some, but the view is fantastic and the clean air is a joy. There are several restaurants and souvenir shops along the way, or you can bring a sack lunch.
Kathleen French, Ann Bowers 10/96
Tomin-no-Mori (Tokyo Community Forest, a.k.a. Tokyo Citizens Woods)
In short, Tomin-no-Mori is a small area in the Chichibu-Tama National Park set aside for Tokyo citizens. There are five zones of forest introduced in nature seminars (edible plants, lumber, places where animals live, etc.), a bird-watching cabin, and hiking trails winding all over the place. A visitors’ center has a photo gallery showing the woods during the four seasons, plus a restaurant on the first floor and picnic tables on the second. A woodworking center is nearby. There may not be maps in English available at the site; refer below (we obtained a wonderful map at another visitors’ center; refer to Hiking in Sports). To buy food in the Woody Restaurant, purchase meal tickets from the vending machine to the left of the door. (Soba noodles were ¥600 and spaghetti ¥850.) Hours: facilities 9:30 am – 4:00 pm (closed Mondays except during the summer); free parking 8:00 am – 5:30pm.
DIRECTIONS: set your odometer to 0, and turn left out the Fussa Gate and turn right at the first light toward Akigawa. This will merge at 7 km into Itsukaichi Kaido. Turn left at the “T” intersection in front of the Musashi Itsukaichi Train Station. The road will narrow at Konakano, the turnoff for the Black Tea House. At 15 km, stay to the left of the “Y” intersection. Note the road sign for Tominno-mori (26 km to go), and the tall cedars lining the road. At 18.6 km, there is a rest area with a large map of the area where you can pull over, use the restroom, look at the map, and look down at the mountain stream you are driving alongside. At 20 km, turn left at the “T” intersection to Kazuma, the road will wind. At the “Y” intersection, turn right to Kazuma (28.5 km, Kamikawanori Intersection). Drive past the village of Kazuma and a modern onsen hot springs center (sign for Mt. Mitohsan). Enter the old tollbooth for the Okutama road. There will be short green poles along the center of the road. At the stoplight at 40.5 km, turn left into the parking lot for Tomin-no-Mori just past the dark brown wooden gatehouse (and lookout tower). The drive via Itsukaichi takes an hour and 15 minutes on a winding, mountain road. We have usually parked inside the entrance to Tomin-no-Mori. Since this parking lot is small, theoretically during peak seasons, a commuter bus will run from the various lots off the road before and after the entrance. To return to base, you can backtrack or continue around the lake. (See Lake Okutama via Itsukaichi Kaido, page XX)
Teresa Negley, George Teitel 06/96
On your way to Kanotoiwa Rock, you can stop and spend a few minutes at the small, free nature and history museum that is about 0.4 km before the turn towards Kitaki-Gawa (3.2 km past the “T” intersection at Motoshuku, 23.1 km from base). The sign is in kanji (it is helpful if you recognize the “museum” kanji). There is a small parking lot cut into the cliff along the right side of the road. Go up two wide flights of stairs in the cliff to get to the entrance.
Brian & Kristen Marriott 12/01