Category Archives: FUSSA & HAMURA

Fussa – 福生

Shikisai Buffet

Sarah Straus BuffetWe went to an all-you-can-eat, organic, locally grown, Japanese buffet in Hamura today.  It was clean, fresh, and tasty and is owned by the same people as ZonaVoce.  There was yakisoba, tempura, curry, three kinds of rice, pickled dishes, and salad.  I particularly enjoyed the stewed and fried fish dishes and desserts including sweet beans, tangerines, and sugar toast.  Hours: lunch 11:30am-2:30pm, dinner: 5:30pm-9:30pm.  Lunch price is ¥1200 for adults and ¥600 ages 5 to 11. Validated parking available at the hotel.

Sarah Straus BuffetDirections:  Shikisai Buffet is located inside the Plaza Inn in Hamura, just outside the Hamura train station.  To drive there, go straight out the Fussa Gate onto Route 165.  At the fork in the road stay to the right, as if you were driving to Fussa Train Station.  Turn right onto the road with Seiyu.  Pass the main Seiyu building on your left.  Continue 2.3 km.  Turn left one light past Route 163 at the street with a McDonalds on the far, right corner.  The Plaza Inn is one block down on the left.  GPS coordinates: 35.75905, 139.316719.   -Anna Quan- Schmoldt, February, 2013, photos S. Straus 2013.

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Fussa Roller Slide Park

This is a small roller slide park, great for an hour of play just outside the supply gate.  There is a play structure leading up to two roller slides.  Tall cherry trees provide shade.  Above the slides there is a nice place to sit and eat a snack. There are bathrooms.  GPS 35.73433, 139.33611.
Directions: One option is to park on base at the supply gate and walk.  The park is just 600 meters from the gate with sidewalks on either side of the street.  Head straight out the Supply gate onto 7.  Continue across the train tracks and turn right just after the blue pedestrian bridge.  The park will be on your right.  If you drive, follow the same directions as above.  I’ve seen people park along the street in front of the park, however, for parking information see the comments below. -Sarah Straus, October 2012, updated Dec 2013.  Looking for another playground in Fussa?  Try Fussa Playground.

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Hamura Zoo

The Hamura Zoological Park is a “starter zoo,”: A good place to go when you’re still nervous about driving or otherwise not ready to tackle bigger better zoos like Tama Zoo or Ueno. But small children, especially, will be satisfied with the collection of mammals and birds. The stated goal of the zoo is “to nurture affection for nature by introducing children to animals.” Some animals you may see are: lynx, red fox, porcupine, raccoon, wolf, lemur, prairie dog, wallaby, giraffe, zebra, emu, jackal, coati, macaws, penguin and beaver. In addition, peacocks, swans, and ducks roam the grounds of this park.  There is a petting zoo to the left of the entrance where kids can hold chicks and guinea pigs.  In the center of the zoo you will find a pond with flamingos. There is also a large picnic and playground area where there are a number of interesting toys, including stone zoo animals and dinosaurs, and a full size original steam engine on which children can play. In the spring the zoo is especially lovely under the cherry blossoms and flowers.  You may bring a lunch into the park or purchase something at the store next to the European garden. In most cases, signs on the cages provide animal names in English in addition to Japanese. Only 15 minutes from Yokota, the Hamura Zoo is free for children 3 years and under, ¥50 for ages 4-15, and ¥300/ adult. This website is is Japanese but if you run it through Google Translate you’ll get the gist of it:  GPS Coordinates to entrance: 35.765944, 139.328664.  GPS coordinates to parking: 35.767129,139.33078.  – Photos by Sarah Straus 2012 and Kelly O’Donnell 2013.

March through October 9am-4:30pm (admission until 4pm).
November through February 9am-4pm (admission until 3:30 pm)
Closed Mondays.  Telephone: 042-579-4041.

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Hamura Community Water Park

The Hamura Community Water Park is a good summer outing for families. This sujo koen (that’s Japanese for “waterpark”) has a lazy river, a big slide and shallow pools for kids.  The price is ¥600 for the day or ¥300 for 2 hours for adults age 15 years or older.  It costs ¥300 for the day or ¥100 for 2 hours for kids.   You cannot apply sunscreen there, so do it ahead of time.  No jewelry, sunglasses or hats in the water. You’ll need to store away your ereaders and wallets in the lockers – the ¥100 locker fee will be returned to you when you put the key in the lock.  They will provide a bag for your shoes before entering the locker rooms.  There are vending machines and an eating area outside the swimming pool.   I would recommend swim shirts for your kids on hot, clear days – there isn’t a lot of shade and it is easy to burn.  It is very clean and we had a great day there. Hours 10am – 6pm, open during summer.  Summer 2013: Open July 13-Sept 1, 10am-6pm. — Jodi Wall, 2012; updated Sarah Straus, July 2013.
DIRECTIONS: Drive straight out of Fussa gate, keep right at Y intersection toward Fussa train station.  Head around Fussa train station and continue toward the river.  At the Shell gas station turn Right onto Route 29.  Take Route 29 along the river into Hamura.  I’m not sure how to describe the left hand turn you’ll need to take to get down to the river where the water park is, but it is past a damn in the river.  At a narrow left hand turn, you end up winding down to the river near rice fields.  I recommend taking a GPS for this one or studying the map.  Parking attendant: 35.757971, 139.303356.  Parking is a little walk from the water park – just follow the others in bathing suits.   – Sarah Straus, July 2013

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Hoops: Bagels & More

I LOVE this place! It has fresh food and great variety: Pizza, bagel sandwiches, numerous types of bagels, even tofu cream cheese. They also have a little shop selling all different types of foods, including local produce. (Hoops was carved out of space that used to be Cupid’s garden shop. The plant section is now much smaller but still there.) The prices are decent and they take dollars. They have tables and a kids’ play place.
DIRECTIONS: Turn left out of the Fussa Gate. Hoops is about halfway to the Supply Gate, on the right side of Route 16, next to Blue Seal ice cream. Both have enormous signs, so you can’t miss them. It’s an easy walk or bike ride. They also have a few parking spots. Sierra Kennedy, 2012.

Comment and photos by Kelly O’Donnell, 2013 – I had no idea that there was this great play area upstairs inside the Hoop bagel place. I had gone there 4 or 5 times and had never gone upstairs. There is lots of seating for the parents up there and the waitress will bring your lunch up while the kids play.

Comment by Suzie Qu from Facebook, April 2013: During lunch hours you can NOT use the upstairs without reservations anymore.  They will try to accommodate you if they can, but i know as of about last week, they even put up a sign stating that between certain hours, no seating upstairs unless call ahead.

Hamura Produce Market

This is a popular farmers market in Hamura, easily noted by the lines of people who patiently wait for the market to open at 9:30 each morning. It’s just 5km from Yokota, and all the produce here is grown entirely by farmers local to this area. Getting here when it opens is the best way to get produce that comes in small lots, such as anything just beginning to come into season. These things disappear quickly! The prices vary from lot to lot because each is brought in by a different farmer. There are usually also small batches of fresh baked goods, noodles, and some canned goods. There are always plenty of farm fresh eggs. GPS: 35.76730,139.30728.
DIRECTIONS: Go straight out the Fussa Gate. Cross one set of railroad tracks, stay left at the “Y” and cross another set of tracks. At the Fussa City Hall intersection (with City Hall on the far left corner and the post office on the far right) turn right, onto Shin Okutama Highway, more commonly known as Route 29. Drive about 3.5km, until you reach an intersection that is signposted “Hamura Sports Center.” Go straight through htis intersection. The produce market is the very first right, with a distinctive three peak building where the produce is sold. Meg Martin, 2012.

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Indoor Play Zone in Hamura

This three-story Indoor Play Zone (Hamura Community Center) is close, free and fun. It makes for a great escape on rainy or too-hot days. Enter on the street side of the building, put your shoes on the shelves to the right and head to the section of your choosing. (Shoes and sandals must be removed, so you might want to bring socks for children in summer.)  There is an information desk on the left where you can practice your Japanese language skills.  The first floor is where they seem to have community crafts and classes.  Head up the stairs to the second floor. On the right you will find a nice toddler area with toys – great for kids ages 0 to 2.  When we were there on a weekday, there were plenty of nice Japanese moms and kids meeting in spontaneous playgroups.  Also, on the second floor is a large basketball court with bouncy balls.  Most fun, though, is the rope jungle hovering above the basketball court.  Climb the staircase and enter through the dragon’s mouth.  From the basketball court, there is also an entrance for an outdoor rope obstacle that was closed off when we visited. Maybe it’s open on weekends.  As well, on the block behind the center (to the west) there is a large park and playground with big trees.  We didn’t find any official parking and street parking was hard to locate too.  If anyone finds a good place to park, please post it here.  We did find a fairly empty parking lot close-by, but were unsure if we were allowed to park there as we couldn’t read the Japanese signs.  Play Zone hours: 9-5pm. It might be closed one day of the week. (Maybe someone more skilled at Japanese could let us know.) GPS: 35.76036,139.3285. Alexandra Winkler and Sarah Straus, 2012.
DIRECTIONS: Exit the Terminal Gate and turn right on Route 16. Continue under the underpass and turn left at the first light after the underpass (1.8km). This is Route 163. Continue past the intersection named Hamura Zoological Park and turn left onto a narrow road just after the used car lot (1.2km).  The gray building will be on your right.

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Discovering hidden Fussa: Two walking tours

Fussa – 福生

Let’s be frank: Fussa is not what you’d call “quaint.” It appears, like many communities in Tokyo’s orbit, to be a product of necessity, of unromantic economics and rapid development.
But you’ll see it in a new light if you take the time to poke around. First, you’ll find it’s an utterly fantastic asset to have just outside the gate. Fussa is a walkable city and a bike-friendly place. Its train station, a mere 12-minute walk from Fussa Gate, connects you to the national rail system, to Tokyo, and to the whole of Japan. The Tama River, on the city’s western flank, provides a quick nature fix and has endless trails for walking, running and biking. Its stores and restaurants are good training grounds for you to trot out new Japanese phrases as you learn them and get used to commerce in Japan. Don’t be shy. You think you’re the first clueless American they’ve seen in these parts?
Just when you think Fussa is merely utilitarian you’ll start uncovering its secrets: Temples tucked away in neighborhoods. A little pastry shop. A watering hole where you feel you could become a regular. A sudden view of snow-covered Mt. Fuji. A clutch of older homes that, if you squint, gives you a peek at a previous century.
How do you find these hidden places? Read on, my friends. That’s what we’re here for.

Discovering hidden Fussa: Two walking tours

Fussa Restaurants

1. The West Route

This route will show you some of the Fussa gems that are concealed in plain sight. It’s about 3 miles long, if you take every side trail. It can easily be cut short – just make for Fussa Station and back to Fussa Gate. See the route map here. I’ve also posted it below. This makes an excellent bike tour, also.

View Fussa Walking Tour No. 1 in a larger map

Into the center
Start by walking out the Fussa Gate and cross the first set of tracks. Stay left at the “Y.” In 300 feet, pause to window-shop the tiny antique store on the right side of the street, right on the corner. It specializes in old electric sewing machines and post-War “Made in Japan” porcelain. Now continue down the street as you were. Cross the second set of tracks and go two more blocks. You’ve now gone 1km from Fussa gate and you’re at an intersection, with the main Fussa Post Office on your right and the Fussa City offices on your left. (GPS position: 35.739264, 139.326756)

To Shinmeisha Shrine
Turn right, onto Shin Okutama-Kaido and continue past the post office. Half a kilometer (a third of a mile) past the post office – having gone through five intersections, one with a traffic light – you will see a concrete elementary school on the right side of the street. (GPS: 35.74265, 139.32479). There’s a cute coffee shop on the left, with lots of mugs in the window. Stop in for a cuppa and continue down the street. You’ll see Skylark, and a noodle restaurant called Kama-Age, next to a fire station on the right side of the road. On the left is a cemetery. Next to the cemetery is the entrance to Shinmeisha Shrine. Note this location and ask yourself if you’re hungry. If so, grab a bite at the  one of restaurants next to the fire station, or continue down the road, past Sega, to a most inviting sandwich shop, Cheese and Olive. Once you’re done, go back to Shinmeisha Shrine. Walk through the Torii Gate and you will see smaller shrines spaced on the left side.
If you continue through to the Torii Gate on the opposite side and down a set of stairs, you will find a small park on the right side of the stairway. Go down the steps to the street, and turn left to look at the sculptures depicting the Buddhist god Jizo, the patron of travelers and deceased children. They are dressed in red caps and, on one recent visit, fleece Winnie the Pooh jackets.

A leafy respite
Now do a U-turn. Go past the stairs you came down to the end of the block. Make a left at the corner and walk three small blocks to the end of the street. There will be a blue pedestrian overpass. If you look behind the house on the corner, you will see a very old temple, Kannondou Temple, down a small alleyway. Cross the pedestrian overpass and the small bridge. Now, remember this spot because we’re coming back here.
After the bridge, you can turn right and walk along the side of a small canal to Kanizaka Park (toilet and water fountain available). This canal is what remains of the Tamagawa Waterway, built in 1653 to supply water for Edo. The road becomes a path as it follows the canal past a small residential area to a small leafy park. This peaceful area is laced with paths up and around a small embankment dotted with picnic tables and benches. Climb up. There’s a nice view of the Tama River far below. Does the lumpy topography seem out of place? This park was built on the fill dug up 350 years ago to build the canal.

Choutokuji Temple & Tamura Brewery

Now follow your breadcrumbs back to the bridge. If you face away from the bridge and go straight, down the hill, you will see a grandly rebuilt temple, Choutokuji Temple, and across the street the picturesque Tamura sake brewery. Continue past the temple; the road will begin to curve to the left (you’ll see the Tama River). There is a small park with benches and a small shrine just as the road curves. The next intersection will be Fujiami Street. Turn left here. If you continue straight, you will come to Fussa Station.  Walk through the station, down to street level and past McDonald’s to the corner. Turn right, then take the first left. It’s a straight shot from there to the Fussa Gate.

Seiganin Temple, Est. 1394
If you want to see one more cool temple, make the left onto Fujiami Street and walk two blocks to Naka Fussa Street. There’s no sign, but if you get to the bridge over the canal you’ve gone to far. Turn right down this street and go halfway down the block. (GPS: 35.737853, 139.323693) You will see a small alley to the left. Turn here. About 300 yards up this alley is one of the most ornate temples in the area, the Seiganin Temple. This temple, orignally built in 1394, is home to Buddhist monks.
Now you can backtrack to Fujimi Street or you can continue past the temple to the next intersection, take a left, and follow the curve of the road (left), back to Fujimi Street and then a right back to Fussa Station and the Fussa Gate. Michele Kreuziger, Emily Pishnotte, Liz Ruskin, 2010.

2. The Tama River Tour

This route is about 6km. It’s good for walkers or bicyclists. Bring a snack as there are several nice parks to take a break in, or plan on getting lunch at the Ishikawa Brewery.


The Tea House
Start at the Supply Gate and walk straight across Route 16. Keep going straight, along Itsukaichi Kaido Avenue, Route 7. The entrance to the first site on our tour, the City Tea House, will appear in 400 meters, after you cross the first set of railroad track, on the left side of the street. You are looking for a small wooded area with a stone path. (The woods are across Itsukaichi Kaido from the Civic Center , a large red brick auditorium. If you reach the blue pedestrian overpass you’ve gone too far.) Follow the stone path to see a bamboo fenced area, where you’ll find the City Tea House. (The Tea House, built for tea ceremonies and other cultured events, is available for rent but you must make reservations months in advance.) Walk around and up the hill past the Tea House, turning right at the top, taking you to the rear of the Fussa Library. The entrance is around the building to the right, directly behind the Tea House. (The library is open 10am -8pm Tuesday-Friday, 10am – 5pm Sat-Sun, closed Mondays, or Tuesdays if Monday is a Japanese holiday. Next, follow the stone path back to the main street or look next to the Tea House and the library for the cute little bridge and waterfall. Whether you exit through the parking lot or take the stone path, walk back to the main road, Itsukaichi Kaido.

Firefly Park (Hotaru Park)
Turn left on Itsukaichi Kaido, going downhill, away from the base. Your first chance to stop for a snack is past the library at the Jonathan’s Restaurant on the left.
Stay straight and cross a bridge decorated with artwork tiles of fireflies. Continue walking straight. Turn left onto Okutama Kaido, and move to the right side of the road. You should see a sign in Japanese for the steps down to Firefly Park (Hotaru Park). The entrance to this path is across from Gray Shining Hills apartments and a bright yellow building.  Or continue further down Okutama Kaido and take the bike path. This park has bathrooms, a stream, a fountain and a greenhouse where firefly larva are grown. Come here around 8pm in mid-June to see the glow bugs. Fussa holds an annual firefly festival around this time to celebrate the magic.
To continue your walk, pass the greenhouse, exit onto the street and turn left. Go under the the elevated railroad tracks. You’ll see a small playground on the right just beyond the tracks. But ahead on the left is a cuter park with fish ponds that might be make for a nice rest.

The River Path
When you’re ready to continue, backtrack to the playground and cut through it to reach a small road that parallels the railroad tracks. Walk along this road until it dead-ends at the river.  Now climb up the small embankment and turn left. You’ll see you’re walking on a bike path built on the levee of the Tama River. The path is lined with cherry trees and is stunningly gorgeous when the trees bloom in early April.  In fact, Fussa has a festival for that, too, and the main venue is just ahead on your left, Myojinshita Park (GPS: 35.7236,139.3305, halfway between the railroad tracks behind you and the next bridge.) Walk on, keeping the Tama River on your right, for about a kilometer. Here the path ducks under the Mutsumi Bashi bridge. If you go under the bridge you will be at a large picnic area called Minami Park. If you wish to barbecue or play tennis here, get a permit from the log cabin park office by the entrance.

The Brewery
To continue, turn left at the traffic circle and go uphill to exit the park. Turn right on the main street, Mutsumi-bashi Dori. Stay on the right side of the road, and bear right along the sidewalk, flanking a stone retaining wall. At the top of the small hill is a billboard advertising the Ishikawa Brewery, which is just ahead. Go there now if you’re losing energy and in need of refreshment.
Otherwise, take the scenic route: Make a sharp right and follow the road as it winds its way past beautiful homes and the Senjuin Temple.
At the intersection with Kumagawa Dori (there’s no sign, but trust us on this one), about 80 meters past the temple, there is an old stone monument on the far left corner. (What does it say? Is it a historical marker? An ancient road sign? If you find out, leave a comment below.) Turn left here. On the left, there is a well-tended property with black walls and a series of old white buildings. This is the Sake Brewery Tama-Jiman, also known as the Ishikawa Brewery. It has a little museum and two nice restaurants, which you can read about here. Stop in to check it out

Kumagawa Shrine
Once you leave the brewery, go back to Kumagawa Dori and continue in the same direction you were headed, northeast. Immediately past the bewery you’ll come to a “T” intersection. (Look left and you might be able to see the billboard you were standing at minutes ago, before you opted for the scenic route.)  Turn right at the “T” and then a quick left onto the continuation of Kumagawa Dori, a tiny street, no wider than an alley. This will take you back to the big street, Mutusumi-bashi Dori, which is, like Itsukaichi Doir, labeled Rt. 7 on maps. Cross this road and continue along Kumagawa Dori. Keep going straight until you reach a four-way intersection of streets no bigger than the one you’re on. Turn left, so that you’re walking down the alley that has a metal fence running along the right-hand side.  You will soon reach Kumagawa Shrine, a unique animal temple. The day we were there, they had live raccoons, a goat, cranes, a dog, and a large cage full of parakeets. There are signs that say “Don’t Touch the Animals.” This is also the site of a very nice shrine sale, held on the second Sunday of every month.

Back to Base
Tired? OK, let’s get you home. Exit the temple grounds and continue going north on the road you came in on. When it ends, turn right and cross Shin Okutama Kaido. Keep going along this small residential street until you come to a 4-way intersection with a light. Turn left here. Follow this road as it crosses a set of track, curves to the right and then crosses another set of tracks. Stay on it, across a third set of tracks until you reach Route 16 and the Yokota fence. Turn left to get to the Supply Gate. Michele Kreuziger 2007. Directions updated 2012.

I followed and updated directions in late 2010. No animals at the temple on my visit, perhaps due to the cold. Liz Ruskin

Hamura Museums

Hamura Museum
This small local museum is about 10 minutes away, across the Tama
River. On the grounds is a restored thatched-roof farmhouse full of household implements that the shrine sale enthusiasts enjoy, as well as an old red gate associated with shrines. Admission is free. Unfortunately there are no explanations in English but most exhibits are self-explanatory. Main features include pieced together ancient ceramic pots, rice cultivation, and historic methods of silk production. There’s also an old fire wagon and lots of benches outside on which to sit and eat a sack lunch.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the Fussa Gate and left at the second light. Take this street to the river, crossing two railroad tracks. At the “T” intersection, make a right (under a blue pedestrian bridge), then at the 4th stoplight, make a left over the bridge (HamuraOhashi East Intersection—there’ll be a five-story gray concrete apartment building on the right with stone walls on both sides). On the far side of the river, make the first right into a small road (parallel to the river); take the right fork downward. At the stop sign, turn left into a residential area and follow this road around to its end (at
the river). Park in the left lot just past the large brown museum (the right lot belongs to a very pricey restaurant, ¥5000+ per person).
Hours: 9am-4:30pm, closed Mondays (and Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday). Julie Irwin 2007

Hamura-Shi Planetarium
A real educational treasure exists right out our front door in Hamura. This planetarium is tucked away in a residential neighborhood, sharing space within a small city recreational building. There is no charge to sit and be enthralled with a visual guided tour of the skies over Hamura. Your personal guide will treat you to a 40-minute (20-minute show for young children) audiovisual presentation, depicting the skies from sunset to sunrise. You will see summer and winter constellations, comets, shooting stars, night-time cloud formations, a solar eclipse and a glimpse of our solar system amongst the vastness of space. Though the staff members narrate the program in Japanese only, one can still enjoy the universal language of the stars and space. A working knowledge of astronomy is NOT needed to enjoy the program. But beware! Once you see the show you may gravitate toward the library to learn more about the wonders of space. Just ask the attendant, inside the main entrance, to the right, to see the planetarium (remember, no English is spoken so point upstairs and ask slowly). You must slip off your shoes and use the slippers provided.
DIRECTIONS: Go straight out the Fussa Gate and go right at the “Y” intersection. Continue on to two more lights. Turn right onto the street running in front of Seiyu (Yanagi Dori). Continue on this street through 13 lights or 3.8km until you come to the Hamura Post Office on your left. Turn left at the light just after the post office and continue through one light. Not far from the light, and on your right you will see the dome of the planetarium. Across the street, on your left, is the parking lot. There are about 10 parking slots and one large bus slot. Keep in mind that this is a neighborhood recreation center and there are LOTS of kids involved in all kinds of activities in and around the building, so don’t think you have arrived at the wrong place! Hours: The planetarium is closed on Mondays. Individuals and families are welcome anytime Tuesday-Sunday at 3:30pm (11am and 3pm during Japanese spring, summer, and winter school breaks); school groups and group tours/shows are held at other times. If you have a group larger than 20, you must stop by their office prior to your visit and fill out a special group request form and make an appointment. Marcia St. John


Hamura-area restaurants

Uncovering hidden Fussa: The Tama River walking tour

Start at the Supply Gate and walk straight across Route 16. Continue to follow Itsukaichi Kaido Avenue. The entrance to the first site on our tour, the City Tea House, will appear on the second block on the left side of the street. You are looking for a small wooded area with a stone path. Opposite of this wooded area you will see the Civic Center (auditorium), a large red brick building. There is an over-the street walkway to take you from one side to the other. Follow the stone path to see a bamboo fenced area, where you’ll find the City Tea House. (The Tea House is available for rent but you must make reservations 6 months in advance.) Walk around and up the hill past the Tea House, turning right at the top, taking you to the rear of the Fussa Library. The entrance is around the building to the right, directly behind the Tea House. (The library is open 10am -8pm Tuesday-Friday, 10am – 5pm Sat-Sun, closed Mondays (Tuesdays if Monday is a Japanese holiday; Next, follow the stone path back to the main street or take a shortcut by taking the path to the left of the Tea House. The next left will lead to a small bridge and waterfall, and an opening in the wall on the right to the library parking lot. Whether you exit through the parking lot or take the stone path, walk back to the main road Itsukaichi Kaido/Route 7).
Continue (left) west on the main road (Itsukaichi Kaido Avenue); your first chance to stop for a snack is past the library at the Jonathan’s Restaurant on the left (the same side you should be on).
Stay straight and cross a bridge decorated with artwork tiles of fireflies. Continue walking straight. Turn left onto Okutama Kaido, and move to the right side of the road. You should see a sign in Japanese for the bike path to the Firefly Park (Hotaru Park). If you feel adventurous, you can take the tiny dirt path zigzagging down the hill. The entrance to this path is directly across from Gray Shining Hills Apartment House. If you are less adventurous, continue past Okutama Kaido for one more long downhill block; the next main street is Denen. Turn right, the park is on the corner. This park has a fish pond, fountain, and a greenhouse where firefly larva are grown. There are also
To continue your walk, pass the greenhouse exit onto the street, and turn left. Go under the railroad tracks, cross to the right side of the street. There will be a playground directly after the train overpass on the right. Walk through the playground to the small roadway that runs along the bottom of the tracks with a fence along the right side of the road. Walk along the fence line until you come to the river (dead end). Follow the road as it turns into a raised path (biking/walking) lined with cherry trees. You will be turning left. This is a beautiful walk in the spring, the city is on your left, and the Tama River is on your right. About half way down the path on the left side is another playground
and Meishin-shita Park. The path will end at Mutsumi Bashi Bridge. If you go under the bridge you will be at a large picnic area called Minami Park. If you wish to barbecue or play tennis, you will need a permit, obtained in the log cabin park office by the entrance.
To continue your walk, exit the park and turn right onto the main street, Mutsumi-bashi Dori; you will be on the right side. The first right will be a diagonal right. There will be a green sign, an old walking tour sign (8 – Park 9 Temple 10 – Haijima Station). Take a sharp right and follow the road as it winds its way past beautiful homes and the Senjuin Temple.
At the intersection with Kumagawa Dori, there will be a stone monument on the corner. Turn right. On the left, there is a black-timbered property; this is the Sake Brewery Tama-Jiman. Walk straight through the intersection and turn left on Kumagawa Dori; you will reach a “Y” in the road—go left and then walk down a small street (as wide as an alley). You will pass an auto dealer on your left. Continue straight until you reach Kumagawa Shrine. Continue out the gate, along the same little street you started on. You will come to a “T” intersection; go left onto Shimizuzaka Dori, then right back onto Kumagawa Dori. You will have reached a really unique animal temple. The day we were there, they had live raccoons, a goat, cranes, a dog, and a large cage full of parakeets. There are signs that say “Don’t Touch the Animals.”
If you are tired at this point, you can go directly back to base past the temple following the road (it curves to the right). You will come to a “T” intersection. Turn left. After half a block, you will come to a “Y” intersection. Take the right fork (Shin Okutama-Kaido Avenue); cross the JR train tracks (Kumagawa Station at the first right). Continue walking straight for three more blocks to get back to the main road (Itsukaichi-Kaido Avenue). Turn right and the road will lead to the Supply Gate. Michele Kreuziger 2007