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; www.city.fussa.tokyo.jp/englishguide/88vtda000000fzsq-att/88vtda000000fzuc.pdf) 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
bathrooms.
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

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