Tokyo Hike: Okutama Mukashi Michi Walking Course

Okutama Mukashi Michi Trail Map
Okutama Mukashi Michi Trail Map

It’s still a little early for the koyo autumn leaves season around Tokyo — think another month or so. This is, however, still a great time to get out of doors and out of The City, into the countryside.

This season, as R. and I continue to stretch our legs after a too-hot summer spent mostly indoors, we continue to look for new hikes around Tokyo. Last weekend we walked the 9 kilometre Okutama Mukashi Michi, the Okutama Old Road, which runs from Okutama Station on the JR line to (near) Lake Okutama.

I say “walked” because for the most part, that’s what we did as the route follows an asphalt road along an old rail line along a forested slope. Only in the last stretch, the final hour so as we neared Lake Okutama, did we veer off-road and onto a trail.

It’s a pleasant, not spectacular, route, and if you walk it in the direction we did — from train station to bus stop — it tops out at a very pleasant viewpoint overlooking Lake Okutama: the Aometachi Fudoson Yasumidokoro rest house. It’ll be a great place to see the turning of the leaves around Lake Okutama; it’s also, however, reached by a road which means I suspect a lot of day trippers will be there to share the view.

I say “walked” because for the most part, that’s what we did. The route follows an asphalt road along an old rail line along a forested slope. Only in the last stretch, the final hour so as we neared Lake Okutama, did we veer off-road onto a trail. There were some others on the trail, mostly young couples still in active city wear and families with toddlers and small children: this is not rugged terrain. We finished the route in the suggested time, 4 hours, which is a little unusual for us: we often take considerably longer than suggested times as we like to stop for breaks and to take pictures. As pleasant as the Okutama Mukashi trail is, there just weren’t that many photo ops to slow us down this time. I might have gotten some good pictures from the Shidaraku-bashi suspension bridge over the Tamagawa River, but honestly I preferred not to look down…

Sun Rays on Forest okutama

Okutama Mukashi Tree

Other Info:

Detailed Trip report on the blog Sake, Kimono, and Tabi. Interesting and useful read with pics!

Map and photos on EveryTrail

Other sites and hikes in the Okutama area on Wikitravel

A lush description and photographs of a solo, contemplative hike of the Okutama Mukashi Michi in winter by Miguel Arboleda on his blog Laughing Knees. Recommended reading!

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