The hills of western Tokyo are a treasure trove. Visitors often remark on the contrast between this area and the urban sprawl below: “It is hard to believe we are even in the same country!” Yet, most of the 35 million people of the greater metropolis are only dimly aware of the beauty and wonder of vast forests and pristine streams at their doorstep. Information in English is patchy.
Through these pages, we hope to provide a resource (primarily) in English, introducing the many attractions of the Okutama and Ome districts, plus the sheer joy of being able to live here among neighbours who are not only tough and resourceful but also exceptionally warm-hearted and generous.
Life in a Village is the page for sharing our experiences since moving in straight after the massive snows of early 2014.
Mountain, Valley and River is aimed at all you hikers, explorers and adventurers. In the Okutama hills you can find hundreds of kilometres of trails. Popular destinations such as 2017-m Mt. Kumotori and historic Musashi-Mitake Shrine have well-marked trails and convenient services. Or you can walk all day without seeing another soul if you so desire.
But that’s not all. Perhaps it’s time to try some rafting, canoeing, kayaking or river surfing; canyoning or sawanobori (river climbing); rock-climbing or bouldering (Don’t know the difference? It’s intriguing). We provide useful information and links, and can answer questions.
Eat and Drink introduces restaurants, bars, breweries and other places to relax and enjoy the legendary Okutama hospitality. This is also the place to explore the culinary specialities of the region, such as wasabi, mountain vegetables, delicious river fish, special meats (think deer and wild boar) and the produce of the river valley’s many orchards, farms and market gardens.
Flora and Fauna. The region is home to an astonishing variety of plant and animal life. On this page you can begin your investigation of where and how to find a kamoshika (Japanese serow) or an edible lily, where to watch cormorants fishing in the wild, or when to see the rare genji firefly.
Contact Us. Seriously! We love filling in the gaps left by websites and information packages aimed at the typical Japanese tourist. It may take a day or two, but we will use our resources and contacts to ferret out reliable and interesting facts.
Just e-mail David: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call 080-4660-6677