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Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley

A well-kept city secret that’s usually only shared with Tokyo residents is the Todoroki Valley. This hidden oasis is just 20-minutes from central Tokyo, but it couldn’t be any more different to neon lights of Shinjuku and the slick cloud-ticking skyscrapers of Shibuya. Situated in the heart of the densely populated, residential Setagaya city ward, it’s stunning all season round, and well worth a visit for those looking for some respite from the manic pace of big city life. At just one kilometer in length, it’s not massive, but it sure packs a lot into its inner-city space.

Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley
  • Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley

    Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley

    The centerpiece of this lush-urban retreat is Todoroki Fudoson Temple, flanked by lush foliage, it’s particularly stunning in autumn as the surrounding trees transition from rich green to vibrant bursts of red and orange. The best way to get to the site is to start at the opposite end of the valley and make the journey through the middle. As you enter the park, you’ll find a small cobblestone path roofed by towering Japanese zelkova and oak trees running along Yazawa River. Take this path, but don’t be afraid to stray from the track and explore the log bridges, tunnel tombs and small viewing platforms scattered around the area.

    Todoroki Keikoku Gorge
    Address
    Tokyo Setagaya-ku Todoroki 1-22, 2 - 37 - 38 outside
    Phone
    0337044972
    Todoroki Fudoson (Myoo In)
    rating 64 Reviews
    Address
    Tokyo Setagaya Todoroki 1-22-47
    Phone
    0337015405
    Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley

    Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley

    From one end of the valley to the other it takes on 20-30 minutes, so you have plenty of time to wander. Situated opposite the Fudoson Temple, across a small wooden bridge sits another small shrine known as Chigo Daishi-do. This site is a dedication to Kobo Daishi.

    Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley

    Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley

    Tucked between Chigo Daishi-do and Fudoson Temple is Fudo-no-taki falls, a small waterfall once said to be used as a place for ascetic training by followers of Buddhism. It’s not quite as big as it may once have been, but still impressive nonetheless. The water that cascades down the falls is a magnet for local wildlife, like ducks and other birds that call the area home. Just beyond the waterfall, on the opposite side of the bridge, towards the Tama River is a picturesque Japanese garden complete with a humble but beautiful bamboo forest which makes for some incredible photos.

    Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley

    Escape the City and Visit Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley

    Once you’re done exploring the valley, be sure to stop by cafe Setsugekka before you leave. Easy to spot, you can’t miss the red umbrellas dotted just outside the cafe’s main entrance. The cafe is also a tearoom which serves matcha tea and a popular local specialty sweet known as kuzumochi cake, it’s a delicate jelly-like mochi (rice cake) sweet covered in kuzu powder and sugar.

    雪月花
    Address
    東京都世田谷区等々力1-22-47
    Phone
    03-3705-8137

    Given its central location, Todoroki Valley is relatively easy to reach from most places in Tokyo, and a visit to the park could easily be done in less than half a day. Located just a few minutes from Todoroki Station, to get there take the south exit from the station, you’ll pass by a large pink Seijo Ishii supermarket - a great place for picking up a picnic lunch to enjoy in the park - and you can’t miss it. Todoroki Station is on the Tokyu Oimachi Line, from Shibuya Station take the Tokyu-Toyoko Line to Jiyugaoka Station and switch to the Tokyu-Oimachi Line, the journey by train takes about 16 minutes and costs 200 yen each way.

    Todoroki(Tokyo)
    Address
    Tokyo Setagaya-ku Todoroki 3-chome
    Phone
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