Best Outdoor Activities To Do In Okutama

okutama Day trips from Tokyo

Located in the western outskirts of Tokyo, Okutama offers the perfect getaway from Tokyo. Okutama is a small town in Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, the closest national park to Tokyo – a little under 2 hours away from Tokyo. It can be easily done as a day trip, though we recommend you spend at least one night in the stunning landscapes of Okutama!

When you exit the train at Okutama Station, you will be warmly welcomed with a majestic mountain view and amazing, rich nature. With 12 mountain peaks, including the highest peak of Tokyo – Mount Kumotori at 2,017m – the area offers numerous hiking trails and other outdoor activities. Even though the nature paradise is still located in Tokyo, it couldn’t be more different from the world’s busiest city. Hike in the mountainous area, enjoy the scenery of Lake Okutama or take a dip in an onsen. Here we will mention the best things to do in Okutama, relax and unwind while you take in the beautiful nature!

How to get to Okutama

Okutama Station can best be reached by train, a direct train departs from Shinjuku Station every 40 minutes. The train ride takes about two hours and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass (depending on which trains you take). Otherwise the train ride will set you back at ¥1,100 (one way ticket).

sunset okutama

Highlights of Okutama

Okutama is a nature lovers paradise complete with forest, lakes and valleys. The area is also home to some of Tokyo’s higher mountains (Kumotori, Odake and Mito) and several minor peaks, providing many great hiking options, ranging from easy to more challenging. In addition, the area boasts some great outdoor activity options, let explore!

1. Lake Okutama

Lake Okutama, also known as Ogōchi Reservoir, is an important source of water for Tokyo. The man-made lake was created to dam the Tamagawa River above the Ogōchi Dam, which is open to the public and walking over it offers great views over the lake. The surrounding amazing nature with the majestic mountains and the dense forest set the perfect background for the clear-blue lake.

After getting of the bus, you will find yourself directly in front of the lake’s Mugiyama floating bridge. The distinctive crossing makes for a great photo spot with the blue water on either side and the lush greenery in the background. Take in the scenery while you make your way back towards the interactive Water and Green Museum, where you can learn more about the history of Okutama, the native wildlife and the Ogōchi Reservoir. The on-site restaurant serves some locally inspired dishes including a Ogōchu Dam curry.

How to acces Lake Okutama

From Okutama Station, hop on the bus and get off at Ogouchi Shrine.

Okutama lake ogouchi dam

2. Hiking Trails Okutama Lake

As we mentioned before, with its’ rich nature Okutama is a true hikers paradise. There are several trails that cater for all, whether you are looking for an easy stroll or a challenging hike. Below are some of the most popular hikes

Otama Walking Trail

A nice and easy trail along the Tama river, passing some interesting sites including, next the the beautiful scenery, shrines, an abandoned ryokan, suspension bridges and restaurants.

Otama Walking Trail (Japanese trail map)
Starting point: Kori Station
Length: 8 km
Duration: 2-3 hrs
Level: easy

Okutama Mukashi Michi Trail

This hike follows the Okutama Old Road (Mukashi Michi), that connected Tokyo and Kofu in Yamanashi prefecture. This 10-km-long trail, that was once lined with many tea houses and lodging of which traces can still be found along the way.

Mukasi Michi
Starting point: Okutama Station
Length: 10 km
Duration: 3-4 hrs
Level: easy

Okutamako Ikoi no Michi Trail

Take a walk around the scenic spots of Lake Okutama, including the floating bridges, and the dam. You can enjoy a long hike with a total length of 12 km.

Okutamako Ikoi no Michi
Starting point: Ogōchi Shrine
Length: 12 km
Duration: 3-4 hrs
Level: easy

There are many other hiking trails in the Okutama, including Mt Mitake, Mt Odake, Mt Kumotori. Read more about about hiking trails near Tokyo:

3. Hatonosu Valley Area

Hatonosu Valley was created by the Tama River, flowing between the mountains. The beautiful valley is part of the Otama hiking trail that stretches across the Okutama area. The valley is also a great place to enjoy fishing, camping, fun on the water, walks and more.

How to access Hatonosu Valley

The valley is located a 5-min-walk from Hatonosu Station.

4. Watersports Okutama

The Tama river is known as a great spot for white water rafting for both beginners and more experienced rafters. Explore a large parts of the river in a few hours after which you will be transferred to the starting point. The flow of the river isn’t too fast so you’ll be able to take in the beautiful surroundings too. If you’re looking for something more excited, you can also try clamber and rappel down some of the (hidden) waterfalls of the river. Canyoning in Okutama is a perfect for escaping the summer heat of Tokyo and discover the exciting gorges of Okutama! It is also possible to organise a BBQ on site at most places.

Picture by Voyagin

5. Mount Kumotori (取山)

Tokyo’s highest peak at 2,017m, stands between Tokyo, Saitama and Yamanashi prefectures and divides Okutama from the Okuchichibu region of the neighboring Saitama and Yamanashi of Tokyo. Hiking to the summit can be done as a daytrip, though, we strongly recommend you make it a two-day trip and stay overnight at the hut located on the mountain or at the camping ground. This way you can follow your own pace without stressing out about getting back to Tokyo in time. The buses in the area are only running a few times per day.

There are several trails leading to the top of the Kumotori, you can either start north from Mitsumine Shrine in Saitama prefecture, or take the southern approach from Tokyo, starting from Okutama Station along the Ishione ridge, or take the steepest trail starting in Kamosawa. Our recommendation is starting from Mitsumine Shrine and make your way down south, as the Tokyo approach involves a lot more elevation difference. The total trip from Mitsumine Shrine to Okutama Station is about 32 km, with some steep climbing and descending.

Kumotori-san is also great to visit when the cherry blossom season in Tokyo has finished. Because of the slightly cooler temperature in Okutama, the blooming season will also be ending later.

Mount Kumotori Flickr
Picture by Guilhem

How to access Mount Kumotori

From Seibu-Chichibu Station Station, board the bus to Mitsumine Jinja (1h15m). We urge you to plan your trip carefully!

6. Mount Mitake

Mount Mitake is one of the most popular day trips for nature lovers from Tokyo. It is one of the many highlights the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park has to offer and has several great hiking options too. The mountain has an altitude of 929 meters and at the summit there is a beautiful shrine. From the base of the mountain you can choose to take the cable car that will bring you to 407m, from there is it a 20 – 30 min walk to the shrine on the paved trail. It is also possible to walk all the way from the bottom of the cable car, but we recommend taking the cable car up – especially if you are thinking of walking to Mount Odake, Mount Nokogiri or even Okutama.

Mt. Mitake – Mt. Odake – Mt. Nokogiri – Okutama
Starting point: Mitake Cable Car Station
Length: 10.5 km
Duration: 3-4 hrs
Level: moderate

Mount Odake Mitake
Mount Fuji views from the top of Mount Odake

How to access Mount Mitake

From Mitake Station, take Nishi Tokyo Bus and get off at Cablecar-shita bus stop (about 10 min). 

7. Nippara Limestone Cave

The Nippara Limestone caves were formed millions of years ago and offer a fun, cooling experience. You can explore about 800 meters of the 1,270-meter-long cave that has a steady temperature of about 11 degrees Celsius throughout the year. In medieval times, Buddhist monks were living in the caves and used them for meditation and spiritual rituals, hence the caves consist of numerous a sacred spots for Buddhist monks from the Shugendo sect. The monks also named various strangely shaped underground rocks. Both the sacred spots as well as the trails are clearly marked and the caves are also well lit.

Nippara Limestone Cave & Wasabi Farm Tour in Okutama, Tokyo
Visit Nippara Limestone Cave, one of the largest in Eastern Japan, with a local guide. Discover striking rock formations, hidden stone statues, and the spiritua...

How to access Nippara Limestone Caves

From Okutama Station, take Nishi Tokyo Bus and get off at Shonyudo bus stop (about 35 min). 

8. Moegi-no-Yu

Moegi-no-Yu is a great place to relax after a full day of hiking, with hot spring facilities to soak yourself. From both the inside and the outdoors bath you can look out over the mountains and trees of Okutama and the clear waters of the Tamagawa River. If you’re in a hurry they also offer a ashiyu (foot bath) for just ¥100!

Picture by GoTokyo

How to access Moegi-no-Yu

The hotspring of Moegi-no-Yu is located a 10 minutes walk from Okutama Station.

9. Hikawa International Trout Fishing Spot

Located near Moegi-no-Yu, you can find this managed fishing area located in the downstream of the Nippara River. At Hikawa International Trout Fishing you can catch Trout by rod or try you luck, and speed, and use your hands. All the equipment needed can be rent on-site and the fish can be grilled at the BBQ-facilities. You can also stay overnight at the nearby Hikawa Campsite – be sure to make timely reservations as camping here is quite popular.

How to access Hikawa International Trout Fishing Spot

From Okutama Station, take a short walk (7 minutes).

Japan Wonder Travel (online) tours

If you are planning your trip to Japan and could use some advice to decide on which places to go, we’re happy to help. We can provide an itinerary for you based upon your wishes, make reservations and get your tickets. We’d also be very happy to show you around, our English guided will allow you to discover Japan even better and teach you all about the interesting culture and traditions and amazing architecture.

  1. Tokyo Highlights Tour (customizable)
  2. Kyoto Highlight Walking Tour
  3. Virtual Discover Japan Tour

Okutama is the farthest nature spot located in Tokyo which can be easily accessed by train. Within a 2hr train ride, you will find yourself in one of the most unexplored nature spots in the city. Okutama is surrounded by beautiful and magnificent nature spot; visit Lake Okutama, which was created with the construction of the Ogōchi Dam, go for an adventurous hike in the mountains, or enjoy one of the many watersport options the area has on offer. The area of Okutama is a popular day trip from Tokyo, but you can easily spend a full weekend at the natural paradise of Okutama. Okutama is a great tourist destination with beautiful nature. It takes only two hours to reach it from Shinjuku Station, so how about a visit?

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Happy travelling!

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