Todoroki Valley, a Secret Nature Hideout in Tokyo



Todoroki Valley, a Secret Nature Hideout in Tokyo


Hidden away in a quiet neighborhood, Todoroki Valley is a rare natural hideout that you wouldn't expect to exist inside the metropolis. With its canopy of lush vegetation, its wooden paths and hidden shrines, it's a perfect spot to slow down from the pace of the big city for a while.
Todoroki Valley

Approximately 1km long, this natural gorge is the only one within Tokyo's 23 wards. It was created by the Yazawa river as it eroded the southern tip of the Musashino Upland.

How to Get There

Todoroki Valley can be easily reached on foot from Todoroki Station on the Tokyu Oimachi Line. It is part of Setagaya, a peaceful residential ward in that also features trendy hubs like Shimokitazawa. The station is about a 20-minute train ride from Shibuya.
Todoroki Station

Once you arrive to Todoroki Station take the South Exit and walk down the street towards the big Seijo Ishii supermarket. At the supermarket, make a right and you'll find yourself in front of Golf-bashi Bridge where the entrance to Todoroki Valley is.
Todoroki Valley entrance

Go down the stone stairs and you'll be at the start of Todoroki Valley.
Todoroki Valley thermometer

Thanks to its abundant vegetation almost forming a tunnel, the temperature in Todoroki Valley is a little cooler than outside. As you can see from the thermometer near the entrance this can be a blessing in Tokyo's hot summer, where temperatures often surpass 30°C.
The red Golf-bashi bridge in Todoroki Valley

Upon descending into the valley you'll be embraced by the Japanese zelkova, bamboo trees, oaks, cherries and other luxuriant vegetation. The bright red Golf-bashi bridge is almost swallowed by the greenery, and the sound of cars and people is replaced by that of the water and the occasional bird.
Immersed in nature, Todoroki Valley

The narrow wooden paths allow people to walk right alongside the river, while benches here and there make for the best resting or reading spots. Here you'll see locals of all ages enjoying a stroll in the nature, taking pictures or - in case of kids - playing by the water.
Wooden bridge, Todoroki Valley

Unlike the maniacally curated gardens and parks of Tokyo, Todoroki has a more untamed feel - not unkept, but you definitely feel a deeper connection with nature here. And the nature is only the beginning.
Inaridaimyojin Shrine, Todoroki Valley

If you keep walking the path you'll eventually come to a wooden bridge leading to this small shrine where the Fudo-no-Taki Falls gush out of two dragon heads. Many have been visiting this spot and still come here to this day to stand beneath the falls for ascetic training.
Todoroki Fudoson no Taki falls
Todoroki Shrine Statues
Bridge leading to Todoroki Fudoson Temple

It is said that the name Todoroki comes from the roaring sound ('todoroita' in Japanese) made by these waterfalls.
Setsugekka tea house

Near the waterfalls is Setsugekka, a tea house with seats inside and outside. Here you can savor some tea and Japanese sweets before continuing your stroll. Near the entrance is a cute little carp pond.


Setsugekka | 雪月花
Address: 1-22-47 Todoroki, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo (MAP)
Website (Japanese-only):

Todoroki Fudoson

Staircase leading to Todoroki Fudoson Temple

This steep stone staircase will lead you to the Todoroki Fudoson temple, which features a beautiful wooden structure that is popular as a cherry blossom viewing spot. As you go up the stairs don't miss the tiny shrines hidden in the forest.
Todoroki Fudoson main hall

After the winding narrow path by the river it's very unexpected to find the big open space of Todoroki Fudoson. The brightly colored main hall faces the spacious grounds dotted with red lanterns. On the temple grounds is also a small café that sells coffee and soft serve ice cream.
Fudo Myo-o omikuji
Opening a Fudo Myo-o omikuji
Fortune-telling from a Fudo Myo-o omikuji

For 500 yen you can get one of these small statues representing Fudo Myo-o, a protective deity from Shingon Buddhism. It contains a little fortune-telling sheet called omikuji!
Todoroki Fudoson temple wooden structure

This beautiful wooden structure was a surprise to find. It's like a terrace over the trees of the Todoroki Valley.


Todoroki Fudoson | 等々力不動尊
Address: 1-22-47 Todoroki, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo (MAP)
Website (Japanese-only):

Entrance to Todoroki Fudoson

There is so much to be discovered in such a short stretch of land. Keep exploring the surroundings and you'll find a Japanese garden, a bamboo grove and  even an ancient tomb built around the seventh century.

You can easily visit Todoroki Valley in an hour or two, and enjoy a few moments of peace and relaxation before diving back into the hustle and bustle of the city. Its vicinity to Shibuya makes it a perfect side trip from the popular spot, and if you're in the area make sure you also check out the stylish Jiyugaoka district.


Todoroki Valley | 等々力渓谷
Address: 1-22 Todoroki, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo (MAP)
Access: 3 min. walk from Todoroki Station on the Tokyu Oimachi Line

About the author
Laura is an Italian living and working in Tokyo. She loves exploring hidden and unknown places, taking pictures and listening to Punk Rock music. When she’s not busy doing the above, she might enjoy a craft beer or play the sanshin (an Okinawan instrument similar to a shamisen).


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