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Updated on February 3, 2017

Tokyo Oasis

Nagaike Park, a breath of fresh air in Tama New Town’s woodland (Hachioji City)

Leaving Minami-osawa station and going south through Tama New Town, you come to Nagaike Park, a place for locals to relax and enjoy nature.

The park’s theme is the “creation and inheritance” of woodland culture. The contours of the Tama hills stay unchanged in the extensive wooded area, and the park features the two reservoirs of Nagaike and Tsukuike, as well as the Nagaike Mitsukebashi bridge.

The Nagaike Mitsukebashi bridge is the first thing you notice, to the north side of the park. The bridge straddles the modern-day Sugataike pond, but is in fact a reconstruction of the Yosuya Mitsukebashi arched iron bridge, which was built in 1913. Gazing at the neo-baroque structure, you have a strange feeling of being transported back in time.

The Nagaike reservoir, after which the park is named, is an old stretch of water which features in a well-known tale from medieval times. The stand of alder trees at the upper end of the reservoir is part of a special protected area managed by the Ministry of the Environment, and it is closed to the public. Many helophyte plants grow here, and the wooded area provides a habitat for all kinds of wildlife.

The Nagaike Park Nature Center, which blends perfectly into its woody surroundings, provides information on the woodland and habitat of the area, and is a perfect place to have a break while learning a bit about nature. It is worth a trip to Nagaike Park to enjoy a winter’s stroll with sunlight filtering through the trees, the scent of the earth, the sound of the wind, and leaves softly crunching beneath your feet.

◎Keio Line, Minami-osawa Station; Keio Bus to Nagaike Shogakko Iriguchi or Mitsukebashi.