Area Guide

[Tokyo] Otomeyama Park (新宿区立おとめ山公園): A Historical Gem of Natural Beauty in Shinjuku

A Secluded Treasure Known for Conservation, Natural Wonders, and Historical Significance

Imagine entering a peaceful haven of verdant foliage – Otomeyama Park, a secluded treasure nestled along the Ochiai Cliff Line. Once a favored hunting ground for falconry and wild boar during the Edo period, it has now become a sought-after attraction for locals and tourists alike.

Originally christened “Mt. Otome,” this area was initially restricted, yet the residents endeavored to conserve it, and in 1969, a section was inaugurated as a park. Subsequently, the park was enlarged and sustained as a forest, and in October 2014, its expansion area was introduced, providing additional room for the community’s recreational and disaster prevention needs.

The park houses an array of natural wonders, including streams of fresh spring water, ponds, forests, and vast fields, rendering it a valuable asset to Shinjuku City. Otomeyama Street dissects the park into the eastern and western hemispheres, with the latter composed of dense thickets of quercus and sudajii trees. It is an ideal venue for indulging in the therapeutic practice of forest bathing, and a pond formed by the spring water flows in the central valley.

In the past, fireflies were a prevalent sight in this vicinity, thus the introduction of a firefly breeding facility employing spring water to nurture Heike fireflies, with community members hosting events to showcase them. The pond’s headwaters provide an opportunity for visitors to catch a glimpse of freshwater crabs and freshwater shrimps.

Otomeyama Park is not only a visually striking spot to visit but also an essential historical site, a tribute to the community’s unyielding commitment to conserving their natural environs while providing a haven for relaxation and leisure pursuits.

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