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The Japanese live in a country that is admittedly beautiful but not tender, with its share of natural calamities, and they have built a strong resilience to live alongside the threats.
While other countries are striving towards sustainability in our modern society, Japan has been a pioneer since it’s early times in the conservation of Environment; biodiversity, forests and the oceans. It has been part of its culture since the earlier times
The Japanese society has never ceased to show a great sensitivity to nature and has made nature the immanent source of the meaning of social order. It appreciates it to the point of having made it the supreme value, an essential component of the Japanese identity.
There are many places in and around Tokyo, where you can experience this culture of immense respect and acceptance of nature as a living entity.

Nature & Ecotourism in the outskirts of Tokyo

Ishibunebashi Bridge
The 20-kilometer valley between Akiruno city and Hinohara village where the river flows is calledAkigawa Valley. The beautiful natural landscape changes constantly throughout the four seasons, from lush greenery to fall foliage, making it a treat to visit.The Ishibunebashi Bridgeis a popular suspension bridge not only for the panoramic view it offers over the valley, but also for its photogenic aspect.
Nippara Limestone Cavesis a natural limestone cave in Okutama City, Tokyo. It is one of the largest limestone caves in the Kanto region and is designated as a natural monument of Tokyo.
There are stalactites of many different shapes in the limestone cave, but all these beautiful formations have been shaped over decades, if not hundreds of years. The sound made by the suikinkutsu earthen pot when water is flowing through it, is really a rare and beautiful sound that you shall find here.
If you have some time to spare, follow the favorite destination of Tokyoites, where they take a ferry or a plane to visit the string of islands stretching south of the Japanese capital whether they be walkers, divers or bathers, all seeking the tranquility of its small islands.
There are therefore multiple islands and volcanic islets notably Izu and Ogasawara (Oshima, Toshima, Niijima, Shikinejima, Kozushima, Miyakejima, Mikurajima, Hachijojima, Aogashima, Chichijima, Hahajima), which are spread out off Tokyo. The distance separating them from the bustle of the city center, on which they administratively depend, ranges from a few hours to half a day of navigation.
Our recommendations for the first visit being the following 3 islands.
Oshima Island, the "big island", is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to the east of the Izu peninsula but is nevertheless, administratively, part of the city of Tokyo! It can be reached by plane, but most often by hydrofoil boat in two hours from Tokyo.
Kozushima Island
The main attraction of the island is its volcano, located in its center on top ofMt. Mihara. The ascent lasts about 1 hour, and you can, once at the top, go around the crater (almost 300 meters in diameter) and admire the spectacular view.
The island is very famous for its camellias, which are one of the symbols of the island. The blooming seasons usually takes place between February and March. So, if you are visiting Oshima Island in March, be sure to take advantage of the festival that is held every year to admire the flowers. Oshima Park is the place where you can admire the most varieties of camellias.
Kozushima Islandis said to have once housed the gods of the Izu archipelago. Tako Bay is undoubtedly the most beautiful place on the island. The rock cliffs, white sands of Maehama beach and the Akasaki Promenade makes the place magical. Ideal for campers and surfers, A pleasant scenic path 500 meters northwest of Kozushima allows you to observe the beauty of the landscape while indulging in the pleasures of snorkeling and swimming in the coves. At the edge of theMaehama Beach, you will come across a spring water, which notably had been selected as one of the most famous spring water locations in Tokyo.
Chichijima Island
Chichijima Island, a part of Ogasawara is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, presenting a very rich and unique biodiversity.
Accessible by ferry, it offers white sandy beaches and unforgettable hikes for tourists. From the Takeshiba pier in Tokyo, you will first reach Ogasawara's main island. Made of blue lagoons, beaches, rocks and vegetation, this island sets stage of a unique event between the months of February and April: the migration of humpback whales.
The Ogasawara Islands are world class in terms of diving. The two best beaches for snorkelling are on the north side of Chichi-jima, Miyano-hama and Tsuri-hama, a stone's throw from the hill from the main village. Miyano-hama is sheltered and has decent coral, making it ideal for beginners, while Tsuri-hama is a rocky beach with better corals but more exposed.
Beaches, coral reefs, tropical forests, shrub meadows or sheer cliffs, everything here give you the sensation of being alone in the world.

Nature and Relaxation – In Tokyo city!

Rikugien Garden
Japanese gardens have a long history which dates back to ancient times, but it was during the Heian period (794–1185) that a real craze was created, notably with the writing of Sakuteiki (" From the creation of gardens"), an instruction manual which includes all the rules for the creation of gardens which were previously only transmitted orally.
Rikugien Garden, located in Komagome, Tokyo, is classified as a National Cultural Property due to its special scenic location.
Rikugien attracts many visitors during the cherry blossom season and the autumn fall season, when the garden takes on new seasonal nuances. Locals and tourists alike join in admiring these color transformations; participating in hanami (contemplation of cherry blossoms) and momijigari (contemplation of autumn leaves). The weeping cherry tree (Shidarezakura), which is 15m high and 20m wide, and the pond in the garden reflecting the illuminated colored leaves in Autumn season are very photogenic.
The unique Japanese culture of living in symbiosis with nature can be glimpsed even within the city of Tokyo today. The roof-top garden of ‘Tokyu Plaza Shibuya’ embodies that culture.
In Shibuya ward, Tokyo, the locals grow their own greens in the city center by creating a good local environment eventually contributing to the conservation of the global environment.
‘SHIBU NIWA’ is situated on the 17th floor overlooking the hustle and bustle of Shibuya’s famous intersection. It would be an understatement to say it’s a park. You will find trees arranged orderly to create a cozy environment.
Activities around sustainability is an ongoing process in the city of Tokyo, and it never ceases to evolve.
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