It's easy to jump on the next train and speed past a Tokyo bedroom community. After all, there is always something to see 'way over there' but slow down a bit and often the thing to be seen is actually right beneath your feet. And so it is with Higashikurume City, home to a few natural spaces including, quite literally, one of Tokyo's most impressive bamboo forest groves. Here is an introduction to some of the parks of Higashikurume and how to reach them.
Easily the city's most interesting location is romantically exotic Chikurin Park with its two thousand bamboo trees. Calm, serene and ever so Japan, the park is easily one of Tokyo's top dedicated bamboo groves. Along with the trees themselves, the park features are a walking trail, areas to sit back and take in the atmosphere as well as a natural spring water stream.
A 10-minute walk from Higashi-Kurume Station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line.
The baseball and football fields can't hide the fact that Hakusan Park, being filled with verdant rural grasses and cherry blossom-lined dirt paths, is completely and utterly removed from the high energy blasting convenience of central Tokyo. Still, a popular retreat for the locals, the wild birds, cicadas and dragonflies hovering by the pond make for some great local images.
An 8-minute taxi from Kodaira Station on the Seibu Shinjuku or Hajima lines.
Part of the city's efforts to restore and highlight the region's original environment, Rokusen Park oozes sincerity and possibility. Plenty of grass fields, flower gardens and water canals channeling recycled water gives the park a refreshing atmosphere, while the play equipment for children makes it a great family-friendly location.
An 8-minute taxi from Higashi-kurume Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.