If you’re looking for some of the best things to do in Tokyo as a nature lover, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve lived in Tokyo for over 5 years and have nearly seen it all.
While known for its bustling cityscapes, Tokyo actually has a surprising amount of natural beauty. There are lush parks, serene gardens, and even hiking trails tucked away throughout the metropolis.
In this article I’ve listed my personal favorite natural things to do in Tokyo including some hidden gems.
- Best Nature Activities in Tokyo
- Top Tokyo Attractions for Nature Lovers
- Must See Natural Sites in Tokyo
- Best Natural Things to See in Tokyo
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
WATCH: A visually stunning 30 second journey through Tokyo’s natural side
Things to Do in Tokyo For Nature Lovers
Why Trust Me About Tokyo Nature Activities?
I have been living in Tokyo for over 5 years now. I originally moved here to teach English but fell in love with this vibrant city.
In my time here, I’ve made it my goal to uncover all of Tokyo’s natural treasures. I’ve hiked trails, strolled through gardens, and paddled across ponds to find the city’s most beautiful natural spots.
While Tokyo has a reputation for being extremely urban, there are oases of nature everywhere if you know where to look. Through extensive personal exploration, I’ve become knowledgeable about the city’s best natural attractions.
My recommendations come from firsthand experience visiting these places myself and seeing their beauty. Whether you’re a tourist or local, I hope this guide provides a new perspective on Tokyo!
Things to Know Before Exploring Tokyo’s Natural Side
Public Transportation – Tokyo has an excellent public transportation system that can get you to most places in this guide. Get a Suica or Pasmo card to make travel easy.
Hiking Gear – For hikes, trails, and gardens, bring proper footwear, layers, water, and snacks.
Weather Changes – Tokyo’s weather can quickly change from sunny to rainy, so bring a light jacket.
Where to Stay in Tokyo – Check out my guide to Tokyo’s best nature staycations and hotels.
Top 17 Natural Things to Do in Tokyo
- Ride a swan boat at Shinobazu Pond
Shinobazu Pond is an urban oasis in Ueno Park. Rent a swan boat and leisurely paddle across the peaceful waters surrounded by lush greenery.
- Stroll under cherry blossoms along the Meguro River
Every spring, the banks of the Meguro River become enveloped in drifting pink cherry blossoms. Take a leisurely walk under the canopy of flowers.
- See fireflies light up at Tama River Firefly Festival
From late May to mid June, thousands of fireflies illuminate the banks of the Tama River. A magical spectacle not to miss!
- Birdwatch from a houseboat at Kasai Rinkai Park
Spot over 200 bird species from the deck of a colorful houseboat on Kasai Rinkai’s tranquil waters.
- Tour the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum
This museum displays the iconic rock gardens and sculptural works of Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi in a natural setting.
- Ride the Kominato Railway for ocean views
The slow, scenic Kominato Railway between Tokyo and Kamogawa offers beautiful vistas of the Pacific Ocean coastline.
- Hike through Okutama’s forested valleys
Just outside Tokyo lies the rocky, forested Okutama region. Hike along rivers and waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery.
Top 10 Natural Things to Do in Tokyo
- Stroll under crimson maples at Rikugien Garden
Rikugien’s weeping maple trees turn a vibrant red in November. Walking under the canopy of color is an incredible experience.
- See sakura at Meguro River
Every spring, cherry blossom trees lining the Meguro River bloom into fluffy pink clouds. A backdrop like no other in Tokyo.
- Relax lakeside at Inokashira Park
Within the city lies Inokashira Park’s centerpiece – a tranquil lake ringed with trees. The perfect urban escape.
- Walk under wisteria tunnels at Kawazu
Kawazu’s hanging wisteria flowers create magical tunnels of purple and pink hues from early to mid April.
- Boat across Hamarikyu Garden’s seawater pond
Take a small rowboat onto Hamarikyu Garden’s serene seawater pond with Tokyo skyscrapers as your backdrop.
Top 5 Natural Things to Do in Tokyo
- Bathe among fireflies at Nakatsugawa Valley
From early June to mid July, thousands of fireflies illuminate Nakatsugawa Valley as you soak in natural hot spring baths.
- See Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko
On clear days, majestic Mount Fuji reflects perfectly across the still waters of Lake Kawaguchiko.
- Hike through Okutama’s autumn foliage
Okutama’s riverside hiking trails burst into vibrant red, orange, and yellow autumn hues each November.
- View sunsets at Tokyo Skytree
At 450m high, Tokyo Skytree offers 360 degree panoramic views of sprawling Tokyo against dramatic sunsets.
- See sakura reflect on Chidorigafuchi Moat
The peak spring spot – Chidorigafuchi’s moat pulses pink from cherry blossom trees reflected in its waters.
Map of Best Natural Things to Do in Tokyo
List of Best Natural Things to Do in Tokyo (Summary)
- Chidorigafuchi Moat Cherry Blossoms
- Tokyo Skytree Sunset Views
- Okutama Autumn Hiking
- Lake Kawaguchiko’s Fuji Views
- Firefly Viewing at Nakatsugawa
- Boating at Hamarikyu Garden
- Wisteria Tunnels at Kawazu
- Inokashira Park
- Meguro River Cherry Blossoms
- Rikugien Maple Trees
- Okutama Hiking
- Kominato Railway
- Noguchi Garden Museum
- Kasai Rinkai Birdwatching
- Tama River Fireflies
- Meguro River Cherry Blossoms
- Okutama Hiking
Best Time to Visit Tokyo for Nature
The best times to visit Tokyo for nature lovers are spring (late March – April) and fall (late October – November). Spring showcases sakura season’s cherry blossoms while fall has vibrant autumn foliage.
The early summer months also offer beautiful hydrangea flowers and firefly viewing just outside the city center. Whenever you visit, Tokyo’s natural beauty shines in every season!
Tokyo Nature Staycations
Instead of staying right in busy central Tokyo, I recommend these nature resorts and hotels on the outskirts of the city:
- Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu – Riverside cabins in an Aomori forest
- Bespoke Hotel Shika – Luxury onsen hotel near Niseko
- Hatakewatashi – Farmstay with Mt. Fuji views
- Kayotei Ryokan – Quiet onsen ryokan in Hakone
Why Trust Me About Tokyo’s Natural Attractions?
As a Tokyo resident for over 5 years, I’ve extensively explored the city’s natural side through firsthand experience. From hidden gardens to blooming sakura tunnels, I’ve personally visited all of the spots in this guide.
My goal is to showcase a different side of Tokyo beyond just the bustling city. There are oases of nature everywhere if you know where to look!
I hope this guide inspires you to explore Tokyo’s natural beauty spots and see a new side of this amazing city. Please let me know if you have any other questions!