If you must go out, keep your distance in a quiet green space
Japan Times -- Mar 29
With the current upheaval caused by COVID-19, Tokyoites have been advised from going outside to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But Tokyo apartments are cramped and constricting, and a solo sojourn in nature can do wonders to alleviate the anxiety the virus is causing. The capital has plenty up its sleeve that means you can bypass popular spots like Ueno Park for a moment of quiet all to yourself.

Ryokudō (greenways) are city parks that usually, but not always, trace the course of a culverted urban river. Tokyo is full of them; in fact, its old name, Edo, literally means “river entrance” or “estuary.” These pedestrian walkways are strewn with shrubs and sakura, providing a pleasant hybrid of city-meets-nature in all corners of Tokyo.

One such is Kitazawagawa Greenway. Running from Gotokuji Station, Setagaya Ward, it meanders its way past parks and residential areas until it meets Karasuyama Greenway — which skirts the 15th-century Gotokuji temple with its maneki–neko (beckoning-cat statue) shrine — and merges into the gorgeous Megurogawa Greenway. The Meguro River at Nakameguro is a busy hanami (blossom viewing) spot, but walk downriver toward Gotanda and the crowds thin, leaving you space to comfortably enjoy the trees in bloom.

Along the way, like a futuristic folly, Meguro Sky Garden is a free park and community garden ingeniously built atop an expressway junction. A wander up its spiral length reveals city (and sometimes Mount Fuji) views; arrive early evening for a secluded sunset.

The Tamagawa Canal dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1868) and was a vital jōsui (clean water supply) to the capital, running from Hamura, Tokyo, to central Yotsuya. Today much of its length inside Tokyo’s 23 wards has been covered over. However, head west from its first uncovered portion a 10-minute walk from Fujimigaoka Station, Suginami ward, and discover a world that is very un-Tokyo — a welcome breather for anyone feeling the strains of city life. In season, the waterway is painted pink with sakura (cherry blossoms).

News source: Japan Times
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