I am once again in the enviable position of have a number of weeks off work. Classes for the year have wrapped up, students have had their final exams and the school will officially close for winter break in a couple of weeks. However, as I have no classes to teach and only those students who failed their end of term exams have to attend classes, I once again was told I didn’t need to go into work. Yay! This also means that I have almost a month break.
And you must be thinking – ‘Oh boo hoo. So many days off. How hard your life must be!’ I feel that too, but it also means that I have to occupy myself for a while whilst none of my friends here are on holidays yet. No complaints here, just have to find interesting (and cheap!) things to do.
So today I decided to go on a solo hike. It didn’t end up being much of a hike, rather than a nice walk. It definitely felt like winter today, I don’t think it got above 10 degrees today, not counting the wind chill factor. That’s besides the point as the sun was out and I was determined to get out and about so I found out about this place – ‘Todoroki Valley’ (等々力渓谷) online and decided to check it out. It was about a 40 minutes train trip away from my place, and compared to many of the other nature spots in Tokyo this was super close.
View from the bridge and the start of the trail
As it was a Monday morning, there were hardly any people around other than elderly Japanese grandmas and grandpas walking their dogs or mums taking their toddlers out for the day. It was not a very long trail along the river, but there were a few hidden shrines and a temple along the way.
Remnants of Autumn leaves were still around and looked as beautiful as ever
After walking around a beautifully manicured garden, I happened upon this beautiful view.
There was an open park like space up here, and here I took an hour or so just to sit in the sun and read – something that I have been wanted to do for a while now and never had the chance to. It was a lovely reminder of all things beautiful in life – sunshine, peace and quiet, greenery and calm.
Some of the hidden shrines along the way
It was the perfect way to start of my winter break. I am looking forward to finding many hidden gems like this in the coming weeks.