When you have a trip to Tokyo, I do NOT think most of you will visit Todoroki district, especially Noge-Otsuka Kofun. Have a look at your travel guidebook and, I’m sure, you’ll find no page about them. Travelers want to go to brilliant places. You have no time for nameless places, don’t you?
Thanks to the Internet, we can explore anywhere in the world without wasting time during our precious holidays. This time, I’ll invite you to the piece of ancient Japan inside Tokyo City! (For some of you who want something different from other travelers, I summarized up the practical visitor information as I do every time.)
Visiting Todoroki Ravine
Actually, I picked up Todoroki district when I went to Kuhombutsu last autumn – they are in the same calm area in Tokyo City.
I think Todoroki Ravine is undoubtedly a hidden gem to visit in Tokyo.
Beautiful, isn’t it? There are some fountains in the ravine and we can take a walk there with hearing the murmur of the stream.
You might get surprised at the fact that a ravine exists inside Tokyo City. Many people still believe that Tokyo is a silver building jungle, but I want to emphasize that there are green places like this!
Amazingly, this is NOT an artificial park, but pure nature. Strolling along the stream, wild birds were singing all around…
There are also some shrines along the path. Perhaps they are the furthest shrines from tourism.
I felt some nostalgia to face this small decayed shrine. It’s hard to see an indigenous custom lasting since very old times like this in the modern times we are living – even for Japanese locals.
Noge-Otsuka Kofun – Tumulus in Tokyo City
If you are a serious adventurer who’s always desperate to find places that no friends have visited yet, you might have seen Todoroki Ravine somewhere on the Internet. For example, I remember I saw a few pics on Instagram.
But even so, I’m sure you’ve never heard of Noge-Otsuka Kofun!
Well, “kofun” means “tumulus” in Japanese. Everyone knows that ancient Egyptian kings and queens built the huge pyramids, but did you know that ancient Japanese people had the same custom?
Yes, powerful people in ancient Japan built huge tombs for themselves to show how powerful they were!
Time has passed. Today it looks just a hill, but actually, it is artificial.
The tumulus is part of the park. But it is not like the popular gardens to pay admission fees to enter, but just a free park.
Everyone can climb up the kofun. I did, too.
Now you see this is not a natural hill, but an artificial object. The slope is so accurate, isn’t is?
And you can see views like this from the top of the “pyramid”.
According to the explanation by the city government, this kofun was built around 1400 years ago and someone very powerful (like a “big chief”) who ruled the wide area from Southern Tokyo to Yokohama is sleeping inside. Who, exactly? Nobody knows at this moment.
There are similar tumuli in Todoroki district, so this peaceful place might be important 1400 years ago.
Romantic adventures to the ancient world always attract us and archaeologists go to unknown abandoned places for new discoveries. But Noge-Otsuka Kofun is not in a jungle. It’s a part of the local park where children are playing around in their daily lives – inside Tokyo City. Interesting, isn’t it?
Visitor Information: How to Get to Todoroki
Open The Easiest Train Map of Tokyo and go to Shibuya first.
Catch a Tokyu Toyoko Line train (via Motomachi China Town) at Shibuya and go to Jiyuugaoka. Change trains into Oimachi Line to Todoroki. It takes 20 minutes from Shibuya.
Link to Google Maps of Noge-Otsuka Kofun (Open in a new tab)