What is this place?


Hatonosu (鳩ノ巣渓谷) is an unassuming little unmanned stop near the end of the Ome Line, towards the famous outdoor haven surrounding Okutama Station and Okutama-Machi (奥多摩). The station is unremarkable but sweet and rustic, and around it there aren’t many immediate amenities: a nice toilet, a small restaurant and a closed down, showa general store.

However, a short walk from the station takes you to a riverside path leading to a little footbridge over some of the most dramatic and scenic gorges, cliffs and blue river water in the Tokyo region. This is Hatonosu Ravine, and an excellent place for deep water river swimming.

Take a picnic or a barbeque with you and set up for the day, riverside camping is also possible, or those in the mood (and with slightly more of a budget) can warm up in a beautiful and very large onsen complex hidden from the river bay by a pretty forest.


Where is this place?

okutama shrine

Hatonosu is two stops east of the larger Okutama Station, and about 2 hours from central Tokyo, westbound on JR trains. Nearly the western boundary of Tokyo Metropolis, the spot is almost in remote, mountainous Yamanashi Prefecture on the map.

It’s an easy trip though with minimal walking once you’ve debarked from the train. From the station to the best bit of river is only about 500 metres, and impossible to miss. Once you head down from the station to the main road walk towards the dark tunnel and turn left towards the river there. There are a couple of paths but the easiest one to navigate is the biggest one, which takes you directly past the onsen, Hatonosu-sou. and towards the stunning rocky scenery and river waters.

Don’t bother trekking for upstream from here as you’ll get to the Shiromaru dam and its still reservoir waters, which is unsuitable and dangerous for swimming.

How do I get there?

okutama station

It’s easy but a little time-consuming to get to Hatonosu from Shinjuku. Take the Chuo Line first to Ome (just over an hour) and then get the smaller and more rustic Ome Line all the way to Hatonosu (30 minutes).

Watch out as the Ome Line is significantly less regular than its urban counterparts. In the colder months you will sometimes have to wait at the station a while, but the staff are usually happy to let you out to wander to the convenience store for refreshments if you need to. .


Useful bits

okutama station
The onsen is part of a hotel complex and so bathing depends on the times it opens to the public. Check their website for more details.

The town is really small and you really will need to take what you need with you if you plan on spending any length of time here. While Shiromaru isn’t a great swimming spot, it does form part of the scenery of a nice forest walk to the more built up Okutama Station area - here you can access convenience stores and more restaurants.

okutama street

If you want to eat out in Hatonosu, there are some cafes but opening hours can be unreliable. The Gallery Poppo (ぽぽ) is very near the ravine, and has a friendly owner with recommended coffee and mochi you can grill on an open flame on your table.


How would you rate okutama as a swimming spot?
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