Finding peace in the big city – Todoroki Valley & Little Venice

Tokyo never sleeps. It’s always been one of the busiest cities in the world. Luckily, this city has a valley in the city and it’s just 20 minutes away from Shibuya station Todoroki Valley is located in Setagaya area, and as I googled more, I learnt that the valley has a small river which runs along the trekking path and also a couple of small Japanese shrines at the end of the trekking course. Also, the valley is pretty close to a famous suburban neighborhood called Jiyugaoka. I heard that in Jiyugaoka, there are many delicious bakery shops and sweets shop scattered around the area. And, they also have a “Little Venice” which sounds like an interesting spot for photos! So, the plan starts at Todoroki station and moving to Jiyugaoka for afternoon sweets, followed by strolling to Little Venice before saying goodbye. However, we changed the plan a little bit and it turned out that it was a really good Sunday stroll

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The trekking trail runs along a small river.

A couple of small shrines and statues were seen along the pleasant walk…

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Though it’s spring already, we still feel the touch of autumn.

As we went up, there are bigger shrines…

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And a pleasant surprise awaits us at the end… a coffee and soft-cream vendor!

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Actually, we had planned to take a train to Jiyugaoka station that is 3 stops away but the weather was so nice so we decided to walk instead. It was great decision 🙂 Jiyugaoka neighborhood is known as  one of the best neighbourhoods to live in Tokyo. There are many zakka shops (handmade and knickknack goods) and delicious bakery shops in the area. It’s truly a great place to stop by and had a cup of coffee on weekends. This time we went to a place calls “Sweets Forrest” that has 5 or 6 dessert shops in one place.

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Jiyugaoka famous walk way to Sweets Forrest.

Upon reaching the entrance of Sweets Forrest, we face one of life’s most difficult decisions! Which shop should we go for this time?

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Super “kawaii” rabbit mascot is waiting for us on the way back.

After we had our fill of sweets and desserts, our next stop is “Little Venice” which is around the station. The place looks like a miniature of Venice canals and of course, a Gondola! Unfortunately, the gondola was out of service for now. Actually, this place is surrounded by cafes and pet shops, however, it’s pretty small that why it’s called Little Venice. There weren’t many shops opened on that day but we got beautiful pictures.

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On our way back to the train station, we found a quiet small shrine, which is out of the plan. The shrine was very peaceful and tranquil. It’s a good decision that we paid a short visit there.

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Discovered a new getaway spot in the city, made new friends and had lots of talk and laugh together – It has been a really good Sunday. When I need to take a break and find a peaceful place, Todoroki Valley will come up on the top of my list for sure!


by Jan. C