I had cycled the Sayama Lake Perimeter Road over ten years ago, so I thought it was time to revisit the area, but on foot this time; I wanted to explore the network of hiking paths surrounding this circular trail on the Tokyo-Saitama border, and the closest nature park to the capital. Previously, I had taken a train to Seibukyujomae station, near the eastern end of Sayama lake; however, the best trails are located several kilometers away on the western side. I decided to take a train to Kotesashi station on the Seibu line, and then a bus to Kojiya, on the northern side of the lake; I would finish at Hakonegasaki station on the Hachiko line and return via Hanno, from where I could return to Ikebukuro with the Laview Limite express. In between, I didn’t have a precise plan: my main purpose was to see whether I could get a satisfying half day of hiking through the area.
Walking between the Tonbo and Nishikubo Marshes
View of Mt Fuji from the Mt Rokudo Park Observatory
It was a short bus ride from the station on a sunny winter day. Before setting off, I dropped by a nearby Ministop, one advantage of hiking within the city. At 12h30, I was walking through a residential neighbourhood, the houses separated by fields: I even saw a fox trot through one of them. I soon arrived at the peaceful Kojiya Hachiman Shrine (糀谷八幡神社) at the edge of Kojiya Marsh 湿地, and the start of the hiking trails.
Kojiya Hachiman Shrine near Kojiya Marsh
Heading towards the Saitama Green Forest Museum
I had a view of the Chichibu mountains, clearly visible on this cold winter day, from behind the shrine. I followed the gently sloping path up to the Sayama Lake Perimeter Road, but almost immediately took a side path leading directly to the Saitama Green Forest Museum (緑の森博物館), a small, free museum at the edge of Dragonfly Marsh (トンボ湿地), also the location of Totoro’s Forest #30.
Walking along the Sayama Lake Perimeter Road
Exploring the paths around the Nishikubo Marsh
I had a view to the north of faraway Mt Akagi, covered in snow, from an open, elevated space behind the museum. I set off again through the marsh and soon arrived at a intersection, where I turned right. This new path led to Nishikubo Marsh (西久保湿地), not much to look at in the middle of winter, but probably a great place to wander around in summer. I made a quick detour along a backstreet to check out the nearby Nishikubo-Kannon Temple.
Intersection at the edge of the Nishikubo Marsh
View towards the mountains of western Tokyo near Nishikubo-Kannon
From there, I had another view of the mountains of western Tokyo, extending northwards; the clouds had started to roll in, making me wonder how much longer the sun would last. I reentered the woods and after a long, gradual climb, arrived once more at the Sayama Perimeter Road (狭山湖外周道路), which I followed for a short while, before turning right onto the ridge trail for Takane (高根). However, I very soon took a left, heading down some steps.
Path for Yato 谷戸 (left) / Staircase for Asama Shrine (right)
Walking through the North Sayama Valley
I followed a narrow path next to a brook through the North Sayama Valley (北狭山谷); it soon turned into a wider path, ending near some ponds at Tanoiri-Yato (田ノ入谷戸). I was now inside Noyamakita-Rokudoyama Park 野山北六道山公園. I left it briefly to follow a road leading to Takaneyama park (高根山公園), from where I walked up the Takaneyama Walking Trail, and upon reaching a road, continued till the Rokudoyama Park Observatory (六道山公園 展望台), on top of Mt Rokudo, a Tokyo 100 famous mountain.
Heading towards the Triangulation Point
View of the Tanzawa Mountains from the Mt Rokudo Park Observatory
From the top, I had a view southwest of Mt Fuji and the Tanzawa mountains, and west of the Okutama mountains. After a short break, I retraced my steps, then took a left over a bridge, arriving at a triangulation point (194m) at 3pm. I took the Oiseyama Walking Trail, past Mt Atago (190m 愛宕山). I soon reached the tiny Asama Shrine (浅間神社), and went down a wooden staircase, ending at another shrine, and the end of the trail. After a 15 minute walk through Mizuho Town, I reached Hakonsegaseki station around 4pm.
Watch a video of the Mt Rokudo Hike