This was my 3rd hike in the southern part of Yokohama city. This wooded, hilly area offers some of the best hiking close to Tokyo and is well-suited for short winter walks. I had already hiked through the Yokohama Nature Sanctuary, the Kanazawa Nature Park, as well as the Kanazawa, Segami and Kamariya woods; this time, I wanted to explore the Hitorizawa woods on the northeastern side, and check out some more trails in the Segami woods.
Sunny spot at the start of the Hitorizawa trail
I would take a bus from Yokodai station on the Negishi line to the trailhead; rather than finish at Konandai station on the same line, I could take another bus to Ofuna station on the convenient Shonan-Shinjuku line, less than an hour from Ikebukuro. Although I wouldn’t be summiting any mountains, I could expect a view of Mt Fuji from Isshindo plaza at the mid-way point. I was looking forward to a short relaxing walk through the woods on a sunny winter day.
Nearing the Nabana rest area (left) / Hitorizawa creek (right)
After getting off the bus on a busy road near Hitorizawa Shrine (氷取沢神社), I followed the signposts through some backstreets, reaching the start of the trail Hitorizawa Community woods trail (氷取沢市民の森ルート) at 1pm. At the top of a staircase, I was pleased to discover a wide, level path leading through the forest. I soon reached the first viewpoint of the day at the Nabana rest area (なばな休憩所) above a road and a toll gate. Looking southeast, I could see the low-lying Miura peninsula, and behind, Mt Kano and Mt Nokogiri on the Boso peninsula.
Wooden causeway near Oyato plaza (left) / Climbing made easy (right)
I continued along the path as it descended into a small valley. I soon arrived at a bridge over the Hitorizawa creek (氷取沢小川) and a junction: the path on the left led to Kanazawa zoo, and the one on the right followed the creek back to the bus store. I went straight, and after going through some fields and under a highway bridge spanning the valley, arrived at Oyato Plaza (おおやと広場). I was now walking on wooden causeway along a cool, shaded valley, parallel to the creek.
View of Mt Fuji from Isshindo Plaza
Very soon, I was back on a trail leading up through the woods, but still easy to walk thanks to the use of wooden logs. At 2h30, I left the Hitorizawa woods and arrived at Isshindo Plaza (いっしんどう広場 130m), the highest point of the hike. As on my two previous hikes, Mt Fuji, Hakone and the Tanzawa mountains were clearly visible on the west side. After enjoying a late lunch, I followed the ridge trail (尾根道) south, towards the sun.
View south towards Kamakura
After a few minutes, I turned right, down the hillside, and passed the Bato-no-oka rest area (馬頭の丘休憩所 meaning “horse head”). Although I was at the edge of the city, the rooftops of the houses visible above the trees, I could hear, and sometimes see, squirrels scampering along the trees branches in the late afternoon sun. At 3h30, I reached a junction before the Uma-no-se rest area (馬の背休憩所 meaning “horse back”), and took the smaller branch to the right.
Following the ridge trail (left) / Between the horse’s head and back (right)
I followed the winding trail as it descended into another wooded valley inside the Segami Community Woods (瀬上市民の森), the sun now only reaching the top ridge. At the base of a staircase, I finally arrived at the peaceful Segami pond (瀬上池). From there, I followed a dirt road alongside the Segami creek (瀬上小川) through a habitat for dragonflies and fireflies, although none could be seen in this season. At 4h30, just as the sun was setting, I reached the bus stop for Ofuna station next to the Hongo bus depot, from where it was short train ride back to the city center.
Peaceful Segami lake near the end of the hike