A Complete Experience of Nature & Retro Showa Era Townscapes! - Take a Leisurely Stroll in Ome
Ome, which is actually found within the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, has an abundance of nature-filled sites as well as retro Showa-era towns for you to explore. The area surrounding the JR Ōme Line's Ome Station is especially popular as it's filled with signs for old movies, the Ome Railway Park, and the Showa Retro Goods Museum!
In this article, we're going to be taking a look at some of the spots which will help you get a feel for Showa-era Japan, and also be checking out some of the more prominent spots to see Fall leaves.
What Kind of Place is Ome? Where is it Located?
Ome is a city that can be found in the northwest of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area's Western Tokyo region. It's got easy access with a 1-hour train ride using the JR Ōme Line which connects Tachikawa Station to Okutama Station from JR Shinjuku Station and has been revered as a location with sacred mountains such as Mount Mitake and an abundance of nature-filled sites making it the perfect and popular spot for hikers and other visitors who enjoy seeing nature.
Furthermore, in more recent years it has gained popularity due to its nostalgic scenery, as well as the Showa Retro Goods Museum and Shōwa Gentō-kan. Even more so, if you head south from Ome Station, you'll find back streets filled with cat illustrations and objects, known as the "Showa-no-Nekomachi Nyanya-Magari" which is very popular and exciting for tourists visiting the area.
Close to the Sumiyoshi Shrine's Torii (Gate), you'll not only find the god of wealth from the Seven Gods of Fortune, but also you can see the god of fortune as a cat enshrined here, it's due to all of the cat-related artwork and other such exhibitions that the town has come to be known as "Nekomachi" or "Cat Town" in English.
Some Recommended Retro Showa Sightseeing Spots in Ome
Retro Station Ome
In 2005, the railway was decorated with Showa-era ornaments, and Ome Station became known as "Retro Station". The station boards, station platforms, and kiosks were all redesigned in a Showa style, with old cinema posters also being decorated across the station and its surroundings.
Ome Railway Park
The Ome Railway Park was created to celebrate 90 years since the beginning of the railway. Within the park you'll find steam locomotives as well as mini steam locomotives with over 11 in total on display making it the perfect location to visit as a family.
Showa Retro Goods Museum
This is just one of the museums found within Ome, and is within a building that was once a furniture store!
Within you'll find items such as sweets, packages, toys, posters, drink cans, and more from years 30 through 40 of the Shōwa era (1926.12.25-1989.1.7), it's almost as if you've taken a history trip back in time to old Japan!
You'll also find items relating to old films such as Astro Boy, as well as products that are sold today but in their original forms such as Calpis and mosquito repellent scented sticks, it's really fun to search around and try to find some products which you use even today!
Some Reccomended Seasonal Spots in Ome
Mount Mitake & Mitake Gorge - Famous Fall Spots on the Outskirts of Ome
Mount Mitake is filled with unripe plums and sacred power spots. Within live wild birds and bugs, also being famous as a treasure trove of rare plants, known for having the largest amount of false anemone during the summer in the whole of Japan during which you can enter the growing site for free to see the flowers, there are many sightseers and tourists that visit every single year. Make sure to visit at the start of November through to the middle of November to see the fall leaves change to beautiful reds and oranges.
Here you'll find moss-covered rocks and a rock garden with clear streams running through surrounded by orange and red-leaved trees, it's a beautifully contrasting area that is sure to leave you breathless. We highly recommend enjoying the surrounding colors while heading for the cable car which will take you to Mitake Mountain Station!
In Mitake Gorge which is found on the side of the Tama River, there are many popular activities such as kayaking as well as appreciating the surrounding sights. You're able to walk to the gorge from JR Mitake Station, and in typical years it's lit up during the night!
- Mount Mitake
- Access： Take the bus from Mitake Station on the JR Ome Line, then the bus bound for Takimoto Station before riding the cable car. Debark at Mount Mitake Station.
- Mitake Gorge
- Access：3-minute walk from Mitake Station using the JR Ome Line
From around June a 2.1ha park will suddenly see over 250 types of Japanese iris start to bloom. The park itself is flat, allowing for easy walking for both the elderly and children, it also means families with strollers can visit without worry. During a typical year, the time to visit varies from the end of May to the start of June, with events and festivals taking place with on-site food stalls available, it's a truly energetic and exciting period!
- Fukiageshobu Park
- Access： 15-minute walk from Higashi (East) Ome Station's North Entrance using the JR Ome Line