In the Tama region of Tokyo prefecture is a town called Hinode-machi (which means city of sunrise). If it weren't for just one famous retreat, this place would be just yet another mountain town with temples, forests, good food and onsens.
There is no better time than spring to spend the day outside. Especially these days, when cherry trees are in full bloom, we are all drawn towards green and quiet spots, we all want to witness nature's awakening and feel the inevitable melancholy caused by the view of fragile flowers giving in to the breeze.
The walking area called Sayama Hills (Tokorozawa, Saitama prefecture) is unofficially called “Totoro forest.” Ghibli’s famous film director maestro Hayao Miyazaki is said to be getting the inspiration for the legendary animated film “My neighbor Totoro” after daily walks in that forest.