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Wildlife of Hinohara and Akiruno

Mountain Hawk-Eagle

The mountain hawk-eagle lives in hardwood forests in mountainous areas, and eats a variety of animals from small rodents to tanuki and copper pheasants. The mountain hawk-eagle is slightly larger than the black kite, and is famous for its use in falconry. Along with birds such as the northern goshawk, the mountain hawk-eagle has been used in Japanese falconry for a long time.

Mountain hawk-eagle

Blue-and-White Flycatcher

The blue-and-white flycatcher is a summer bird, and can often be seen by the mountain streams of Hinohara. The males are especially easy to spot, with their deep blue backs and white stomachs that make for a striking contrast. They often remain in the same spot for a long time, on small branches at the tops of trees, and sing in a high, pure, and beautiful voice. The females are harder to spot, because they are plainer in color and make their nests in small spaces in cliffs and between boulders.

Blue-and-white flycatcher

Narcissus Flycatcher

The narcissus flycatcher is a migratory bird that flies north to Japan each year. The contrast between its yellow and black markings is quite vivid. Dense deciduous hardwood forests make suitable homes for this bird, which is characterized by its vivid colors and loud, cheerful voice. As it flies through the forest, the narcissus flycatcher catches bugs to eat. While the males are very colorful, the females have a more subdued dark green hue. Narcissus flycatchers are members of the Muscicapidae, or Old World flycatcher, family. Their Japanese name, kibitaki, means “millet flycatcher,” and comes from the yellow color of their breasts.

Narcissus flycatcher

Japanese Robin

The Japanese robin is a summer bird that can be found in forests in mountainous regions throughout most of Japan. It can be seen in the forests of Hinohara, including Hinohara Tomin no Mori. These birds inhabit the forests of Hinohara from the end of April until the end of May. Its Japanese name, komadori, means “horse-bird.” This name comes from the robin’s warbling voice, which resembles the whinny of a horse. Japanese robins are about 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) long, and both the male and female are similarly colored.

Japanese robin

Dogtooth Violet

Dogtooth violets are a spring-blooming wildflower that can be said to represent Hinohara. Mt. Gozenyama is famous for the dogtooth violets that bloom there. Because Mt. Gozenyama is very tall, the violets are usually in bloom from mid to late April. The pink, downward-blooming flowers are the plants’ distinguishing characteristic. The flowers only bloom when sunlight touches them. Although these delicate flowers usually do not bloom on cold, cloudy, or rainy days, they do bloom on days that are cloudy but warm.

Dogtooth violet

Weeping Cherry Tree

In the center of Tokyo and much of the surrounding area, the cherry blossoms bloom around the end of March. Because Hinohara Village is at a high altitude where the temperature is low, however, the cherry blossoms here bloom between the end of the first week and the beginning of the third week in April. Among the cherry trees in Hinohara Village, the weeping cherry tree at the Henbori bus stop, which is about a 50-minute bus ride from Musashi-Itsukaichi Station, is especially recommended. The boughs of the tree hang over the retro-style shelter, which has a triangular roof. The sight of the bus stop being practically engulfed by the blossoms warms the hearts of those who see it. Otsu and Ryusyuin-temple are also famous spots to see weeping cherry trees.

The weeping cherry tree at the Henbori bus stop

Cherry Trees Along Akigawa Gorge

A wide variety of cherry trees bloom in the area around Akigawa Gorge, such as the Yoshino cherry trees that bloom in the gorge itself, and the Japanese mountain cherry tree at Kogonji-temple. The mountain cherry tree at Kogonji-temple is very large, and is estimated to be over 400 years old. The best time to see the blossoms is in early to mid-April. Because the flowers bloom for only a short time, many people visit Akigawa Gorge to enjoy and appreciate the precious blossoms.

Cherry trees along Akigawa Gorge

Beech Forests on Mt. Mito

One of Tokyo’s precious beech forests is located on Mt. Mito. It is said that only two beech forests remain in Tokyo: on Mt. Mito and in the Nippara River basin. Bamboo grasses, which grow on the forest floor of beech forests, are very scarce in the forest on Mt. Mito, and the forest is therefore of scientific interest as well. Flowers such as Stellaria sessiliflora, Disporum smilacinum, and miterwort (Mitella pauciflora) grow on the forest floor of the beech forests.

Beech forests on Mt. Mito


このページの担当は自然環境部 緑環境課 自然公園計画担当です。

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