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Kichijoji



Kichijoji is a small neighborhood which is located in Musashino, in western Tokyo. In this neighborhood some anime have been set, one out of all the famous GTO.

The neighborhood

Kichijoji is a very nice neighborhood, especially the area north of the station, a very busy shopping area, full both of big stores (Parco, Isetan, Bic Camera, others) and small boutiques. The shopping hub of the area is a covered street, Sun Road.
East of the Sun Road there is the area of the nightlife, where you can find jazz clubs, izakaya, every kind of pubs and restaurants, but also love hotels and escort agencies, "ranked" as the second red light district in Tokyo after Kabuki-cho (and excluding Roppongi).

Inokashira park
Inokashira Park is perhaps the most famous site in Kichijoji, also mentioned in GTO (for fans: when Tontako participate in the election of Miss Inokashira). It is one of the best parks to admire the cherry blossoms in spring.
The park is very large and within there is a small zoo and a lake big enough to be navigated with small boats that you can rent.
On the banks of the lake there is a small temple dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess Benzaiten. I think the atmosphere around the temple, surrounded by the greenery of the park and the lake, is very impressive.
The park is especially crowded on weekends when it fills with stalls, street artists, or people doing a picnic (especially during hanami).
South of Inokashira park there is the Ghibli Museum (see below).

Ghibli museum
First I make a clarification: somewhere you could read that the Ghibli museum isn't located in Kichijoji or Musashino, but in Mitaka. This is true. Mitaka is a town converged in Tokyo bordering Kichijoji and Inokashira park is located in the middle of the border between these two areas, anyway the museum is at the same distance from Kichijoji station and Mitaka station.

The Ghibli Museum is a museum of Studio Ghibli, and has been chosen and designed by Hayao Miyazaki. Inside there are numerous exhibitions and reproductions having to do with many of Miyazaki's films, a path that explains how to create an animated film, a cafe, a gift shop, an arena (the ticket includes the vision of one short film), as well as temporary exhibitions ranging over the years.
Unfortunately you can not buy tickets on the spot and you have to buy them in advance: or in Japan in a Lawson convenience store (conbini) hoping they are not sold out (1000 yen) or in advance in your country paying something more, use google to search some agency that sells these tickets.


The boats that you can rent in the pond inside the Inokashira park

Sleeping

I point out the presence of two internet cafes, a Popeye media cafè and a Gran Bagus Cyber Cafè in Sun Road area.

Pratical guide and map

Kichijoji station is easily accessible. It can be reached directly via the JR Chuo line from Tokyo station or Shinjuku station, or by Keio Inokashira line if for example you come from Shibuya.
The closest stop to the Inokashira park is instead Inokashirakoen station, which is the stop before Kichijoji Station on the Keio Inokashira line.
For the Ghibli Museum, take the Chuo line. You can get off at Kichijoji station crossing then the park in the right direction, or at the next stop, Mitaka station, where you can find a shuttle bus to the museum. Going on foot there are 1.4 km from both stations.


View Kichijoji in a larger map


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