My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: March 16, 2023
Located 30 minutes west of Shinjuku Station, Tachikawa and neighboring Kunitachi provide a relaxing moment of respite from the congestion and intensity of central Tokyo. The area is home to Tokyo’s biggest park, Showa Kinen Park, where you can easily spend an entire day. You’ll also find numerous family-friendly museums, along with one of the most impressive architectural spaces in the city: the Musashino Art University Museum & Library.
Your access point for Tachikawa and the surrounding area is Tachikawa Station on the JR Chuo Line, Ome Line, and Nanbu Line.
From Haneda Airport: One hour and 25 minutes by train.
From Narita Airport: Two hours and 45 minutes by Limousine Bus, or two hours and 15 minutes by train.
From Shinjuku Station: Take the Chuo Special Rapid train on the JR Chuo Line for Tachikawa Station. Travel time: 30 minutes.
From Tokyo Station: Take the Chuo Special Rapid train on the JR Chuo Line for Tachikawa Station. Travel time: 50 minutes.
Commemorating the late Emperor Hirohito, Showa Kinen Park is the crown jewel of Tachikawa. This park boasts broad flower fields, a Japanese garden, cycling paths, paddleboats, children’s playgrounds, and more. During pleasant weather, you can spend a full day here relaxing and picnicking on the grounds. The Tachikawa Festival Showa Kinen Park Fireworks is held each year at Showa Kinen Park, with around 5,000 fireworks launched into the night sky. Check the internet for the exact date and further details.
For a completely different experience, consider a visit to Kodaira Furusato Mura in nearby Kodaira city. This outdoor park faithfully recreates a pre-modern farming village. Learn about the cultivation methods and daily life of farmers from Japan’s feudal ages while leisurely strolling through the park.
Take a break from the outdoors with a trip to the Polar Science Museum. Located a short train ride from Tachikawa Station, the museum provides the latest information on Antarctic and Arctic research. Among the numerous exhibits, the museum’s TACHIHI Aurora Theater gives you an opportunity to see detailed images of auroras projected across a four-meter dome.
Another one-of-a-kind attraction in the area is the Kodaira Fureai Sewerage Museum. This free museum allows visitors to go inside a real but unused sewer pipe, offering a first-hand lesson on how the country’s waste is processed.
The Tamashin Museum of Art exhibits work by artists working in or associated with the Tama region, as well as modern Japanese paintings and sculptures, and Chinese and Japanese antique ceramics.
Musashino Art University has a Museum that is open to the public, containing an interesting collection of artwork, design materials and rare books. There is also a folklore reference room with cultural artifacts from all over Japan. Various exhibitions and events are held throughout the year. Please note that there may be restrictions on the use of campus facilities by visitors from outside the university. Please check the latest information on the official website.
If you plan on spending more time in the Tachikawa area, there are a handful of other museums, parks, and temples that make for great family-friendly fun. Car fans will enjoy a trip to the Bridgestone Innovation Gallery, a museum showcasing the tire company’s involvement in the auto industry.
Daigaku-dori, or University Street, which extends southwards from Kunitachi Station past Hitotsubashi University, provides the perfect location for cherry blossom viewing in the spring, and autumn leaves in the fall.