My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: March 16, 2023
Numerous museums, art installations, and parks abound in the Mitaka and Musashino area—a short trip outside Tokyo. Step back in time at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, take a look at the unique and inspiring Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka, make a reservation and head to the Ghibli Museum, or relax in one of the many beautiful parks such as Inokashira or Koganei.
Access Mitaka and the surrounding areas from Mitaka Station, on the Chuo and Sobu lines.
From Narita Airport: Around two hours by train to Mitaka Station.
From Haneda Airport: Around one hour fifteen minutes by train to Mitaka Station.
From Shinjuku Station: Around fifteen minutes on the Chuo Line Special Rapid to Mitaka Station.
From Tokyo Station: Around thirty-five minutes on the Chuo Line Special Rapid to Mitaka Station.
A twenty-minute walk (or short cab ride) from Mitaka Station is Inokashira Park. This oasis of green offers a variety of attractions including a small zoo, temple, coffee shops, and a beautiful pond. Enjoy the park during different seasons by renting a row boat, paddle boat, or swan boat. Grab some refreshments from a shop and go for a stroll or just have a seat and enjoy the scenery. With about 500 cherry trees, the park is a great spot for cherry blossom viewing in spring.
At one end of Inokashira Park, you’ll find Mitaka no Mori Ghibli Museum, the official museum of the Studio Ghibli animation studio. The museum building was designed by Hayao Miyazaki himself, and be sure to check out the large robot soldiers from “Castle in the Sky” in the rooftop garden. The special exhibitions change yearly, and original short animated films are shown monthly in the Saturn Theater. After exploring the museum, take a break at the Straw Hat Cafe and enjoy some home-style cooking. Make sure to book your tickets ahead of time. Tickets go fast so check when sales open. See details on the website.
If you're looking for one-of-a-kind photogenic architecture, make sure to visit Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka, inspired by Helen Keller and dedicated to her memory. These colorful buildings are part apartment, part art complex. They were designed by Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins, and are meant to challenge the way people live and interact with their surroundings. To experience the Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka, you can join a private architectural tour in English. Reservations are required, so please check the official website for details.
Nearby, visit the Mitaka Campus of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, a great spot for anyone interested in astronomy. Part of the site is open to the public for tours, offering a chance to view the seasonal scenery and the historical astronomical observatory facilities. Solar observation sessions are sometimes held in the First Equatorial Chamber. Please check the official website for details.
A lovely garden stroll through Japanese architecture awaits as you head through this outdoor museum. View various styles of classic and contemporary architecture. English guidebooks are available if you want to learn more about the history of the buildings. Wear shoes that are convenient to slip on and off, as every house you enter you'll have to remove your shoes.
Koganei Park, which houses the museum, is one of the largest parks in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It has many plum and cherry blossom trees to enjoy in the spring. There are also sports facilities, a cycling course, and a barbecue area (reservations required).