Inokashira Park is an impressive natural oasis that extends between the Musashino and Mitaka suburbs in western Tokyo. Nestled in the bustling city, this hidden gem is a popular spot among Tokyoites thanks to its lush greenery, calm vibes, and leisurely activities. The park’s sports fields and cafes also make it an ideal meeting spot. For tourists, the park is most well known for being home to the Ghibli Museum. Do not pass up the opportunity to visit this over 100-year-old expanse of greenery when exploring Tokyo.
Of course, one of the park’s claims to fame is the Ghibli Museum. Located on the southwestern side of the park, the museum is a must-visit for Studio Ghibli fans. The entire facility, from its design to its exhibits, evokes the nostalgia and magical essence of the famed animation studio. Be sure to book tickets in advance before visiting the museum.
Extending across the majority of the park’s northern section is Inokashira Pond. Rent a rowboat, paddle boat, or swan boat to cruise through the clear waters where you can admire the foliage and low hanging limbs during all seasons. If you are not into boating, enjoy a waterside picnic or leisurely stroll.
From late March through early April, the park’s roughly 500 cherry blossom trees bloom, decorating the park in pastel pink. Lay out a blanket by Inokashira Pond and admire the delicate petals against the water. Do not be surprised to see the park packed with lively residents and visitors celebrating with food and drinks. Be sure to stake out a spot early or visit the park on a weekday for a less crowded experience.
Benzaiten Shrine is a small shrine along the banks of Inokashira Pond dedicated to Benzaiten, the goddess of music, literature, wisdom, wealth, and good fortune. Visit the shrine for a cultural experience, as well as an aesthetic one; and admire its vermillion coloring against the surrounding trees and water.
Inokashira Park Zoo is a small-but-impressive facility that boasts both a zoo area and an aquatic life park. In the zoo, observe native Japanese species as well as international ones, and even cuddle with guinea pigs! The Aquatic Life Park, located on Inokashira Pond, is home to water bird exhibits and a superb aquarium. Apart from the animals, the Park Zoo also includes a sculpture museum, traditional Japanese house, and mini amusement park.
Inokashira Park is a quick 5-minute walk from Kichijoji Station on the JR Chuo Line or 1-minute walk from Inokashira-kōen Station on the Keio Inokashira Line.
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