For any Ghibli fans visiting Tokyo, the Totoro Fund's Kurosuke House in Tokorozawa (Saitama) is surely one to bookmark for your visit. The Kurosuke House is a registered tangible cultural asset. It is in a natural habitat protected by the Totoro Fund. The Totoro Fund is an organization that was set up by volunteers and supported by Miyazaki himself to fund the maintenance and protection of the area. The area is said to be the inspiration for many scenes in the movie Tonari no Totoro. Kurosuke's House doubles up as the head office of the fund.
The house is free to visit, but as they rely on private funding to keep it running, they welcome contributions. There is a donation box in the foyer of the building. They also sell Totoro and Ghibli goods in this area. A life-size Totoro is in one of the tatami rooms on this floor. Upstairs is a small museum of sorts with information about the Totoro Fund, the Totoro forests and some images from Ghibli movies. On the ground there is also a tea factory and a old store house which displays a diorama from Tonari No Totoro.
Please note it is only open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays between 10 am and 3 pm.
By public transport: The nearest station to Kurosuke’s House in the Totoro Fund's Totoro Forests is Seibu Kyujo Mae on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. It is a 45 minute scenic walk from the station to Kurosuke's House.
By car: The house is less than an hour's drive from many areas in Western Tokyo. There is no official parking and you can't drive down the narrow road to the house. However, there is a very reasonable coin parking lot, P's Parking, a minute walk from the house. It has a flat rate of 400 yen for up to one day of parking.
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I've been in Japan for 18 years and yet everyday is still an adventure. For the last 11 years I have been living in and blogging about Saitama Prefecture (on my personal blog insaitama.com), occasionally appearing on TV to promote the attractions of my adopted home in rural Saitama. Despite its central location, just North of Tokyo, Saitama is still quite unknown to the international tourist, but frequented by domestic travelers. It is a great place to experience some off-the-international-tourist-trail locations and meet with locals and national tourists. And of course Saitama is home to venues for both the Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I hope to introduce a taste of what there is to do and see in my articles on Japan Travel and help you with your Saitama travel planning.