Take A Walk
Inokashira Park has a more laid-back atmosphere than Ueno or Yoyogi, two of Tokyo’s busiest parks. The attractive walking trails and bridges surround a large man-made pond, and the cobbled pathways, weeping willows, and lakeside setting make it a perfect place to relax on a sunny afternoon.
Explore The World Of Ghibli
The Ghibli Museum is located adjacent to Inokashira Park, along the southeastern edge. The museum is only open to visitors with advance tickets, which can be purchased from kiosks in Lawson convenience stores or a third-party seller online. For fans of the studio, the extra step is worth it.
Ghibli Museum, 1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan, +81 570 055 777
Take A Boat Ride
Boats are available for rent at a couple of small docks or harbors on the lake. Customers can choose between swans or ordinary rowboats. A boat trip on Inokashira Pond is best enjoyed during the koyo – autumn foliage – or spring sakura, but it can be appreciated any time the weather is pleasant.
Grab A Bite To Eat
Kichijoji is full of great places to grab a meal, coffee or even to go for a night out at an izakaya. Highly-rated Thai restaurant Peppermint Cafe has a branch along the main approach to Inokashira Park as well as within the park itself, complete with incredible scenic views.
Peppermint Cafe, 4-1-5 Inokashira, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, Japan, +81 422 42 7081
Cute, quirky and stylish boutiques are scattered throughout Kichijoji. The main shopping street is outside the main entrance to Inokashira Park. There, you’ll find unique clothing and accessories stores like Heart Land and AMBER LION.
Say A Prayer
Benzaiten Shrine is located on the southeast corner of Inokashira Pond. Built on its own little island, the bright red shrine is a well-known scenic spot. It’s a relatively new shrine and is dedicated to Benzaiten, the goddess of everything that flows.
Check Out The Animals
Inokashira Park is home to the Inokashira Park Zoo, which has a surprisingly large number of species, from tropical birds, Mandarin ducks and monkeys to Yaku deer and Amur cats. There’s also an aquarium where fish and insects can be observed. But the star of the zoo is Hanako, an Asiatic elephant who was the first to come to Japan after World War II. Open 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (closed on Mondays).
Admission: 400 yen for adults, 200 for seniors, and 150 for students. Children under 12 can enter for free.
Inokashira Park Zoo, 4-4-1 Inokashira, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, Japan, +81 422 46 1100
Take In A Show
Wherever large crowds gather, there are buskers. These street performers entertain park goers whenever they can but especially on weekends and holidays. Find them in the circular plaza (the main entrance) of Inokashira Park or other wide open spaces.