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Japanese badger at Inokashira Park Zoo | © Nzrst1jx/WikiCommons
Japanese badger at Inokashira Park Zoo | © Nzrst1jx/WikiCommons
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The Top Things To Do And See In Kichijoji's Inokashira Park

Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 9 February 2017
Kichijoji is one of Tokyo’s trendiest neighborhoods. It’s located in Musashino, a large city located in the Tokyo Prefecture. Inokashira Park is the heart of the district, and the easy access to downtown Tokyo only adds to the neighborhood’s appeal. But there’s more to this region than green space and swan boats. Here are the top things to do in Inokashira Park.

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.

Inokashira Park in spring | © Dick Thomas Johnson/Flickr
Inokashira Park in spring | © Dick Thomas Johnson/Flickr
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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.

A swan boat out on Inokashira Pond | © Lucy Takakura/WikiCommons
A swan boat out on Inokashira Pond | © Lucy Takakura/WikiCommons
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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

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Go Shopping

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.

AMBER LION, 1-16-11 202, Minamicho Kichijoji, Musashino-shi, Tokyo, Japan, +81 422 76 6180

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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.

Benzaiten Shrine, 1-4 Inokashira, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, Japan

Benzaiten Shrine | © Alicia Joy

Benzaiten Shrine | © Alicia Joy

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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

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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.

4-1-10 Inokashira, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, Japan

Busker at Inokashira Park | © Alicia Joy

Busker at Inokashira Park | © Alicia Joy