Kichijoji is one of the suburbs in Tokyo that is just a 20-minute train ride away. Highlight is Inokashira Park, a large park filled with cherry trees and maples – great for spring and autumn colors. The Ghibli Museum is also part of Inokashira Park. Besides the park and Ghibli Museum, there are also plenty of malls, covered shopping arcades and restaurants. Special mention goes to Coppice – a new mall that boasts of a Kyara Paakuu or Character Park on the 6th floor which features shops selling character goods such as Hello Kitty, Miffy and Rilakkuma. We had a blast picking up Rilakkuma stuff for the sis-in-law because the range here was so much better than the store at Tokyo station and Kiddy Land in Harajuku.
Filled with charming little streets, Kichijoji is a wonderful place to spend the day. And if you happen to be there, don’t forget to stop by this shop called Love Sweets Antique. It’s just outside Coppice. Their sinfully rich chocolate nama donuts are to die for!
Kichijōji is on the JR Chūō Line and Sōbu Line from Shinjuku station, and the Inokashira Line from Shibuya station. Chūō trains depart from Tokyo Station on platforms 1 and 2 (30 minutes; ¥380), and from Shinjuku on platform 10 (15 minutes; ¥210). Do not get on trains designated Special Rapid (Chūō Special Rapid and Ome Special Rapid most of which do not stop at Kichijoji.
Kichijōji is also the terminus of the Keiō Inokashira Line from Shibuya. This is the best way to reach Kichijoji from Shibuya (18 minutes; ¥190). The local train may take longer, it is often worth waiting for the Express if boarding at Shibuya.