Kichijoji Station, located in Kichijoji (a western suburb of Tokyo), lies on the JR Chuo Main Line and the Keio Inokashira Line. It is also the terminus of Keio Inokashira Line from Shibuya.
Kichijoji is a suburb of Tokyo located southwest of Shinjuku. The neighborhood is dominated by Sun Street, a covered shopping street that includes a variety of shops, restaurants, and other amenities. There is also a Buddhist temple half way up the street and some Shinto shrines toward the end. Sun Street stretches a long way to the north, starting from the north exit of Kichijoji Station. On the east and south of the station is a large nightlife area with several love hotels, bars, and restaurants. Although centered on this commercial area, Kichijoji is best known for Inokashira Park, a large and beautiful park, and an excellent place to view the blossoming flowers in spring and the vibrant colors in autumn.
Inokashira Park is one of the most beautiful parks of Tokyo. This picturesque haven includes a pond with rowboats and paddle boats, a forested area with over 24,000 trees and shrubs, sports complexes, a petting zoo, and a small aquarium. The trees and shrubs are of a large variety, the most prominent being the cherry trees. These trees make Inokashira Park a popular place for hanami, or cherry blossom viewing in spring when people throng to the place in large numbers. Even during the rest of the year, the place is full of people - especially on weekends when a small crafts bazaar is put up and street performers can be seen entertaining the visitors.
The history of Inokashira Park goes back to 1913 when it was established by the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu. It was Japan’s first suburban park opened for the general public. The park was built around Inokashira Pond, which was at the time the first water source for Edo, the water supply coming from Kanda River - hence the name Inokashira (meaning ‘source of water supply’).
Inokashira Park is located about 2 minutes walk from the Park Exit of Kichijoji Station.
Ghibli Museum is located at the southwest end of Inokashira Park. It is an art and animation museum of Ghibli Studio, one of the most famous animation studios of Japan. Owned by Miyazaki Hayao, the famous animation film maker, the museum features a variety of anime work and child-oriented fine art. The ground floor of the museum building, which in itself is a piece of art, showcases the history and science of animation. Other exhibits on the floor include life-sized characters from Ghibli’s animation movies. On the first floor is a mock-up studio, complete with sketch boards, drawing and reference materials, and a variety of paints and colors. The rooftop has a children’s play area and a gift shop. Other than these, the museum includes a theater that shows short animations made especially for the museum, a theme restaurant and a bookstore.
Ghibli Museum is a must not only for children and anime lovers, but also for everyone else. The clever displays and artistic exhibits are a pleasure to watch. Entrance is 1000 yen for adults, 700 yen for 13-18 year olds, 400 yen for 7-12 year olds, and 100 yen for children below 7. The tickets have to be booked in advance from Lawson convenience stores in Japan and travel agencies abroad.
Seikei University is a private university located in Kichijoji, about 10-15 minutes walk from Kichijoji Station. Established in 1949, the university is famous for its beautiful zelkova trees, besides being known for its high standards of education.
Seikei University has 4 faculties - Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Law, and Faculty of Science and Technology; 6 graduate schools - Graduate Schools of Economics, Business, Humanities, Political Science, Science and Technology, and Law; and a research institute - Center for Asian and Pacific Studies.