Given the task of designing the ideal middle-class town in Tokyo, one would probably come up with something close to Kichijoji (吉祥寺). It has a very suburban and relaxing atmosphere, yet is just a 12-minute ride from Shinjuku—something which has meant that it consistently ranks in the top three most desirable places to live in Tokyo (and house prices are accordingly expensive).

Information
Location
Kichijōji, Musashino, Tokyo
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Getting there
The west bound Chuo Line (Rapid) from Shinjuku gets you to Kichijoji in under 15 minutes. The Chuo Line has no less than seven different types of trains (Rapid, Commuter Rapid, Special Rapid, etc.) which stop (or don’t stop) at different stations. The Chuo Special Rapid and Commuter Special Rapid do not stop at Kichijoji so take care which train you board.
Key Attractions

Ghibli Museum

Museum designed by Studio Ghibli’s director, Hayao Miyazaki, and based on the storyboards used to create the films, the most famous of which (outside of Japan, at least) is Spirited Away (2001).
10:00-18:00. Closed on Tuesdays.
Adults ¥1,000, discounts for U18s and children. Tickets can only be purchased in advance.

Harmonica Yokocho

Harmonica Yokocho actually started out as a black market in the post-war years but has since transformed into a small network of about 100 bars and restaurants.

Inokashira Park

Inokashira Park opened to the public in 1917 and is today one of Tokyo’s most spacious parks. It…
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