Tokorozawa—the home of Japanese aviation and My Neighbor Totoro
Tokorozawa is best known as the birthplace of Japanese aviation. It is a bustling commuter town close to Tokyo full of shopping, restaurants, and excellent museums and parks.
- Go deep into the history of Japanese aviation
- Enjoy the rides at Seibuen Amusement Park
- Explore nearby Totoro Forest and its reservoirs
How to Get There
Tokorozawa is just 30 minutes by train from Tokyo's major Ikebukuro Station.
The best way to get to Tokorozawa is by train. The Seibu Ikebukuro Line goes directly from Tokyo's Ikebukuro Station to Tokorozawa Station. You can also take the Seibu-Shinjuku Line, which starts at Seibu-Shinjuku Station in Kabukicho.
Flying high at Tokorozawa Aviation Museum
This lively, convenient commuter town's primary attraction is the Tokorozawa Aviation Museum. The museum is in Kokukoen, a large park in central Tokorozawa built on old airstrips used in the early days of aviation.
The Tokorozawa Aviation Museum is all about the history of Japanese aviation. The main entrance hall is a vast open space with airplanes and helicopters hanging above. The museum has an extensive collection of classic aircraft, some of which you can even climb inside.
Become an air traffic controller
One of the museum's most popular attractions is its air traffic control tower simulator. Exhibits and video displays on the museum's second floor explain the history of aviation in Japan.
Family fun at Seibuen Amusement Park
Seibuen Amusement Park is a great place to take kids when in Tokorozawa. It has 20 rides for kids of all ages, including a merry-go-round and small rides for the younger ones. One of its most popular attractions is Fairytale Town, a dream world featuring Hello Kitty and other characters from the Sanrio family.
The park is spacious and filled with trees. It is especially popular in the springtime during the cherry blossom season, when the cherry trees are in bloom, but there's something to do in every season. During the summer you can visit the water park, and in the winter, there's ice-skating on the pond.
Shopping at Tokorozawa
Just outside Tokorozawa Station is the Prope shopping street, which was named by shortening the word “propeller.” This stretch of the city, which is always full of people, is lined with shops, restaurants, and drinking establishments.
For a more unique eating and drinking experience, try Sakazuki Yokocho. This small shopping street is lined with family-run restaurants and bars. This narrow alley offers a wide variety of unique options.
Hiking the Woods at Totoro Forest
Make your way to the pristine greenery of Totoro Forest. Totoro Forest is a large park full of hiking trails, shrines, temples, and old buildings.
The forest is actually called Sayama Hills. It got its nickname through its association with the Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro. The forest is supposedly the inspiration for the settings of the film.
The main attraction at Totoro Forest is the House of Kurosuke. Within the old-style building is a full-sized statue of Totoro surrounded by kurosuke, the black soot sprites from the film. There's also an old warehouse and a tea factory from the Meiji era.
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