Living in Mitaka: Guide For Foreigners
Mitaka was built in 1653. What was once known as a water canal site has transformed to a location filled with important historical events of Tokyo. It is home to research universities and loads of renowned animation studios.
Read further to learn more about Mitaka.
Mitaka: A Bedroom Community in Tokyo
Mitaka City had an estimated population of 189,168 in 2016, making it one of the less crowded municipalities in Japan.
Located in the city are the headquarters of famous modern animation studios such as Telecom Animation Film and Studio Pierrot. Subaru Tecnica International and TAD Corporation, the manufacturer of a short-lived video game also have their headquarters here.
Mikata is family friendly to couples, children and families with its beautiful parks. Nearby is the Inokashira Park, one of the best spots for your afternoon jogs, dates, and picnics. Novelist Osamu Dazai made this place a little morbid when he committed suicide here.
The convenient location is also a highly attractive characteristic of the city, providing you direct access to areas such as Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station - this will be discussed in further detail later. Busy working parents will be able to go home with ease.
- From Tokyo Station, take the Chuo Rapid Service to Mitaka Station (32 minutes)
- From Shibuya Station, take the Keio Inokashira Exp to Kichijoji to Mitaka Station (17 minutes)
- From Shinjuku Station, take the Chuo-Sobu Local Service to Mitaka Station (21 minutes)
Inokashira Park, located in the area between Mitaka and Kichijoji, is a massive park filled with a variety of activities. Friends and families enjoy riding a swan boat in the lake, where adorable animals such as ducks and koi (don’t feed them!) swim blissfully.
If you want to see more animals, visit the Inokashira Park Zoo, where you can encounter goats, meerkats, guinea pigs, and other cute creatures.
Finally, have a peaceful moment in the Benzaiten Shrine. It boasts beautiful red walls and is surrounded by cherry blossoms during the spring.
Make sure to also visit other parks in Mitaka such as the Nogawa Park and the Sengawa Park, both with their own stunning nature.
- Address: 1-18-31 Gotenyama, Musashino City, Tokyo
- Directions: 5-minutes on foot from Kichijoji Station
A must-go location when in Mitaka is the Ghibli Museum, where characters of the Ghibli universe come to life.
Within the museums maze-like structure, you can watch exclusive films, walk around exhibitions on the history of animation, and learn about Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Ghibli and arguably Japan’s most famous animator.
No matter how old you are, you will definitely be fascinated by the artwork and activites the museum offers.
Make sure to reserve your tickets in advance. The facility does not allow people to enter without prior reservation!
- Address: 1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka City, Tokyo
- Directions: 15-minutes on foot from the south exit of Mitaka Station
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
Impressive technology and state of the art facilities await you in the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. It is a research institute, but it opens its doors to the public for free.
Visit the Dome Theater, where you can experience travelling around the galaxy, and the 20-cm Telescope Dome, the oldest observation building in the establishment.
- Address: 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo
- Directions: Take the bus from bus stop #3 at the south exit of Musashi-sakai Station, and get off at Tenmondai-mae (approx. 15 minutes)
Why Foreigners Live in Mitaka
Convenient Transportation Options
Living in Mitaka means having convenient transportation options, especially through the various railroad lines connected to Mitaka Station.
The station is connected to the Chuo Line, giving direct access to areas such as Tokyo Station in 30 minutes and Shinjuku Station in 17 minutes. Through these stations, you can have access to almost all railroad lines in Tokyo.
Additionally, the station is connected to the Chuo-Sobu Line. You can reach various parts of Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, highly convenient for commuters.
Mitaka Station is also connected to the Tozai Line, which reaches other more parts of Tokyo and Chiba.
There are various affordable shops and restaurants located just outside Mitaka Station, a savior for busy city people. If convenience and low prices are your top priority, this area should be definitely be considered.
Despite being outside central Tokyo, Mitaka City has plenty to offer. There are endless shopping and dining options, museums and parks for a peaceful time, and transportation methods to reach central Tokyo in an instant.
It is no wonder Mitaka City’s popularity is only increasing.
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