Inokashira Park maybe popular to both locals and foreign visitors because of Ghibli Museum. But outside the museum walls, Inokashira Park has a lot to offer. Built in 1917, the park serves as a precious green sanctuary for its residents and nearby cities. It has an area of about 380,000 square meters with a 43,000-square meter center pond. The pond used to be the first source of water supply for Tokyo during that time. The park got its name from the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu. He was the one who called the place Inokashira which means “source of the water supply” or “well that gives the most delicious water.”
Inokashira Park: Celebrating Art and Culture
A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to Inokashira to see if there are already some autumn colors. From Nishi-Kasai, we took Tozai Line going to Kichijoji Station. We are lucky because we ddi not need to change trains. From the Kichijoji Station, it was more or less 15 minutes to the park. Walking around was also interesting because there are a lot of small shops and restaurants along the way.
Unfortunately, it was still early to see some autumn colors. But the lush green colors were refreshing and relaxing. The park gave us a festive feeling because of the performers entertaining the young and young-at-heart. Musicians can also be seen here and there providing different types of music.
As we walk along the pond, my eyes feasted with a lot of beautiful crafts and souvenirs.
Aside from the big pond, there is also a zoo and aquatic garden. The aquatic garden has a good collection of different duck species and fishes from Japanese waters. Ticket price was surprisingly cheap. We paid 400 yen each for tickets which allowed us to enter both the aquatic garden and the zoo.
From the aquatic garden, we walked across the plum trees to go to the zoo. Inside the zoo where some goats, pigs, monkeys, guinea pigs, and wild cats. What I enjoyed the most is the squirrel dome. Inside the dome, squirrels are free to go around while the people are also inside watching them. Although we cannot touch them, these little creatures are free to sit on your shoulder or bag.
On our way back to the station, the colorful signages of different restaurants caught my attention. Later when we got home, my husband told me that Kichijoji is also famous for its yajkitori (grilled chicken) and izakaya (Japanese bar). Something to add to my reason-to-visit-again list 🙂