Photo By: Clint
Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Saitama
Population
6,938,004

Tokorozawa

Sip some tea with Totoro in this Saitama town overflowing with nature.

Tokorozawa is drenched in the magical forest atmosphere you’d expect from a fantasy anime. The western Saitama city was the inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s widely-loved film My Neighbor Totoro, after all!

Photo by: Saitama Prefecture Serene lakes, hiking trails, and Totoro are all waiting for you in Tokorozawa.

This whimsical woodland is full of hiking trails, serene lakes, and green tea farms only 30 minutes north of Tokyo. You can even meet Totoro in person!

If you’ve ever wanted to escape into a Miyazaki film — and can’t get a ticket for the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo — put Tokorozawa and its Totoro Forest on your travel list.

Totoro Forest

Photo by: Afantfseye Be careful not to get spirited away.

You’ll find the Totoro Forest among Tokorozawa’s Sayama Hills. It’ll feel as if you’ve stepped right into the movie if you visit during summer when the forest is overflowing with lush greenery.

The area is a protected nature reserve funded by donations through the Foundation of Totoro no Furusato (The Hometown of Totoro).

Film director Hayao Miyazaki himself was one of the first to donate to the area preservation fund.

Snap a pic with Totoro at Kurosuke House

The over 100-year-old Kurosuke House was named after the black soot sprites Mei and Satsuki find scurrying around their house in the movie.

Photo by: warmcheaptrips Totoro!

While the house is a bit far from the forest itself, a special guest is waiting for you upon arrival — Totoro himself! Take as many pictures as you want with the huge Totoro statue before exploring the gift shop or continuing on the nature trails nearby.

The house is free to visit, but donations which go to its upkeep are appreciated.

Cycle around Lake Sayama

Photo by: Saitama Prefecture Cycle or stroll along Lake Sayama.

Tokorozawa’s beautiful nature doesn’t stop at the Totoro Forest and Sayama Hills — you’ll also find Lake Sayama and its twin Lake Tama in the neighboring city.

The 10km path around these lakes is popular among cyclists. The lakes are part of the Sayama Prefectural Nature Park, which is scenic and serene in any season.

Cherry blossoms surround the lake in spring, and if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji on a clear, sunny day.

Sip Sayama Green Tea

Photo by: thingsamiloves How cute!

Just next door to the Kurosuke House is a Totoro-themed green tea farm and cafe called Wada-en (Map) —  in case you haven’t had enough Totoro yet.

Farms, where leaves are harvested for the local Sayama brand of green tea, can be found all across Tokorozawa. If you have a few hours to spare, you can pick tea leaves and learn how to make the tasty drink yourself.

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Things To Know

Walking Trail

If you take the walking trail from Seibukyujo-Mae Station, you’ll pass through other attractions such as the Sayama Prefectural Nature Park and the Lily Garden of Tokorozawa on the way to the forest. Look for the walking map at the station.

Hours and Fees

The Kurosuke House is only open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

How To Get There

Address

2090-1 Kamiyamaguchi, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama-ken 359-1153, Japan

By train

From Ikebukuro Station, take the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line. For Kurosuke House and Wada-en, get off at Kotesashi Station and take the bus for Miyadera-nishi to Dainichido Bus Stop. For Sayama Lake, get off the train at Seibukyojo-mae Station. 

Where To Stay

Restay Tokorozawa (Adult Only)
  • Kamiyamaguchi 1363-2 Tokorozawa-Shi, Saitama 359-1153
  • 7.9/10
  • 0.4 km
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Kikusuitei
  • Yamaguchi 2942 Tokorozawa-Shi, Saitama 359-1145
  • 7.8/10
  • 1.9 km
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Grassino Urban Resort Tachikawa (Adult Only)
  • Saiwai-cho 4-43-2 Tachikawa-Shi, Tokyo 190-0002
  • 6.7/10
  • 5.1 km
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The Bed and Spa (male only)
  • Kusuzonokidai, 1-13-1 Garden city Tokorozawa 3F,4F Tokorozawa-Shi, Saitama 359-0037
  • 7.8/10
  • 5.2 km
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