Machida (町田)

In today’s post, I’d like to follow up on places that aren’t tourist traps and talk to you about Machida.  Just like Hachioji, it is on the outskirts of downtown Tokyo.  Machida has two train stations.  One is on the JR Yokohama Line and the other is on the Odakyu Line.  It is about a forty minute train ride from Shinjuku on the Odakyu Line and a thirty minute train ride from Yokohama on the Yokohama Line.  And from Hachioji it is about twenty minutes away on the Yokohama Line as well.

As of February 1st, 2016, the city’s estimated population is around 429,000 people.  Machida is a fairly good sized city even though it is not located in the downtown area.  It also borders Kanagawa Prefecture.   In addition, there are a number of well know universities in the area.  Some of them are Oberlin University, Wako University, Showa Pharmaceutical University and Tamagawa University.

Machida City Hall
Machida City Hall

Things to do and Places to visit

Machida is very spread out but let me first tell you about the area around the JR and Odakyu Line stations.  When you come out of the East Exit #1 at the Odakyu Machida Station, you will find yourself in front of Karion Hiroba.  This is a wide open space with a few places to sit and a smoking area.  This is a popular hang out and meeting spot and is a good place to do some people watching.

Hidakaya Restaurant

Hidakaya Restaurant

There are numerous restaurants, ramen shops, cafes, bars, shops, convenience stores, banks and department stores. If you need to change foreign currency into Japanese Yen, you can do so at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and also Simitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.  If you need an ATM where you can withdraw Japanese Yen, you can do so at Shinsei Bank,  Japan Post Bank,  and all major convenience stores.  There is also the main post office and police station which are both about a 15 minute walk away.

Some popular department stores in the area include 109(Ichi maru kyu), Tokyu Hands, Tokyu Twins, Lumine, Don Quijote, Odakyu Department Store, Marui, Seiyu, Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera.

Machida Squirrel Garden

About a 15 drive from Machida Station is the Machida Squirrel Garden.    I’m originally from New York so while growing up I would see wild squirrels practically everywhere.  However in downtown Tokyo, you will hardly see any squirrels at all.  I first visited the Squirrel Garden a few years ago with my children.  It was such a long time since I last saw a squirrel that it brought back memories of my childhood in New York.

Machida-Risuen-entrance

Machida-Risuen-entrance

Here you will be able to see a wide variety of not only squirrels but also rabbits and guinea pigs as well.  The Garden opened in December of 1988.  It was opened with the purpose of providing employment to individuals who are physically challenged.  There is a petting zoo and you can buy a packet of food to feed the squirrels, rabbits and guinea pigs for only 100 Japanese Yen.  The hours of operation are 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM from October until March. From April until September the closing time is 5:00 PM.

Machida Risu En

Machida Risu En

Admission fee for adults is only 400 Japanese Yen and for children only 200 Japanese Yen.  As for getting there you have a couple of options.  One is to take a taxi from in front of the Odakyu Machida train staion.  Tell the driver that you want to go to “Risu Koen” (Squirrel Garden in Japanese) or show him or her the address in Japanese which is   〒195-0071 東京都町田市金井町733-1.  The phone number is 042-734-1001.  Another option is to take a bus from the Odakyu Machida Station North Exit.  You take bus number 21 bound for野津田車庫 (Nozuda Shako) and get off at 薬師池 (Yakushi-chi) bus stop.  It is about a 14 minute bus ride.  Here is the URL to their website (It’s only in Japanese so you might want to use a website translator)  Squirrel Garden

Kodomo No Kuni

Kodomo No Kuni literally translates into English as “Children’s Country”.  Although technically, it is located in Kanagawa Prefecture in Yokohama, I’ll include it here due to it’s close proximity to Machida.  It was opened on Children’s Day (May 5th) in 1965.  This park typically appeals to younger children ages 10 and under.  It is a nature style park with the goal of a sound body and mind in children.  The park covers an area of around 240 acres or 976,000 square meters.

kodomo no kuni

kodomo no kuni

The park is open from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm.  In July and August the closing time is 5:30 pm.  Admission fee is 600 yen for adults, 200 yen for elementary and jr. high school students, 100 yen for kindergarten and children under 2 are free.  The park also offers the following activities at an additional price:

Bike rentals

Boating

Pony Riding

Mini Zoo

Train Rides

Skating Rink

Swimming Pool

kodomo no kuni train ride

kodomo no kuni train ride

As far as getting there from central Tokyo, your best bet would be to take the Den En Toshi Line from Shibuya bound for Chuo Rinkan.  Get off at Nagatsuda and transfer to the Kodomo No Kuni Line.  K0domo no Kuni is the second and last stop.  This is a very short line of only 3.4 kilometers or 2 miles.

Kodomo no kuni map

Kodomo no kuni map

Tamagawagakuen

Next I would like to tell you about another place in Machida called Tamagawagakuen.  Tamagawagakuen is where I currently reside.  I have been living here for the past 11 years.  It is one station away from Machida and is a residential area.  It is also home to Tamagawa University.  The area surrounding the train station is nowhere near as big as Machida Station.  However, there are a few supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores, and places to go drinking.

Tamagawagakuen street view

Tamagawagakuen street view

Near the train station

Near the train station

Tamagawagakuen Mae Station

Tamagawagakuen Mae Station

Sanwa Supermarket

Sanwa Supermarket

Although, there isn’t as much to do here compared to Machida, Tamagawagakuen is a very nice quiet residential area.

I really hope you found this information on Machida useful.  If you haven’t read my post about another similar city, check out my post on Hachioji. 

 

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