Nestled in the Tama Hills of southern Tokyo, Machida is a vibrant city where the prominent Japanese businessman Jirō Shirasu once lived. In addition to his former farmhouse that’s now a museum, the city boasts an impressive graphic arts museum and a garden designed for squirrels.
Things to do in Machida
Step inside the former home of Jirō Shirasu and his wife Masako Shirasu at Buaisō to see a traditional thatched-roof farmhouse. Its appearance during the post-war years has been retained and it showcases changing displays of Masako Shirasu’s extensive collection of fine Japanese art.
For something slightly quirkier, visit the Machida Squirrel Garden where around 200 squirrels happily reside within vibrant miniature houses. Kitchen mitts are provided for those wanting to interact with and feed the squirrels or you can just watch as they scuttle across the garden’s purpose-built apparatus.
Admire the extensive collection of Japanese and Western prints at the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts. It includes works dating back to the 8th century as well as cutting-edge contemporary pieces by emerging artists, many of which are available for purchase.
After exploring Machida’s downtown area and museums, escape to the peaceful oasis of Tadao Park, home to hundreds of trees. Follow one of the walking trails that lead through its forested surrounds or enjoy a picnic beside the pond.
Getting around Machida
Machida is around one hour’s drive from Tokyo and 1.5 hours by train from Haneda International Airport. Buses travel throughout Machida and connect to most of its attractions.