Summer in Japan is so different from back home in SC. In SC it’s hot pretty much all year round, but here even in the summer months, it can still get pretty cold. May-July is the rainy season, so every other day we have disgusting weather over here. One day it’s wet and cold outside and the next day its grossly humid. It’s making me miss last year a little bit since it didn’t rain so much. Last year I took a day trip to Sayama Hills through the town that inspired the movie My Neighbor Totoro to well, try finding Totoro.
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“My Neighbor Totoro” is one of Miyazaki’s most beloved films and second favorite Ghibli film of all time. So when I found out I could take a day trip to capture some of that Miyazaki magic I jumped at the opportunity.
Getting to the forest wasn’t the easiest thing from Tochigi. Even though Saitama is directly below Tochigi, I had to go through Tokyo first and then travel back up to Saitama to Seibukyujo Mae Station to get to Sayama Hills. From there it’s a 20-minute walk through a residential area to find Totoro’s Forest.
Totoro’s Forest is is hands down one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to Japan. I don’t know if it was a particularly sunny day, but I can still recall the luxurious green color of the forest.
When you first arrive you’ll approach a sign in Japanese with various spots marked on it. Unfortunately, there’s no English translation but don’t let that stop you from exploring the area and taking in the sites.
Finding My Neighbor Totoro: Kurosuke House
Despite it being advertised on the site, the Kuroskue House is a completely separate entity from the Totoro Forest. The house is modeled directly after the Kurosuke house in the movie and it’s used to help raise funds to protect the forest. It’s only a 20-minute walk from the forest but the path there is a little dangerous so I took some back roads to avoid heavy traffic. As soon as you approach the house you’re greeted by the huge Totoro statue inside the house. Inside you can take your shoes off, walk around and relax on the tatami mats.
For all the anime lovers out there Sayama Hills is a must see destination. It’s easily accessible from Tokyo and it’s well worth a good day trip.
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