While the well-known Ghibli Museum in Tokyo might be at the top of the bucket list for any fan of legendary animated film director Hayao Miyazaki, there’s actually an even better place to get in touch with the semi-retired maestro himself.

It’s a beautiful stretch of nature just north-west of Tokyo. called Sayama Hills. Situated in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, and nicknamed “Totoro’s Forest”, this area was the actual inspiration for the animated feature My Neighbour Totoro. Miyazaki has been known to take daily walks through the area, and is so enamoured by the place that he actively participates in regular volunteer events and has made generous donations towards its conservation.

Now, the foundation that protects the forest is inviting the general public in for a special guided walking tour to take place on 5 December. The full-day event takes visitors around some very special areas and includes lots of background information for fans.

This is only the second walking event arranged by the Totoro no Furusato Foundation this year. Earlier this year, a spring walking event was held, which included a visit to the House of Kurosuke, a 100-year-old house where little black dust bunnies (Makkuro Kurosuke) from My Neighbour Totoro are likely to be living.


The December walking event will cover hills and wetlands, taking in some of the most beautiful areas and highlighting the importance of conservation amidst today’s ever-encroaching urban sprawl; a message often at the heart of a number of Studio Ghibli films.


▼ Even the walking guide maps are adorable!


If you’d like to take part in the walking event, simply send an email with your address, name, age and phone number to The tour will be held in Japanese and lunch and drinks are not provided. Participation costs 300 yen (US$2.50) and there are only 30 places available so if you’re unable to take part, don’t worry—you can always visit Kurosuke House and Totoro Forest at your own leisure throughout the year.


Location details:
House of Kurosuke

Address: 3-1169-1 Mikajima, Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture 359-1164, Japan
Phone: 04-2947-6047
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday 10:00am – 3:00pm

Source: ジブリのせかい
Featured Image: 公益財団法人 トトロふるさと基金
Insert Images: ジブリのせかい 公益財団法人 トトロふるさと基金 House of Kurosuke