Tama (多摩市 Tama-shi) is a western suburban city of Tokyo.
Tama is a sprawling place, but the central, city-like bit of it is, appropriately enough, known as Tama Center (多摩センター), and Tama's three train/monorail lines converge here.
One of the first things you see on arrival at Tama Center train station is a glowing sign proclaiming "Tama is Hello Kitty's Town". Although there is more to Tama, getting up-close-and-personal with Sanrio's signature feline is the main draw for visitors to this part of Tokyo.
The Keio and Odakyu private railways operate out of Shinjuku Station. Using either of these lines, you can reach Tama in about 40 minutes.
On the Keio line (¥330), take a Rapid (kaisoku; 快速) or Express (kyūkō; 急行) train bound for Hashimoto, and get off at Keio Tama Center (京王多摩センター). These trains generally leave from Shinjuku every 10 minutes during most of the day, with departures alternating between the main Keio platforms, and the adjacent Toei Shinjuku Line platforms. (Toei Shinjuku Line trains merge with the Keio line at Sasazuka.)
On the Odakyu line (¥360), the stop for Tama is, appropriately, Odakyu Tama Center (小田急多摩センター). You'll need to change to a Tama Line train at Shin-Yurigaoka (新百合ヶ丘).
The Tama Toshi Monorail is less useful for those coming from central Tokyo; it connects to the JR Chuo Line at Tachikawa.
- 1 Tama Zoological Park (多摩動物公園), 7-1-1 Hodokubo, Hino, ☏ . Like its better-known counterpart in Ueno, this park is run by the Tokyo municipal government. While it's not spectacularly large, the conditions seem more humane than at the older Ueno Zoo, which many western visitors find downright depressing. Directly across the street from the entrance to the Tama Zoo is a small train museum, including a very large model train set. free.
- 2 Tama Center (多摩センター). A major shopping center, and if you're this far from central Tokyo, it's probably worth your while to do some shopping here before making a special trip all the way to Shinjuku or Ginza. As Tama Center has become a major destination for residents of western Tokyo, it's grown from a big lifeless mall to a local landmark. Musicians, jugglers and other performers often play at the station, and the mall is illuminated for Christmas from November 6th to the New Year.
- Warner Mycal Cinemas (In Tama Center.).
There is a local radio station called FM-Tama that has information on local events.
- 1 [dead link] Tama Chuo Koen (多摩中央公園), 2-35 Ochiai, ☏ . A park with a lot of nature and a pretty big pond. It's nice to see people reading books, talking, and sitting on the grass.
- 2 Sanrio Puroland (サンリオピューロランド), 1-3 Ochiai (5 minutes walk from Tama center staition), ☏ . M-F 10AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. A theme park dedicated to Hello Kitty and her cute clones. Adults ¥4,000, youth (12-17) ¥3,700, juniors (4-11) ¥3,000.
- 3 Yomiuri Land (よみうりランド), 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, ☏ . An amusement park.
- 4 Gokurakuyu (極楽湯), 1-30-1 Ochiai, ☏ . A large public hot spring.
- 1 Mitsukoshi. A high end department store. This is a chain; there are branches across the country.
- 2 Grand Cru, Odakyu Tama-Center Station, 1-11-2 Ochiai, ☏ . A cake shop. The cream-filled rolled sponge cake is popular. ¥840 for a sponge cake.
- 3 Cross Garden Tama (クロスガーデンタマ), 2-33 Ochiai (A ten minute walk from Tama Station.), ☏ . Buy miscellaneous goods, clothes, furnitures, and accessories! There are some restaurants, too.
Tama has plenty of fast food and chain restaurants, including two Wendy's and three Saizerias.