Connecting Shinjuku and Shibuya with ever-trendy neighbourhoods like Shimokitazawa and Kichijoji and running all the way to Hachioji and Takao far out west, the Keio line is supremely convenient for exploring the more polished sides of suburban Tokyo and its hip cafés, family-friendly parks and underground gig spots.
Our guide to the best things to do along the Keio and Inokashira lines points the way to essential sights, fancy restaurants and art galleries frequented by western Tokyo's comparatively well-dressed and well-off natives, while also including somewhat scruffier spots like old-school cinemas, public bathhouses and no-frills boozers. Hop on and start exploring – or opt for a significantly less posh alternative with our guide to the Seibu lines.
This 'super sento' features 12 different types of baths including a whirlpool bath, rotenburo and Japan's first electric bath filled with carbonated spring water. For an extra charge, you can try out the Surga bedrock bath, which will warm you to your core.
Yukemuri no Sato
This yakiniku eatery provides great value for adventurous carnivores. First-times should start with the tenderloin, a slightly sweet and appropriately soft delicacy, while the truly courageous can go for the 'Kori Kori Mix', a set special consisting of beef ear, throat cartilage, aorta and uterus (!).
The impressive interior and sari-wearing staff will make you feel like you're in India, and the curry maintains the spell: the spiciness scale has seven levels, from the mild 'kakusei' (awakening) and 'meisou' (contemplation), the medium 'gokuraku' (paradise) and 'tenkuu' (ether), and the very spicy 'kokuu' (emptiness).
Visit this garden in May to see the exquisite purple 'Wisteria tunnel', and from February to March when 500 plum trees are ablaze with blooms. You can also spot Mt Tsukuba and from certain positions on clear days you'll be able to see Mt Fuji in the distance.
Just 50 minutes from Shinjuku, Mt Takao is an oasis of greenery, boasting 1,500 varieties of native flora and plenty of interesting bird species. Must-see sights include Yakuo-in Temple and speciality foods include tengu-yaki, tengu hot dogs and tororo soba.
Said to have been founded in the year 111, this Shinto shrine is one of Tokyo's five major shrines and known for its annual springtime Kurayami Matsuri (Darkness Festival) – the highlight is at 6pm on May 5 when eight portable shrines move in time with fireworks.
Horse racing is big betting business in Tokyo, but even if you aren't into that side of things, a day at the races makes for some unique entertainment. This world-class racecourse also boasts parks and restaurants, and it's great for dates and family outings.
It'll take you a full day to make your way through this zoo's different sections: Asian, African, Australian and Insectarium. The main attractions include koalas, lions in a ‘safari’ setting and, above all, a huge insectarium with butterflies, beetles and other creepy-crawlies.