Mitaka is a major stop on the JR Chūō Line (中央線). Chūō trains depart from Tokyo Station on platforms 1 and 2 (34 minutes; ¥380), and from Shinjuku on platform 12 (15 minutes; ¥210). Several fast trains stop at Mitaka, including: Chūō Special Rapid (中央特快 Chūō-tokkai), Ome Special Rapid (青梅特快 Ōme-tokkai), and Commuter Special Rapid (通勤特快 Tsūkin-tokkai), stop at Mitaka. Some limited express trains do not stop here.
Mitaka is also the end point of the thru-service connecting the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line (東西線) to the Chūō via its terminal at Nakano.
Ghibli Museum, (15 minute walk along the park from Kichijoji Station, or ¥300 bus ride from Mitaka Station). This museum has permanent exhibitions showing the history and science of animation, as well as a mock-up animation studio showing the animation process. There are also special exhibitions, a cinema showing animated short films, a store, a rooftop garden and a restaurant. Locals "must" make a ticket reservation one month in advance. However, if you play the "foreign visitor" routine, and the session is not booked out (try mid-week), you can purchase a ticket on the same day from the Lawson Station convenience store across the road.¥1000. edit
Mitaka City Gallery of Art, CORAL 5F, 3-35-1 Shimorenjaku (In the top floor of the Coral Building, adjacent to Mitaka Station.), ☎ +81 0422-79-0033. 10AM-8PM. Features special exhibits four times a year.edit
Inokashira Park, (A few minutes' walk from Kichijōji Station and Inokashira Kōen Station.). A pond with boats, petting zoo and a small aquarium, and is a place where vendors, musicians, artists and street performers gather. The park is bustling with crowds who arrive to take in the lively environment on weekends and holidays, especially during the cherry blossom season when the entire park is overrun with visitors for hanami. There is also a a small temple dedicated to Benzaiten, a vengeful goddess of love.edit
MISHOP, (On the main street about 5 minutess' walk south of Mitaka Station.), . The Mitaka International Society for Hospitality is an association for cultural exchange between Japanese volunteers and international visitors. It hosts various cultural events and also operates fee-based Japanese lessons. Alternatively, a system for connecting students with volunteer language partners is available for those who wish to learn Japanese on the cheap.Membership fee ¥1000. edit
LONLON, (In Mitaka Station). While not as big as the one at Kichijoji, there is a bakery, food, a restaurant, a couple beauty/salon stores, and a flower shop.edit
Coral Mitaka (コラル三鷹), (A mid-size building just to the south of Mitaka Station.). Home to many small shops, selling items such as clothing, groceries, specialty food, and other items. Additionally, there's an art gallery on the top floor.edit
Indira. An Indian restaurant a block off the main Chūō Dōri street. About 10 minutes' walk from Mitaka Station.edit
terrasse verte (テラス・ヴェルト), 2F Nakamachi 1-14-5 (From the north exit of Mitaka Station, go 100m NE. The restaurant is on the 2nd floor on the corner.), ☎ +81 0422-38-1150, . M-Sa 7AM-11PM, Su 10AM-10PM. This cafe has a selection of western-style sandwiches, pastas, salads, and desserts. There are both indoor and outdoor seating areas.¥500-1500. (35.703398,139.561273)edit
Domadoma (土間土間), 3-26-10 Shimorenjaku (From the south exit of Mitaka Station, go south about 50m, and find this place on the east side of the street.), ☎ +81 042-270-2322, . 5PM-5AM. This izakaya, which serves standard izakaya fare, mainly caters to groups with reservations.¥1500-3000. (35.701886,139.561177)edit
There aren't many cheap hotels in the area, but the Chuo Line makes for quick access to other parts of Tokyo that have them. Budget fast and light travelers could stay overnight in a net cafe, though speaking Japanese is a must. For more upscale hotels, neighboring Kichijoji is a good place to look.
wip (ワイプ), Nakacho 1-14-11 (From the north exit of Mitaka Station, go 50m east. Follow signs from in front of the building to the elevator, and take it to the 7th floor.), ☎ +81 0422-59-1588, . 24h. This net cafe is fairly quiet.¥800 for 3 hours, ¥1300 for 5 hours, ¥1700 for 10 hours. (35.70311,139.56122)edit
One train stop to the east is Kichijoji, with young and vibrant night life. To the north and west, respectively are Musashino and Koganei, quieter places which might be nice for a walk or bike ride.
By train, Shinjuku is about 15 minutes away, and Tokyo Station is only a half hour ride. Those two train stations are some of the largest in Tokyo, and from them you can go any number of places in the country.