Today we are going to discover the city of Kawasaki, in Kanagawa prefecture: a little-known place yet very easy to access, just 15 minutes from Tokyo. It is also the town of bro Naoki !

INTRODUCTION TO THE OTSUKA DISTRICT IN TOKYO

Before enjoying Kawasaki, I take this opportunity to introduce you to a place that I really like in Tokyo: Otsuka, a small neighborhood located on the Yamanote line, 1 station from Ikebukuro. It is not a place where we go to find lots of visits to do but rather to enjoy a daily Japan, an everyday Japan.

otsuka tokyo
Otsuka, a nice neighborhood in Tokyo.

On the other hand, there are plenty of superb addresses to feast with for example Onigiri Bongo, a restaurant which dates from 1960 and which only makes Onigiri (Japanese rice balls) with no less than 55 kinds on the menu and above all a very warm atmosphere!

onigiri bongo
Onigiri Bongo, the essential address in Otsuka.

For dessert, the shop Sennari Monaka which dates from 1937 offers plenty of Japanese desserts including very good Dorayaki (Japanese pancakes with red bean paste).

sennari monaka
Sennari Monaka, a Japanese dessert shop.

THE KAWASAKI DAISHI TEMPLE

After this little introduction to Tokyo, we go to discover Kawasaki town, very easy to access sincejust 15 minutes from Shinagawa (Tokyo). And Kawasaki’s flagship place is without a doubt the Kawasaki Daishi, the main temple of the city.

kawasaki daishi
The entrance to the Kawasaki Daishi temple.
kawasaki daishi temple
A pretty temple!

On weekends from January to May, you can enjoy Yatai (traveling stands) within the temple grounds. But the Kawasaki Daishi is best known for being a very popular place to Hatsumode, the first prayer of the year that the Japanese do on New Years (usually the first 3 days of January).

shinshuen kawasaki
Right next to Kawasaki Daishi temple is the Shinshuen, a small Chinese garden.

Right in front of the temple, we find the street Nakamise Dori which is a nice shopping street with lots of shops and merchants. The main attraction of the street is Matsuya Sohonten, a candy shop that offers small daily demonstrations for passers-by.

kawasaki nakamise dori
Nakamise Dori Street, just in front of Kawasaki Daishi temple.
matsuya sohonten
Demonstration by Matsuya Sohonten.

There are also quite a few shops dedicated to Daruma, Buddhist figurines serving as a lucky charm. They do not have a pupil so it is advisable to draw one while making a wish, then not to draw the second until this wish is fulfilled. In the meantime, the Daruma is displayed in a visible place every day so that it acts as a reminder to motivate itself to achieve its wish.

takasaki daruma
Daruma, Buddhist figurines serving as good luck charms.

I also took the opportunity to have lunch at Shogetsuan, a Soba and Udon restaurant right next to Kawasaki Daishi temple. You can also taste the dessert which is the specialty of the city, the Kuzumochi.

udon kawasaki
A nice bowl of Udon noodles in Shogetsuan.
kuzumochi
Kuzumochi, the dessert that is Kawasaki’s specialty.

THE KANAYAMA-JINJA SANCTUARY

Then head to the Kanayama-jinja shrine, a place where a very famous festival takes place that you have surely already heard about … Kanamara Matsuri, fertility festival which takes place every year on the first Sunday in April.

kanayama jinja
Kanayama-jinja shrine.

IKUTA RYOKUCHI PARK

North of Kawasaki, Ikuta Ryokuchi Park is a place that has several points of interest: an observation point with many cherry trees for picnics during the Sakura season, Nihon Minkaen village museum which allows you to discover the peasant life of different regions of Japan through traditional houses or a very nice indigo dyeing experience to do: Dentou Kougeikan.

sakura kawasaki
The Sakura of Ikuta Ryokuchi Park.
nihon minkaen
The Nihon Minkaen village museum.
indigo kawasaki dye
Kawasaki indigo dye experience.

SOME OTHER PLACES IN KAWASAKI

I was also able to discover Naoki’s little secret corners in Kawasaki with Keihin Fushimi Inari Shrine, small but very pretty, Togakuin temple, known for its many azaleas (from mid-April to early May) or Myorakuji temple known for its hydrangeas (month of June).

togakuin
Kawasaki Togakuin Temple.
myorakuji kawasaki
Kawasaki Myorakuji Temple.

YOMIURI LAND: THE GOOD SAKURA TIP IN TOKYO

Direction then Yomiuri Land, an amusement park located on the border between Tokyo and Kawasaki, 30 minutes from Shinjuku. It’s a good plan to take advantage of the winter lights, but it’s also a good idea for the cherry blossom season!

yomiuri land sakura
The Sakura in Yomiuri Land

The park is home to dozens of cherry trees which are illuminated in the evening and it offers a very nice outing, sheltered from the crowds, under the Sakura trees!

yomiuri land
Yomiuri Land attractions are stylish!

CONCLUSION IN THE OYAMA DISTRICT IN TOKYO

To conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to another district that I like a lot in Tokyo and not far from my home: Oyama, a little known and yet very pleasant area with its large shopping streets and its lights at night.

oyama tokyo
The Oyama district in Tokyo.
tokyo oyama
A very photogenic neighborhood!

There are excellent restaurants there including Ajidori, one of my favorite Okonomiyaki and Monjayaki restaurants in Tokyo.

ajidori oyama
My recommendation to Ajidori: Oyakodon Monjayaki (chicken, egg, onions and rice).

Well, I hope this video has given you some new ideas for visits to Tokyo and its surroundings! 🙂

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