Photo:Hidetsugu Tonomura on Flickr

Best 5 Spots in Edogawa

Tokyo is a huge city. No one has any doubts about that. Within Tokyo there are many hidden areas just waiting for more people to visit them. Edogawa is one of those areas with lots to do and many places that will make your trip to Japan even more excellent. Here is a list of the 5 best places in Edogawa to visit.

1. Kasai Rinkai Park

Kasai Rinkai Park located in Edogawa is opposite to Tokyo Bay in the east of Tokyo. It's the biggest park in Tokyo with an aquarium, a big Ferris wheel, a garden of birds, Seaside Edogawa hotel, etc. Outside the park toward the sea, you can see Kasai Seaside park, which is built up on a manmade seaside and is considered as one of 100 beautiful beaches in Japan. These two parks are connected by Nagisa Bridge. Due to the unstable ups and downs of the tide, the beach in Kasai Rinkai Park is not open for swimming. However, from the beach, you can see Tokyo Disneyland, Boso Peninsula and Mt. Fuji on beautiful days.

Kasai Rinkai Park has been built up to recover the nature destroyed by the industrialization process at Tokyo bay. After 25 years since it was opened, species of plants that were said to have disappeared have been found to have still been living there. More and more sea birds and mountain birds flock in the park. Many interesting events such as listening to insects' sounds, night bird watching and seasonal flower viewing are also organized there.

The Ferris wheel in the park is the highest one in Japan (117 meters). There are 60 cabins and each can carry 6 people. There are two flat-bottom cabins for the handicapped. It takes you 17 minutes to finish a full circle of the Ferris wheel. The admission fee is ¥700 but if you have bought tickets for the aquarium and park train, you would be able to receive a 10% discount. The opening time is from 10:00 to 20:00.

You can reach this park from Kasai Rinkai Koen station on JR Keiyo-line after 1-minute walking. Or from Kasai station or Nishi Kasai station on Tokyo Metro Tozai-line, you can take the bus to there in 10 minutes. The fee at the 24-hour parking lot is ¥200/ hour and added with ¥100 more after every 30 minutes. In the high season, the parking lot is often full, so public transportation is the best choice for tourists.

2. Funabori Tower

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Funabori tower is an art and culture center of Funabori ward where art exhibitions and conferences are usually organized. There are 7 main floors and an observation deck in Funabori Tower. The first floor is mainly used for art exhibitions or galleries. From the second to the fourth floors are for academic and community conferences, music and movie festivals, etc. The fifth and sixth floor are for wedding ceremonies. There's a nice restaurant on the seventh floor where you can take the elevator to the observation deck. The deck is designed in a square shape which allows tourists to observe the panorama of Edogawa district from above and a good place to see the sunset. The tower is just in front of the north exit of Funabori station (Shinjuku line) and it's free of charge. The opening time is from 9:30 to 21:00.

3. Furugawa Water Park

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This is a narrow and long park with a manmade river in the middle of the pathway in Edogawa district. It's a good place for parents and kids. They can play in playgrounds, take a walk along the river and enjoy the fresh air, learn about a lot of species of plants, flowers, many marine creatures in the river such as turtles, different types of fish, crabs, frogs, etc. In the summer, shallow areas of the stream are used as natural pools for kids to swim in or have fun with water. The gold fish catching festival is often organized in this park. The participants have to jump into the river and try to catch as many fishes as they can.

The park's starting point is in Ichinoe ward and its ending point is in Funabori ward.  You can reach it from Funabori station or Ichinoe station (on the same Shinjuku line).

4. Ojima Komatsugawa Park

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This is a big park with a lot of recreation facilities such as tennis courts, baseball field, soccer fields, gathering field, etc. It's located next to the Komatsugawa River, a favorite site for walking and kayaking. Ojima Komatsugawa is also an evacuation field when natural disasters occur. On weekends, many people often go to this park for BBQ or picnicking. Ojima Komatsugawa Park has a huge open space with a lot of cherry trees, so it's a good spot for hanami. There is a big parking lot in the park and four spaces for the handicapped. All of toilets are suitable for the handicapped. The park is accessible from both Ojima exit and Komatsugawa exit of Higashiojima station (Shinjuku line).

5. Edogawa Natural Zoo

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This small zoo is situated in the center of Gyosen park which is about 15 minutes to walk from Nishi Kasai station (Tokyo Metro Tozai line) and about 20 minutes to walk from Funabori station (Toei Subway Shinjuku line). A lot of cute small animals such as pandas, anteaters, black-tailed prairie dogs, red neck wallabies, penguins, etc. are looked after there. Also, you can see several typical species of marine creatures and reptiles cared for there.

Tourists can interact with extremely cute little animals (goats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.) in the petting area (open twice a day, from 10:00 11:45 a.m. and from 1:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.).

Edogawa natural zoo is an admission free zoo but if you reach there by a car, you have to pay a fee of ¥200 per hour at the parking lot on the north side of the Gyosen Park.

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