As part of the Historical Tokyo Walks that follow Edo Tokyo cultural sites, the Nihonbashi-Fukagawa route (日本橋本所深川コース) was taken from the Japanese website guide . The city has 23 Historical Tokyo Walks, one for each ward. My map has the English translation for the Japanese route summary as well as added some additional historical context or information. Major sites covered along the route include: Nihonbashi, Mitsukoshi flagship store, Tokyo Stock Exchange, haiku poet Mastuo Basho’s neighbourhood, the Fukagawa Fudoson, Tomioka Hachimangu, Kiyosumi Garden, Ryugoku Gokugikan, Former Yasuda Garden, Edo Tokyo Museum, Karamae Bridge. For anime watchers, the 3-Gatsu no Lion, Tsukumogami Kashimasu, Onihei Hanakcho. The route also overlaps with many cafes that I’ve covered in .
Nihonbashi to Fukagawa Historical Tokyo Walk
Part 1: Edo Nihonbashi Walk (Otemachi ~ Yoroi Bridge)
Part 2: Ningyocho-Hamacho Walk (Yoroi Bridge ~ Shin Ohashi)
Part 3: Fukugawa-Basho Cottage walk (Shin-Ohashi ~ Kiyosumi Gardens)
Part 4: Shitamachi-Fukagawa Walk (Kiyosumi Gardens ~ Monzen–nakacho)
Fukagawa is also famous for its Shio Daifuku, which is sold by the shop right beside the Monzennaka-cho Station exit with the large red Torii gate.
Part 5: Central Kuramae Walk (Shin-Ohashi to Asakusa Bridge)
From the base of Shin-Ohashi, head north towards the Ryogoku Bridge, the second bridge built over the Sumida River and formerly one of Edo’s busiest areas. Midway you’ll find Ekoin where kanjin sumo, the precursor to modern-day sumo took place. These sumo matches began as fundraising events to collect money for the building of temples and shrines. Historically, sumo matches were lively, outdoor events. The wide main street going east to west at the end of the Ryogoku Bridge has always been a popular location for viewing fireworks ever since they were introduced. From here, continue heading north until you reach the Kuramae Bridge. Cross over to enter the Kuramae neighbourhood, which was once lined with the Bakufu (Shogunate government) granaries.
Other things I’d recommend
- Futaba — which has my favourite goma daifuku, sesame daifuku, made fresh daily by a grandpa and sells out once the school kids get to it in the afternoon
- Iki Espresso — my favourite cafe in Tokyo. They have great coffee, good food, and wonderful, genuinely friendly (not just polite) staff. The two owners live in the area and you see the husband (Japanese) at the shop often with his bike. They brought Allpress Coffee, the New Zealand roaster, to Japan and that’s close by too.
- Kokaibo Ramen — my favourite ramen in Tokyo because it’s hearty, with a delicious broth, thick noodles, an incredibly long wait for a permanently compact neighbourhood line because the couple who run it really make every group that goes in welcome (they gave us 2 tables for 5 people even though we tried to just take 1 and never rushed us out).
- How long is the total walk? 10.6 kilometres if you follow the exact route.
- Do I need to start from the beginning? No. I personally would recommend approaching this from a chill perspective.
- Do I have to follow that route? No. The route (I think) follows the plaques, which are in Japanese mostly. For maximum enjoyment, I recommend wandering around the neighbourhoods.
- Will this have a lot of tourists? No. In fact, most locals don’t even know about these historical walking routes. I noticed them in different areas and looked them up. Plus, I used to live around the area, so I learned a lot about the history of the neighbourhoods through various channels (including anime).
- Is this something official? The city government has historical plaques the way London’s city government also has signs in front of buildings. If you like history, treat it as a fun treasure hunt underneath the concrete jungle. It makes Tokyo far more friendly.
- You mentioned anime. What anime are set in this area? The ones I’ve watched are both set in the Edo period: Tsukumogami Kashimasu, and Onihei Hanakcho. 3-Gatsu no Lion is in modern-day Tokyo and down south in Tsukishima, but I recognized many spots where I used to ride into the downtown area. There’s an . I don’t know how updated it is as I haven’t watched many of the ones on there.
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