Fukagawa is one of the must-visit places for those who love old-town Tokyo. It is often toured together with Tokyo Skytree, Edo-Tokyo Museum and Asakusa. Kiyosumi Garden is by far the most popular attraction in Fukagawa area. Other popular sites include Fukagawa Edo Museum, Kiba Park, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Fukagawa Fudoson, and Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine. These places belong to Koto Ward.
Alternate Names: Kokugikan Sumo Stadium, Ryogoku Sumo Stadium, Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena
Ryogoku Kokugikan also known as Tokyo Sumo Stadium is the most recent venue for Grand Sumo Tournament held in Tokyo three times a year, in January, May and September. It was moved from Kuramae in 1985 at the site of former freight terminal of Ryogoku Station close to the place Grand Sumo Tournament was held during late Edo Period in mid 19th century. This stadium is also used for concerts, or a wide variety of events such as pro Wrestling matches. The stadium has a small museum about history of sumo open only during Grand Sumo Tournament. When I peeked at the ticket counter for September Tournament on August 10, reserved seats are nearly sold out.
The public park right next to Former Yasuda Garden has some monuments and halls for showing the records of Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and Tokyo Air Raids in 1945 which claimed hundreds of thousands of people. The place this park is located is the former military factory ready to be made into the public park. When Great Kanto Earthqake measuring 7.9 in Magnitude hit Tokyo on September 1, 1923, there were thoudands of evacuated people but the fire was so intense that these people at the park was engulfed by the fire. The park was opened in 1930 as the memorial park for the earthquake victims. One impressive temple-like building is the Memorial Hall for the victims of Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and Tokyo Air Raids in 1945. The other old building is Reconstruction Hall serving as the museum on Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and thanking the relief efforts given by the countries like China and the United States. Another notable monument includes the Peace Monument for the victims of Tokyo Air Raid in 1945 in the form of flower beds. The park also has some monuments, Japanese Garden, Children's Playground, metal debris showing how serious the fire during Great Kanto Earthquake.
Alternate Names: Kyu-Yasuda Garden, Kyu-Yasuda Teien
Once a feudal lord's garden during Edo period(1603-1868), the garden was acquired by Yasuda conglomerate in 1889 and became a public park in 1927. The garden used to be one of the incoming-tide gardens where you can see the changing landscape according to the level of the tide. Today the garden no longer takes in the river water just as originally designed. Water comes from the reservoir buried under the garden as a substitute. The pond of the garden is called Shinji-ike so named because it was shaped like a "heart". The garden has some nice Snow-view lanterns as well as a turtle stone, a small shrine. and a red bridge called Taiko-bashi. This garden is a good place to stroll before or after visiting either Sumo Stadium or Edo-Tokyo Museum.
Admission: Free of charge
Edo-Tokyo Museum adjacent to Sumo Stadium is one of the most popular museums in Tokyo. The museum focuses on life in Tokyo (formerly called Edo) shown in scale models, life-size models, written records, and some ukiyoe paintings. This museum is noted for special exhibits of ukiyoe paintings based on particular themes. Its permanent exhibit floors(5th and 6th floor) is somewhat like TV-drama studio. Special exhibits are required to pay additional charges (fee depending on the exhibits). I had only two hours for this museum and not so much time left for permanent exhibit floors. I can show you some detailed reports on permanent exhibits next time I visit there.
Ryogoku Station is the gateway to Sumo Town Ryogoku about two kilometers east of Akihabara town. Its building was built in 1929 with reinforced concrete. During 1920s, earthquake-proof buildings had been built to recover from the damages of Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 which claimed more than 100,000 people's lives. The station is filled with things related to Sumo, the national sport of Japan. The most impressive are the memorial portraits given to the winners of grand sumo tournaments. The station used to have six portraits of sumo wrestlers but now two remains. Under the portraits there are dozens of hand prints of Grand Champions of Sumo Wrestlers. On the ceiling part there is a hanging banner thanking the sold-out of the seats. You can also find some Ukioye painting related to Ryogoku, one is about Sumo Tournament during Edo Period, the other describes the Sumida River Firework. Getting out from West Exit you will find the statue of two Sumo Wrestlers called Chikarazumou, well describing might-with-might fighting of two wrestlers.
If you want a good look into the history of old japan and how it came to become what it is today, then visit this museum. Gives a history lesson on ancient times and the war times. Many interesting artifacts and buildings of old japan.
Most of the Ryogoku visitors go to either of four major touring spots such as Ryogoku Kokugikan (Kokugikan Sumo Arena. Kokugikan Sumo Stadium) , Former Yasuda Garden, Edo-Tokyo Museum and...