By Karin Wu
Shinagawa isn't the first destination on travelers' minds when heading to Tokyo, but the city contains a treasure trove of historical and cultural points of interest that are certainly worth a visit.
Glide along the Meguro River in a boat cruise and view the arching cherry blossoms in spring — this is one of the top hanami (flower viewing) spots in Tokyo. At night, watch the sakura light up with magical illuminations to top your day off.
Home to many Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and churches, Shinagawa is a gateway to understanding religion in Japan. These places of worship double as scenic locations that are magnets for photographers.
In late summer, join in the raucous Shinagawa Shukuba Matsuri, where the people celebrate the city's tradition and heritage with a lively parade. There, you can also take lessons in meditation and various traditional instruments, and enjoy local food and shopping fairs. If you have not seen fire-walking before, now's the chance to catch it at Honsenji Temple.
End your day at Ohi Racecourse, where horses compete in thrilling races under the floodlights. A day in Shinagawa is never boring and it would be a shame to miss it on your next trip to Tokyo.