One of the most interesting locations in Tokyo, Sumida City is filled with classic Edo-styled history, culture and modern developments. From exciting sumo to exquisite swords, from traditional gardens to contemporary shopping, Sumida City's old town feel is packed full of Tokyo gems.
Temples & Shrines
Sumo's first bout as a spectator sport was played here in Eko-in Temple which served as the centre of sumo during the Edo and Meiji periods. The temple's Mound of Power is a sumo monument that draws new wrestlers to pray for good fortune. Eko-in is also associated with animals, particularly cats, and features a prayer hall for the souls of dead animals.
Five minutes from Ryogoku Station on the JR Sobu Line.
A relatively unknown shrine established in the tenth century, Ushijima Shrine features a rare wooden three-gate torii as well as having oxen as guardians rather than the usual foxes or lions. Legend has it that offering prayers and rubbing the ox statue results in a cure for whatever it is that ails you.
Eight minutes from Honjo Azumabashi on the Asakusa Line or Tokyo Skytree Station on the Tobu Skytree Line.
Gardens & Parks
Kyu Yasuda Teien
Once the grounds of a samurai residence, Kyu Yasuda Teien is strolling Japanese garden featuring beautifully designed bridges, ponds and flora. Formerly connected to the Sumida River whose tidal movements raise and lowered the pond level, the effect is now created by pumps.
Five minutes from Ryogoku Station on the JR Sobu Line or seven minutes from Ryogoku Station on the Oedo Line.
Beautifully calm, Mukojima-Hyakkaen is a traditional Japanese garden surviving from the Edo Period. With over 200 species of plants, including 360 plum blossoms, the garden's ponds, tea house and numerous carved excerpts from traditional Japanese literature, make for a lovely daytime stroll.
Five minutes from Higashi Mukojima Station on the Tobu Skytree Line.
Museums & Galleries
Sumida Hokusai Museum
Dedicated to the world famous ukiyo-e artist, Katsushika Hokusai, the Sumida Hokusai Museum is a stunning contemporary themed gallery of the artist's life and works. Inside, the four levels feature modern technology to help showcase the exhibitions making the museum a must-see location.
Five minutes from Ryogoku Station on the Oedo Line or nine minutes from Ryogoku Station on the JR Sobu Line.
Japanese Sword Museum
A millennia of traditional culture is on display at the Japanese Sword Museum. Regularly changing exhibits showcase some of the most exquisitely crafted works of the swordsmith's art. Be it long or short swords, daggers or spear blades, the museum is a marvel of Japanese metalworking pride.
Five minutes from Ryogoku Station on the Oedo Line or seven minutes from Ryogoku Station on the JR Sobu Line.
Landmarks & History
The home of sumo, a tournament at the Ryogoku Kokugikan is about as authentic a Japanese experience as you can get. Staging three of the six professional bouts throughout the year, the Kokugikan also features a small sumo museum as well a host of atmosphere, history and culture.
Two minutes from the West Exit of Ryogoku Station on the JR Sobu Line.
The tallest building in Japan and one of the tallest in the world, the 634 metre behemoth that is Tokyo Skytree, is the most recognisable feature in Tokyo. A communications tower, Skytree is loaded with shopping and dining opportunities at its Solamachi annex as well observation decks with absolutely incredible views of the capital.
Accessible from Tokyo Skytree Station on the Tobu Skytree Line.