Get to know 400 years of Tokyo’s history in an hour (Ryogoku)
In Ryogoku which is a part of Tokyo’s Shitamachi (low town or old town), there are a sumo stadium “Ryogoku Kokugikan” and sumo-beya (sumo stables). The town has a Japanese traditional atmosphere.
Getting out of Ryogoku Station, the first thing that catches your eye is the elevated building, the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum is the best hands-on museum to learn about Japanese life style.
The museum has the life-size replica of the Nihonbashi Bridge and Nakamura-za (Kabuki theater) and 25 miniature models that reproduce the streets and famous buildings in Tokyo. You can learn about Japanese life and culture. Also the hands-on exhibits that you can enjoy are found here and there in the museum.
Various events such as traditional Japanese music concert, Rakugo (comedy storytelling) and magic show are held on weekends.
The museum enables you to feel the history of nearly 400 years, from the Edo period (1603 – 1868) when Samurai still existed until the time Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympic Games after the World War II, in a short time.
The museum shops on the 1st and 5th floor have a wide variety of Japanese goods suitable for souvenirs such as Tenugui (Japanese thin hand towel) and Ukiyoe goods.
Admission fee for Permanent Exhibition: 600 yen for adults, 480 yen for university students, 300 yen for people over 65 years old, junior high school and high school students, free for children under primary school age
(120-yen discount when using discount coupons)
Opening hours: 9:30 AM-5:30 PM (Saturday until 7:30 PM)
Closed on Mondays (When a national holiday or its substitute falls on a Monday, the Museum is closed on the following day.)
1-4-1 Yoko-ami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Volunteer and Audio guide in different languages
Volunteer guides are available in 8 languages including English, Chinese and Korean at the Edo-Tokyo Museum every day.
The explanations they can give will enable you to enjoy seeing exhibits even more.
（6th floor, free of charge）
Audio guide in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional) and Korean is available.
（1st floor, free of charge , 1,000 yen deposit required）
The brochure for the permanent exhibits is available in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean, Spanish, French and German
Coupons for saving
Tokyo Handy Guide which is available at the 150 tourist information centers, major hotels, major stations and museums in Tokyo enables you to get a discount at the tourist facilities in Tokyo including the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
There is the Ryogoku Kokugikan right behind the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
Sumo tournaments are held here. There also is the Sumo Museum where you can learn the history of sumo and see the pictures of the past Yokozuna (grand champion of sumo). You can enjoy seeing the materials relating to sumo and the handprint (big!) of sumo wrestlers lightheartedly.
（Free of charge）
As statues relating to sumo, souvenir shops, displays for photo taking, etc. are found here and there in Ryogoku; please look for them.
Admission fee: Free
Opening hours: 10:00 AM-4:30 PM
Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and New Year holidays (During the Grand Sumo Tournaments held at Ryogoku Kokugikan, the museum is open only to holders of sumo tournament tickets.)
1-3-28 Yoko-ami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo (1/F Kokugikan)
Experience sumo wrestler’s lunch (Ryogoku)
The hot pot dish that sumo wrestlers eat is called “Chanko-nabe.” It is a very healthy dish with lots of vegetables and meat in chicken soup. There are many Chanko-nabe restaurants in Ryogoku as there are Kokugikan and sumo stables. Chanko-nabe is usually priced at over 3,000 yen for dinner. However, at Ryougogata, you can eat Chanko-nabe for lunch for 840 yen*. As large serving and the second serving are free of charge, you can eat till you are full. It is reassuring for the guests from overseas that they have menu in foreign languages.
* The lunch set is available weekdays only.
TOMOEGATA (GURUNAVI – Japan Restaurant Guide)
Park with green and nature in the midst of Tokyo (Imperial Palace)
The Imperial Palace is the residence of the Japanese imperial family. A part of the Imperial Palace which is built on the site of the Edo Castle is opened for public as a park. There are large stone wall that would make you think of the Edo Castle which had boasted the most dignified appearance in Japan and the Japanese garden with a rich variety of plants. It is hard to believe it is in the midst of Tokyo. You can see the contrast between the park with lush greenery and the modern buildings in Marunouchi.
The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
March 1~April 14 9:00 AM-4:30 PM (Last entry: 4:00 PM)
April 15~August 31 9:00 AM-5:00 PM (Last entry: 4:30 PM)
September 1~October 31 9:00 PM-4:30 PM (Last entry: 4:00 PM)
November 1~Last day of February 9:00 AM-4:00 PM (Last entry: 3:30 PM)
Closed on Mondays and Fridays
The town where the new and the tradition meet (Marunouchi)
Marunouchi that lies in the west of Tokyo Station is one of the centers of fashion and economy. Marunouchi is the town which born along with the Japan’s modernization about 120 years ago. But the many buildings have been rebuilt in the last 10 years. While retaining the design of old brick buildings on the streets that was modeled after those in London, Marunouchi was reborn as the center of business and shopping. Above all, having been designated as an Important Cultural Propertym, the Meiji Seimei-kan has a very unique structure combined with a skyscraper complex while retaining the historic building that had been taken over by GHQ (General Headquarters) after the World War II and had been used for the conferences of Allied Council for Japan (ACJ) consisted of the representatives of the four member countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, the Republic of China and the Soviet Union. Visitors are able to see the stately lounge, the conference room, the valuable documents, etc. for free.
Open to the public
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on every Saturdays and Sundays
Closed: December 31 – January 3
Closed irregularly for maintenance
In the shopping area, the latest fashion, the popular gourmet foods and many more are found.
It is easy to get sweets and snacks to go at the underground mall of each building.
As events such as art exhibitions and sale of local specialties are held often, it is worth to have a look. The event information can be obtained from the website for Marunouchi.
Holiday light displays add colors to the winter town (Marunouchi)
Marunouchi Panorama view
The trees along the Marunouchi Naka-dori Street will be illuminated for 1.1 km from November through February 19. The champagne-gold colored lights will make you feel gorgeous and bright.
Inexpensive dinner in the neighborhood of Ginza (Yurakucho)
Ginza has an image of high-class town. But there are many izakaya (Japanese-style pub) where you can enjoy at a reasonable price near the elevated railroad tracks of the Yamanote Line and around that area. One of izakaya “Matsusou” has an English menu with photos on it. You can enjoy grilled fish, yakitori (grilled skewered chicken) and other dishes that go with drinks. We (two women) paid around 4,000 yen on that day.
The green lantern which certifies that the pub uses Japanese ingredients serves as a mark.
|Lunch (“Chanko-nabe.” Tomoegata)||¥840|
|Ryogoku to Ōtemachi||¥260|
|The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace||¥0|
|Snack (Frozen yogurt Golden Spoon)||¥400|