15 Things to Do in Kawasaki

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Kawasaki Japan
Source: OiMax

What Kawasaki lacks in historical sightseeing, it makes up for in excellent and education museums, fun shopping experiences and lovely scenery. As a relatively young city, having been founded in 1924, Kawasaki is a largely industrial area nestled in between Yokohama and Tokyo. Being so close to two extremely popular destinations in the greater Tokyo area does leave Kasawaki often overlooked, and wrongfully so. Explore the city’s ingenuity and find it’s hidden gems with our list of 15 things to do in Kawasaki.

1. Discover the Kawasaki Daishi Buddhist Temple

Kawasaki Daishi Temple
Source: Guilhem Vellut

Let the tranquility of Shingon Buddhism sweep you away at the Kawasaki Daishi Buddhist Temple, the head temple for the Chizan sect and founded in 1128. Although the original temple was decimated in the second World War, it was rebuilt to its former Heian Period style glory in 1958. Explore the five story pagoda and snap a photo by magnificent gate upon your visit.

Information

  • Name: Kawasaki Daishi Buddhist Temple
  • Address: 4-48 Daishi-machi, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
  • Phone: 044-266-3420
  • Access: Take a train to the Kawasaki Daishi Station
  • Website: www.kawasakidaishi.com/english

2. Visit the Kawasaki Civic Museum

Delve deep into the various facets of Japanese history at the Kawasaki Civic Museum. See archaeological and ethnographical artifacts while learning about Kawasaki’s history as one of Japan’s youngest cities. Among the museum’s permanent collection are also photographs, cartoons and graphics while the complex houses a movie theater, a biblio and audio library as well as a souvenir shop and a restaurant.

Information

  • Name: Kawasaki Civic Museum
  • Address: 1-2 Todoroki, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki-shi 211-0052
  • Phone: 044-754-4500
  • Price: ¥300
  • Access: Take bus #33 to Shimin Museum Mae stop
  • Opening hour: 9:30 – 17:00

3. See Traditional Japanese Homes at Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minkaen
Source: japanese_craft_construction

Transport yourself to the Japan of old at the Nihon Minka-en, or, as it’s more colloquially known, the Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum. Navigate traditional Japanese buildings as well as houses that were built in the old eastern style of Japanese architecture. A watermill and boat house can also be explored at the museum alongside a traditional kabuki theater and a storage house or takakura. Japan’s strong ties to Shinto are remarkably preserved in the museum through various stone carvings. It’s literally like walking into a time machine.

Information

  • Name: Nihon Minka-en
  • Address: 7-1-1 Masugata, Tama-ku, Kawasaki
  • Phone: 044-922-2181
  • Price: ¥300
  • Access: 12 minute walk from the Mukogaoka-Yuen Station South Exit
  • Opening hour: 9:30 – 16:30

4. Try A Roller Coaster at Yomiuri Land

Yomiuri Land
Source: Jeremy Thompson

Scream till your lungs run out of breath at the action packed and fantasy-like amusement park of Yomiuri Land. With adrenaline pumping rides like the Bandit and the Loop Coaster Momonga, your inner thrill seeker will definitely be thanking you for hitting up this park. Of course, if you prefer rides that won’t make you feel like losing your lunch, there other awesome options like the Miracle Wan Room.

Information

  • Name: Yomiuri Land
  • Address: 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi 206-8566
  • Phone: 044-966-1111
  • Price: ¥5400 (Adult), ¥4300 (12 – 17 Years), ¥3800 (3 – 11 Years), ¥4500 (Senior)
  • Access: Take a train to Keio Yomiuriland Station
  • Website: http://www.yomiuriland.com/english/#Access

5. Admire Art at the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art

Taro Okamoto Museum
Source: scarletgreen

Immerse yourself in Japanese art at its finest at the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art. Dedicated to the incredibly influential 20th century artist, Taro Okamoto, the museum’s permanent collection is filled with stunning artwork. His primitivist and nearly fantastical style truly comes to life in the abstract art on display and through his sculptures in particular. There’s no way you’ll visit this museum and not leave an art aficionado.

Information

  • Name: Taro Okamoto Museum of Art
  • Address: 7-1-5 Masukata Tama-ku Kawasaki
  • Phone: 044-900-9898
  • Access: 15 minute walk from the Mukogaokayuen Station South Exit
  • Opening hour: 9:30 – 17:00
  • Holiday: Closed on Mondays
  • Website: http://www.taromuseum.jp/english/index_english.html

6. Watch A Musical Performance at the Musa Kawasaki Symphony Hall

Nothing oozes culture and refinement quite as much as a trip to a symphony hall does, more so when it’s the Musa Kawasaki Symphony Hall. Catch performances by world-class violinists or let the incredible sound of a full symphony orchestra engage your senses from within the lavish hall. The vineyard style seating of the hall makes amplifies the Nagata acoustic design for an all around amazing experience.

Information

  • Name: Musa Kawasaki Symphony Hall
  • Address: 1310 Omiya-cho Saiwaki-ku, Kawasaki City 212-8557
  • Phone: 044-520-0100
  • Access: 5 minute walk from JR Kawasaki Station
  • Website: www.kawasaki-sym-hall.jp

7. See the Animals at Yumemigasaki Zoological Park

Yamegasaki Zoological Park
Source: David Pursehouse

A hidden gem in Kawasaki, Yumemigasaki Zoological Park is situated on top of a hill near the heart of the busy city. While it is home to a rather surprising amount of animals, the location of part itself is a great area to explore and provides a beautiful panoramic view of Kawasaki. With over 59 species of animals and nearly 400 cherry blossom trees, the Yumemigasaki Zoological Park is a fantastic respite from the hustle and bustle of the neighboring areas.

Information

  • Name: Yumemigasaki Zoological Park
  • Address: 1-2-1 Minamikase, Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa
  • Phone: 044-588-4030
  • Access: 15 minute bus ride from Kawasaki Station West Exit
  • Opening hour: 9:00 – 16:00
  • Holiday: Closed on Mondays

8. Shop All Day at the Lazona Kawasaki Plaza

Lazona Kawasaki Plaza
Source: Jun Takeuchi

Shopaholics and foodies, are you ready to shop and eat? We thought so! The ultimate shopping and culinary experience in Kawasaki is exactly what you can expect at Lazona Kawasaki Plaza. Over 300 shops of local and international brands are waiting to be visited while restaurants ranging from fast food to gourmet dining are ready to stuff your belly full of absolute deliciousness.

Information

  • Name: Lazona Kawasaki Plaza
  • Address: 7-2-1 Horikawacho, Saiwai Ward, Kawasaki, 212-8576
  • Phone: 035-927-9321
  • Access: Take a train to the JR Kawasaki Station
  • Opening hour: 10:00 – 21:00
  • Website: www.lazona-kawasaki.com/en

9. See Doraemon at the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum

Doraemon Museum
Source: chinnian

Get lost in the fanciful world of Doraemon, one of Japan’s most popular manga and anime characters, at the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum. Relive your childhood memories with the robotic cat from the 22nd century and view an excellent collection of Fujiko’s work. English audio guides are available and will walk you through Fujiko’s life, his various works and the process behind creating his beloved characters. Did we mention the Doraemon cafe and very well stocked souvenir shop?

Information

  • Name: Fujiko F. Fujio Museum
  • Price: ¥1000 (Adults), ¥700 (12 – 18 Years), ¥500 (4 – 11 Years)
  • Access: 5 minute walk from the Noborito Station
  • Opening hour: 10:00 – 18:00 (advance reservations required)
  • Holiday: Closed on Tuesdays

10. Visit the Keihin Fushimi Inari Shrine

For a taste of traditional culture in the industrial mecca of Kawasaki, visit the Keihin Fushimi Inari Shrine. The shrine can be described as somewhat of a replica of Kyoto’s famous Inari Shrine, as it features a few dozen torii gates within the shrine’s grounds. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the shrine while exploring the sculptures and admiring the architecture around you.

Information

  • Name: Heihin Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Address: 2-980 Shinmarukohigashi, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki 211-0004
  • Phone: 044-411-4110

11. Navigate the Trails at Ikuta Ryokuchi Park

Step into Kawasaki’s own little Eden at the Ikuta Ryokuchi Park, one of the city’s most cherished recreational parks and gardens. Stroll through the oak covered woods and venture to the highest peak in the park which is situated on the undulating hills of Tama. Be sure to visit the popular Rose and Iris Gardens when you stop by.

Information

  • Name: Ikuta Ryokuchi Park
  • Address: 2-8-1 Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-0023
  • Phone: 044-933-2300
  • Website: www.ikutaryokuti.jp

12. Experience Japanese Innovation at the Toshiba Science Museum

Toshiba Museum
Source: Gabriel Rodriguez

Experience the dramatic change of scientific history through the means of electronics at the Toshiba Science Museum. From the innovation of televisions from past to present to the fast paced development of digital technology, there’s a whole lot of knowledge to be gained at this interactive museum. Some exhibits even feature ways to experience the latest and most cutting edge technology like super-conduction and create a greater understanding and appreciation for today’s engineers.

Information

  • Name: Toshiba Science Museum
  • Address: 2F Lazona Kawasaki Toshiba Bldg., 72-34 Horikawa-Cho, Saiwai-Ku, Kawasaki 212-8585
  • Phone: 044-549-2200
  • Price: Free admission
  • Access: Short walk from JR Kawasaki Station West Exit
  • Opening hour: 10:00 – 17:30
  • Holiday: Closed on Mondays
  • Website: www.toshiba-mirai-kagakukan.jp

13. Attend the Kanamara Matsuri Festival

There’s no arguing the fact that Kawasaki’s most famous and most attended event is the Kanamara Matsuri Festival, or as it is known around the world, the Iron Penis Festival. Experience the most unique festival that Japan has to offer and parade around with the onlookers while enjoying boiled candy popsicles. The festival is held on the first Sunday of April and begins at the most popular fertility shrine in Eastern Japan, the Kanayama-Jinja Shrine.

Information

  • Name: Kanayama-jinja Shrine
  • Address: 2-13-16 Daishi Eki-mae, Kawasaki
  • Phone: 044-222-3206
  • Price: Free admission

14. Discover the Higashitakane Forestry Park

Nature lovers, get ready to soak up some sun and lounge around the grass all day at the Higashitakane Forestry Park. Interestingly enough, the park is actually one of the few areas to preserve the ancient Musashino field. Today, the park is a popular destination for locals who want to get away from the stress that city life sometimes comes with. Go bird watching for Kingfishers and other species of rare birds or simply enjoy a quiet walk along the park’s trails.

Information

  • Name: Higashitakane Forestry Park
  • Address: 2 Shibokuhoncho, MIamae Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture 216-0031
  • Phone: 044-865-0801
  • Access: 8:30 – 17:00

15. Visit the Ozenji Temple

Take in the serenity and complete tranquility of the Ozenji Temple while admiring the gorgeous wildlife in the surrounding area. The temple is home to the Zenjimaru persimmon, the oldest sweet persimmon tree in the country, and features dozens of little Buddha statues displayed around the grounds. If the sun is particularly punishing on your visit, take respite from the heat under the shade of the magnificent trees that cradle the temple grounds.

Information

  • Name: Ozenji Temple
  • Address: 940 Ozenji, Asao Ward, Kawasaki 215-0013
  • Phone: 044-966-5135

Although Kawasaki may lie off the beaten track for tourists and though it may not have as many classic historical sites to visit, it’s still home to some amazing museums and magnificent shrines. The next time you’re coming by Tokyo or heading to the Kanagawa Prefecture in general, make sure to plan a short stay at Kawasaki and immerse yourself in Japanese innovation and modern history.

Have a good trip and travel!

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