Tradition, Future and a City of Attractive Waters;
Koto City Has Three Attractive Faces

江東区全景

Koto City is located in the eastern part of Tokyo’s 23 cities.

Koto City, where various railway routes, such as JR and subways, run throughout, has excellent access to transportation; it is located within a 30-minute commuting distance from such main terminals as Tokyo Station, major sightseeing spots in Tokyo including Asakusa, The Imperial Palace and Tokyo Sky Tree® and even Tokyo Disney Resort (which is located in Chiba) by public transportation. It is a suitable area to visit as a part of a Tokyo sightseeing tour or for weekend excursions.

‘Tradition’, ‘future’ and a ‘city of attractive waters’ are keywords that enable you to fully enjoy sightseeing and/or excursions in Koto City.

In Fukagawa, Joto Area, an inland region of the city, you can feel the city’s ‘tradition’, which has been passed down for generations from the Edo Period, the time in which real development of the land started. On the other hand, you can get a glimpse of the arrival of a new area, the ‘future’ of the city when you see the skyscrapers that offer facilities for business, entertainment, culture and performing arts, gathered in the seaside area of the city. Furthermore, while it is located in the urban centre, the ward is a ‘city of attractive waters’ with rich and green waterfront parks , thus you can fully enjoy the relaxing open spaces that are spread throughout the city.

As for how to enjoy Koto City, which has the charm of a ‘city of attractive waters’ and where the two contrasting charms of ‘tradition’ and the ‘future’ live together in harmony, we recommend you to ‘walk around town’. In addition to railways, the Toei (Metropolitan) bus line, of which various routes cover the whole city, is also convenient for transportation in the area.

Culture and Traditional Performing Arts of Koto City

江東区の文化・伝統芸能のイメージ
Fukagawa Hachiman Festival

In Fukagawa, Joto Area, an inland region of the city, you can feel the city’s ‘tradition’, which has been passed down for generations from the Edo Period, the time in which real development of the land started. Fukagawa area prospered during the Edo Period as a town of lumber and warehousing industry as well as a town of rice and oil wholesalers. The area was also bustling with people as an entertainment town for common citizens in Edo, with the focus on yearly events such as the festivals of temples or shrines or the unveiling of a treasured Buddhist image, all representing the blooming of the flower of the culture of the Edo common people. On the other hand, Joto area, as a suburban farmland of Edo, prospered by providing vegetables to the citizens of Edo and was also known as a suburban holiday resort of Edo.

In the Meiji Period, Koto City became an industrial district of Tokyo by utilising its vast land and good facilities for water transportation and contributed to the modernisation of Japan. However, two tragedies, the Great Kanto Earthquake and the Great Tokyo Air Raids, were inflicted upon the city.

These tragedies brought huge damage throughout the city and many historical buildings were burnt. The remaining cultural properties that survived from these destructions are dotted about the city. Also, festivals of shrines and temples, traditional performing arts (folk performing arts), traditional crafts and local cuisines were preserved and fostered by the local people. Such vigorous popular culture has been developed even after World War II and has been continuously handed down to the present; thus, there are many sightseeing and excursion spots and/or events that enable you to feel the Edo atmosphere and downtown taste that exists in the city.

Koto City mirrors the future

未来を映す江東区のイメージ
Night view of Toyosu and its environs

In recent years, facilities with neo-futuristic shapes, including a large-scale convention facility, cultural facilities such as a science museum and cultural museums, shopping and entertainment facilities that are crowded with many visitors, have been constructed one after another in the city with a focus on the Rinkai area, which is in the southern part of the city. From the landscape of these buildings, you can get a glimpse of the arrival of a new area, the ‘future’ of the city. In Rinkai area, many new sightseeing and excursion facilities, including ‘Toyosu Shin-shijo’ (New Toyosu Market) will be constructed in the future; it is expected that sightseeing and excursion spots that mirror the future are going to be increased in the area.

Koto City has two contrasting areas living together; one is an area in which you can feel nostalgia, the area with an Edo atmosphere and downtown taste, while another area mirrors a state-of-art urban image, reflecting the future of the city. By walking around the city, you can discover the contrast and harmony of these old and new aspects everywhere.

A City of Attractive Waters, Koto

水彩都市・江東区のイメージ
Kyu-Nakagawa (Former Nakagawa),
Kawa no Eki (Riverside Station)

Koto City is, historically, a region that has always been developed in relation with water. The city has the Arakawa River and Sumidagawa River on its eastern and western sides and its southern part faces Tokyo Bay. Moreover, the city is covered by a network of rivers and canals, of which the total length totals more than 50 km, and it also maintains waterfront parks and has a great deal of green environment. While located in the urban centre, the city is a ‘city of attractive waters’ with relaxing space that is surrounded by affluent water and lush greenery.

The water bus service that is mainly operated in Sumidagawa River links with the Asakusa and Odaiba districts. Further, sightseeing boats are operated even on rivers in the Fukagawa and Joto areas so you can enjoy various cruising activities. In ‘Kyu-Nakagawa, Kawa no Eki’, which was opened in March 2013, you can see that an amphibious bus steams ahead to take to the river water. Also, it has a lot of sightseeing and excursion spots such as places for walking about along the shore and outdoors, as well as leisure opportunities that are suitable for a ‘city of attractive waters’.