Japan City Guides: Kawasaki
- Between Tokyo and Yokohama
- Population: 1.3 million
- Home of the majestic Kawasaki Daishi Temple
- Raucous Kanamara Festival held here in April
- Located along the south bank of the Tama River
- 18km from Tokyo Station
Kawasaki is a mainly industrial and dormitory city lying between the capital, Tokyo, and Yokohama. Such famous companies as Ajinomoto, Daiichi Cement, Nippon Steel, Hitachi, Showa Denko and Fuji Electric have factories or offices here.
Kawasaki first came to be significant in the 17th century as a station on the Tokaido route linking Kyoto with Tokyo (then "Edo").
Kawasaki City was founded in 1924. It became a city designated by government ordinance in 1972, when it was first divided into wards. Kawasaki presently has seven wards: Asao, Kawasaki, Miyamae, Nakahara, Saiwai, Takatsu and Tama wards.
Kawasaki Daishi Temple
Kawasaki's main attraction is the majestic and sprawling Kawasaki Daishi Temple, the popular name for Heigenji Temple. The temple was founded in 1128 and is dedicated to Kobo-Daishi (774-835), the founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism in Japan. The temple was destroyed in World War II but reconstruction of the main gate, belfry, main hall and Fudo Hall were completed by 1964. The temple hosts setsubun festivals on February 3 and 4 as well as events on the 21st of January, March, april, May, September and December.
Kawasaki Civic Museum
The Kawasaki Civic Museum features archaeology, history and ethnography, graphics, photographs and cartoons, library, movie theater, a video library, museum shop, restaurant.
300 yen for adults (more for special exhibitions
9.30am-5pm (Last entry 4pm)
1-2 Todoroki, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki 211-0052
Access: From Musashi-Kosugi station on the JR Nambu line, take a "Sugi 40" or "Mizo 05" route bus. Alight at "Shimin Museum Mae" bus stop.
Ikuta Ryokuchi Park
Ikuta Ryokuchi Park is about 20km north-west of Kawasaki City. This pleasant, green, undulating park includes the Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum, the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, the Kawasaki Municipal Science Museum for Youth (which includes a planetarium), and the Traditional Crafts Center. Senshu University is right next to the Park.
Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum
The Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum consists of 20 traditional Japanese building including houses in the old eastern Japan style of architecture, a water mill, a boat house, a takakura (raised storage house) and kabuki theater.
Stone carvings of various Japanese Shinto gods.
Exhibition of everyday tools used by farmers and weavers, and of straw- and bamboo-crafts practiced traditionally in households.
300 yen for adults
9.30am-4.30pm (Last entry 4pm)
7-1-1 Masugata, Tama-ku, Kawasaki
Access: Mukogaoka-Yuen station on the Odakyu Line. Take the South Exit. 12 minutes on foot.
Google Map to Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum
Taro Okamoto Museum of Art
The Taro Okamoto Museum of Art exhibits the work of the very influential 20th century Japanese artist, Taro Okamoto (1911-96). Okamoto is best known for his primitivist, almost fantastical, abstract art, in particular his sculptures.
Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, 7-1-5 Masukata, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-0032
Tel 044 900 9898; fax 044 900 9966
Hours: 9.30am-5pm (Last admission 4.30pm). Closed Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday, when the Museum is open) and New Year.
The nearest station to the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art is Mukogaokayuen station on the Odakyu railway line. The Museum is 17 minutes walk from the South exit, or a taxi ride to "Ikutaryokuchi-higashiguchi" and a 5-minute walk from there.
Google Map to Taro Okamoto Museum of Art
Hotels in Kawasaki
YouTube Guide to Kawasaki Daishi
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