Tokyo Guide: Kinshicho
Tokyo Area Guide: Kinshicho 錦糸町
"Echo," Kinshicho Station (with Tokyo Sky Tree in background)
Kinshicho in Tokyo's Sumida ward is the biggest commercial area in Tokyo east of Ueno, a few stations north-west. In terms of size, it is similar to Ikebukuro, and in atmosphere to Shinjuku's Kabukicho area.
The area around Kinshicho station is divided into a largely shopping-oriented north, and a largely gambling-, love-hotel-oriented south. North and south are divided by Keiyo-doro Street (an extension of Yasukuni-dori Street), onto which the station faces.
The Kinshicho Station building houses the Termina Department Store - a truly drear building implausibly "renewed" in 2000 - incorporating, too, the Yodobashi Camera electronics megastore. North of the station are the Isetan Department Store and the Olinas shopping complex (see below).
Outside the north entrance of Kinshicho Station is a large public art work: a golden ring suspended between two stone pillars, called Echo, by the American artist, Loren Madsen. (See picture at top of page.) Designed on the theme of "music city Sumida," it depicts the history of music between the 16th and 20th centuries.
Just west of Kinshicho Station is Sumida Triphony Hall. Sumida Triphony Hall opened in 1997 and is the home of the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.
Triphony Hall has a 1800-seat Concert Hall with pipe organ, and a 252-seat Recital Hall.
Olinas, Kinshicho, Tokyo
The Olinas shopping complex is Kinshicho's biggest and newest development, built in 2006 in an attempt to spruce up the image of what is a decidedly rough and ready district. Olinas incorporates two shopping malls: Olinas Mall and Olinas Core. It is classy, colorful, breezy, and modern (designed by the prominent American architects, RTKL Associates). A lot of the shopping is family-orientated (typically, the Babies'R'Us store). The complex houses the Toho cinema complex, and the Tokyu Department Store.
South of the station, also on Keiyo-doro Street, is the Marui Department Store.
Japan Racing Association, Kinshicho
On either side of the Marui Department store are large branches of the Japan Racing Association (JRA), a horse racing gambling agency. The interior resembles the ticket area of a railway station, and is full of generally older men milling around looking at results on screens.
Kinshicho's red light district
Behind Marui and the JRA are backstreets lined with small semi-outdoor eateries, often with a TV screen, where the horse racing gamblers take meal breaks and watch the results while they eat and talk. This is also where the love hotel and hostess club district begins.
Kameido is an area one stop east from Kinshicho on the JR Sobu Line - only about 20 minutes' walk.
Sun Street Kameido
Sun Street Kameido is a modern, colorful, snazzily designed space full of restaurants, cafes and other convenient service stores, and features a large event space that, as well as a performance stage, includes various rides and attractions, for children.
Hours 10am - 9pm daily. Along Sun Street Kameido's western side runs the attractive Kameido Ryokudo Koen (Kameido Green Street Park), a park in the form of a street.
Kinshicho's biggest attraction is the famous Kameido Tenjinja, a large shrine with picturesque ponds, gardens and bridges.
Kameido Tenjinja was founded in the 1660s to venerate the memory of the ninth-century scholar, Sugawara no Michizane. It is equally famous, however, for its turtles, reflecting the name of the area, Kameido, or, literally, "turtle well."
Kameido Tenjinja is also popular in spring for its beautiful wisteria, or fuji.
Kameido Tenjinja Shrine is north-east of Kinshicho Station on the other side of the Yokojikken River - or north-west of Kameido Station (almost exactly halfway between the two stations).
Watch a short YouTube video of Kameido Tenjinja Shrine:
Sarue Park is a relaxing 14.5 hectare area of lawn, woods, garden, ponds and sporting and cultural facilities dating from 1932.
Sarue Park's origins are in the 1730s when it was developed as a lumberyard for lumber floated down the Yokojikken River, that flows along the park's eastern side, into Edo (old Tokyo) for the construction projects of the then-ruling Bakufu administration. Sarue Park has been in its full-sized present form since 1983.
Sarue Park is divided north-south by Shin-Ohashi-dori Street. The northern section consists mainly of playgrounds for children and tennis courts.
The southern section consists of a baseball field and Tiara Koto, a large cultural and performance facility. It also has a pond with a waterfall.
Sarue Park has over 200 sakura blossom trees. It is directly south of Kinshicho Station.
Access to Kinshicho
Kinshicho is accessible by the JR Sobu line, and the Hanzomon subway line.
Nearby Kinshicho, just south-west, is the fascinating Fukagawa district. (Be sure to click on the "Read more..." link.)
Book Hotel Accommodation in Tokyo Near Kinshicho