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Kita City Ward Area Guide: Best things to do, History, Areas & Hotels

Do you know about the Kita City Ward in Tokyo? It is one of the 23 wards of Tokyo, with various unique neighbourhoods and areas, along with different things to do and sights to see. If you are wondering what is Adachi ward, the different areas inside Adachi, best things to do, history, accommodation and more, check out this ultimate Adachi ward area guide. 

What is Kita City Ward?

Kita City Ward What is Kita City Ward

Kita-ku is one of the 23 wards of Tokyo. It is literally located in the north of Tokyo, bordering Saitama Prefecture across the Arakawa River. 

The west side of the city, bordered by the Keihin-Tohoku Line, is on high ground on the Musashino Plateau cliff line, while the east side is lowland along the Arakawa River, and the cityscape is largely divided in two. 

During the war, Kita-ku was called the “military capital” because of the concentration of munitions factories and military facilities, but after the war, the former sites of munitions factories were developed into large-scale apartment complexes, and the area has developed into a residential area near the city centre.

Living in Kita City Ward?

Kita City Ward Living in Kita City Ward

If one word were to describe Kita-ku, it would have to be “downtown”. The culture of Kita-ku is as strong as that of the three downtown wards of Adachi, Katsushika, and Edogawa. There is a huge variety of delicatessen shops in the Jujo Ginza shopping district. 

In particular, there is always a long line in front of the famous “Toridai” restaurant, which sells “chicken balls” for 10 yen each. There is no better place to find cheap prepared foods than at a super-cheap deli.

Another speciality of Kita Ward is oden. As a “riverside” town facing the Arakawa River, there have always been many tofu stores and stores specialising in oden, and the area is home to many factories and households, which has led to the development of these stores.

Land prices are also inexpensive among the 23 wards, and although not as high as in Kawaguchi and Warabi in neighbouring Saitama Prefecture, there are many foreign households, and many foreigners of Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and Southeast Asian nationalities can be seen in the area. 

History of Kita City Ward 

Kita City Ward History of Kita City Ward

Until the Edo period, the area was a farming area, but in the 1600s, the development of highways starting from Edo began, and the area flourished as an inn town.

Iwafuchijuku, in particular, prospered as a passageway to Nikko Toshogu Shrine.

In the early 1700s, Yoshimune Tokugawa planted 1,270 cherry trees on Asukayama, and the area became a popular tourist destination where visitors could enjoy nature in all four seasons.

After the Meiji period, the cultivation of agricultural products such as carrots, burdocks, daikon radish, and tea became more active, while industry developed in the surrounding area with the opening of railroad stations in Oji and Akabane.

After the Great Kanto Earthquake, the population of the area flowed in from the city centre, and urbanization gradually progressed.

Areas of Kita City Ward 

JR Keihin Tohoku Line

(1) Akabane 赤羽

Kita City Ward Akabane
Credit: Japan Experience

A metropolis in Johoku with a large terminal station and a large downtown area representing Kita-ku. There are many bars where you can have lunchtime drinks, especially on Akabane Ichibangai Street. The Akabane Baga Festival, held every April, features a triumphant parade.

(2) Higashi Jujo 東十条

Kita City Ward Higashi Jujo
Credit: Lombroso

The Higashi Jujo shopping street in front of the station has a strong downtown atmosphere and a wide variety of drinking establishments. It is as powerful as Akabane. There used to be a Bangladeshi community and a halal food store. It is a 10-minute walk to Jujo Station on the Saikyo Line.

(3) Oji 王子

Kita City Ward Oji
Credit: Rsa

Oji has a lesser presence in the shadow of Akabane, but the Kita Ward Office, Asukayama Park, and the National Printing Bureau are located in the centre of the ward. The old drinking district in front of the station, which originated in the postwar black market, is a nice sight. The steep slope where the Toden Arakawa Line runs and Otonashi Water Park are also worth seeing.

(4) Kaminakazato 上中里

Kita City Ward Kaminakazato
Credit: SHARU

A small JR station in the Tokyo metropolitan area with the second-fewest passengers after Etchujima. The front of the station is located in the middle of a steep cliff, and the land for the Oku rolling stock centre and railroad tracks is occupied, so there is almost nothing in front of the station. The vacuum zone of Kaminakazato 2-chome, surrounded by the railroad tracks, is quite bad.

(5) Tabata 田端

Kita City Ward Tabata
Credit: GPlusMedia Inc

Tabata is regarded as the weakest station on the Yamanote Line. The sense of desolation, especially at the south exit, is extraordinary. The area in front of the station is surrounded by a road cut and land for railroad tracks, and there are few stores. The Tabata Ginza shopping street is closer to Komagome station.

JR Saikyo Line

(6) Itabashi 板橋

Kita City Ward Itabashi
Credit: Tokyo-Good

The front of the station is divided into Kita-ku, Itabashi-ku, and Toshima-ku, and the east side of the station is Takinogawa, Kita-ku. The postwar dusk barracks “Horoi Yokocho” along the railroad tracks in front of the station is chaotic. The Isamu Kondo Cemetery is a place where Shinsengumi enthusiasts gather.

(7) Jujo 十条

Kita City Ward Jujo
Credit: あばさー

In front of the station is Jujo Ginza, the kitchen of the common people. The area is perfect for downtown living, with super-cheap prepared foods, super-cheap clothing, and many cheap izakayas. On the other hand, there are remnants of a military town, an army garrison and a Korean school. The station platform is located in an alley and is one of the narrowest on the Saikyo Line.

(8) Kita-Akabane 北赤羽

Kita City Ward Kita-Akabane
Credit: Rsa

The station platform is located above the Shinkagishi River. Within walking distance is Kirigaoka Danchi, one of the largest apartment complexes in Tokyo, built on the site of a former army facility.

(9) Ukima Funawatari 浮間舟渡

Kita City Ward Ukima Funawatari
Credit: LERK

The northernmost station on the Saikyo Line in Tokyo. The name of the station is a composite of the name of the neighbouring station in Funawatari, Itabashi Ward. There is only Ukima Park in front of the station, which is a place of relaxation for residents of Kita Ward, and there are few sights and stores in the area.

JR Utsunomiya Line

(10) Oku 尾久

Kita City Ward Oku
Credit: LERK

Located between Ueno and Akabane, this forgotten station only serves trains on the JR Utsunomiya and Ueno Tokyo Lines. The Oku Sharyo Center is well-known to iron otaku, the Toden Arakawa Line runs within walking distance, and Arakawa Amusement Park is also nearby.

Subway Namboku Line

Nishigahara 西ヶ原

Kita City Ward Nishigahara
Credit: Nyao148

A station on the Namboku subway line with no presence. It has the lowest number of passengers among Tokyo Metro lines. Within walking distance are Kaminakazato Station on the Keihin Tohoku Line and the Old Furukawa Garden.

(11) Oji-Kamiya 王子神谷

Kita City Ward Oji-Kamiya
Credit: LERK

Located near the Sumida River and the Arakawa River, there are many large apartment complexes in the area, with the Toshima 5-chome complex being the most impressive. The Toshima 5-chome complex is the most impressive. There are paper manufacturing companies and factories such as Dai Nippon Printing and Nippon Paper Industries. 

(12) Shimo 志茂

Kita City Ward Shimo
Credit: Nyao148

A town located at the far east end of Akabane Station. The Nippon Kayaku Tokyo Plant has an employee-only ferry that crosses the Sumida River. The Chubu area beyond the Iwafuchi Water Gate is a social gathering place for men known to those in the know.

(13) Akabane-Iwabuchi 赤羽岩淵

Kita City Ward Akabane-Iwabuchi
Credit: Nyao148

The last stop on the Namboku Subway Line. It is a 10-minute walk from Akabane Station. Famous for having the only sake brewery in Tokyo. Kawaguchi City in Saitama Prefecture is just across the Shin-Arakawa Bridge.

What to do in Kita City Ward? 

Asukayama Park 飛鳥山公園

Kita City Ward Asukayama Park
Credit: Good Luck Trip

The park is located in Oji, Kita-ku, just a short distance from Oji Station. The park has approximately 600 cherry trees, including some iyoshino and satozakura, and is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot. 

In addition, the “Ascargo,” a monorail-type oblique ascending train, is in operation and is loved mainly by park users because it offers a free and relaxing ride up to the top of Asukayama.

Find out more about Asukayama Park here on Google maps.

Kyū-Furukawa Gardens 旧古河庭園

Kita City Ward Kyū-Furukawa Gardens
Credit: Akabane Keizai Shimbun

About a 12-minute walk from Komagome Station on the JR Yamanote Line. Kyū-Furukawa Gardens was created as the residence of the Furukawa family in the Taisho era. 

The garden was nationalised following the dissolution of the conglomerate after World War II, and was restored in 2006 when it was designated as a national cultural asset. 

The Western-style tearoom is open to the public, and visitors can view the beautiful interior while sipping tea. If you wish to visit rooms other than the tearoom, you must apply for a tour in advance by return postcard.

Find out more about Kyū-Furukawa Gardens here on Google maps.

Ōji Shrine 王子神社

Kita City Ward Ōji Shrine
Credit: tak1701d

Oji Shrine is located in Ojihonmachi, Kita Ward, Tokyo. It enshrines Izanagi-no-mikoto and five other deities, collectively called “Oji-taijin. Most of the shrine grounds were destroyed by fire during the war but were rebuilt through postwar reconstruction efforts. 

The large ginkgo tree on the grounds, designated as a natural monument by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, survived the war. The Seki-jinja Shrine is known as the “Ancestral God of Hair” and the “Ancestral God of Onkyoku and other Arts”.

Find out more about Ōji Shrine here on Google maps.

Nanushinotaki Park 北区立名主の滝公園

Kita City Ward Nanushinotaki Park
Credit: Japan 1000 park

A 10-minute walk from Oji Station, this is a circular garden with a waterfall and abundant nature. There were seven waterfalls called “Oji Shichitaki” in the Oji area, but “Nashu no Taki” is the only waterfall that still exists. 

The park is centred on Otoko-taki Waterfall, which has a drop of 8 meters and includes Onetaki Waterfall, Tokko-no-taki Waterfall, and Yondama-no-taki Waterfall. The natural scenery is skillfully incorporated by utilizing the slopes planted with more than 100 mountain maples, zelkova trees, and Japanese cypresses. The area is also famous as a habitat for heike botaru (fireflies), and is a recommended spot where visitors can enjoy the changing of the seasons while strolling around.

Find out more about Nanushinotaki Park here on Google maps.

Ōji Inari Shrine 王子稲荷神社

Kita City Ward Ōji Inari Shrine
Credit: Goshuin

This shrine is considered the head shrine of Kanto Inari shrines. According to legend, on New Year’s Eve, foxes from all over Japan gather here to pay their first visit to the shrine after dressing themselves under a tree, as depicted in Hiroshige Utagawa’s ukiyoe woodblock prints. 

The “Oji Fox Procession,” which has been held since the end of the year 1993, follows this tradition and has become an established tradition.

Find out more about Ōji Inari Shrine here on Google maps.

Shinohara Engei Theater 篠原演芸場

Kita City Ward Shinohara Engei Theater
Credit: Shinohara Engeki

Opened in 1951, Shinohara Engeijo is the oldest existing full-scale theatre in Tokyo specialising in popular theatre. Performances are held almost every day from 6:00 p.m., and on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, performances are held in two parts, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. 

The main contents of the performances are plays, mini-shows, and butoh dance shows. The stage is located so far in front of the audience that they can reach it from their seats, providing an excellent sense of realism. A flower aisle is also provided so that the actors and the audience are close to each other. The theatre has produced famous actors such as Tomio Umezawa, and is well-loved by the local community.

Find out more about Shinohara Engei Theater here on Google maps.

Jūjō Ginza Shopping Street 十条銀座

Kita City Ward Jūjō Ginza Shopping Street 2
Credit: NEXTERA Inc

A pedestrian-only shopping street with an all-weather arcade extending from in front of the station. It is a spot frequently introduced in the media and is lined with various types of stores, including fashion, sundries, gourmet foods, beauty and health-related products, and fresh foods. 

The most popular of these are the reasonably priced, easy-to-eat prepared foods, which have earned it the nickname “prepared food heaven. There are also many events, such as willow and Japanese poem contests and shopping rallies. The official character “Kita-nyan,” which was chosen from among the public, is also popular.

Find out more about Jūjō Ginza Shopping Street here on Google maps.

Shingonshubuzanha Hakuryusan Togaku Temple 真言宗豊山派 白龍山 東覚寺(谷中七福神 福禄寿)

Kita City Ward Shingonshubuzanha
Credit: DesignOne Japan, Inc

This temple is located in Tabata 2-chome, Kita-ku. A pair of stone Kongorikishi statues placed in the precincts of the temple are known as “Akagami Nio,” which is said to cure illnesses and injuries by placing red paper on the same part of the body as the affected part and praying for it. The shrine enshrines Fukurokuju, one of the “Yanaka Seven Lucky Gods,” the oldest of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune Tour in Edo and Tokyo.

Find out more about Shingonshubuzanha Hakuryusan Togaku Temple here on Google maps.

Oji Ginza Shopping Street 王子銀座商店街

Kita City Ward Oji Ginza Shopping Street
Credit: The Culture Trip Ltd

Oji Ginza Shopping Street is a shopping street connecting Oji Station to the Onagabashi pedestrian bridge. About 90 shops line Kitahondori Avenue along Route 122. 

Originally, this area was directly connected to the city centre of Edo (present-day Tokyo), and Edo citizens are said to have frequented this area, which was popular as an easy suburban vacation spot. 

Even today, the area is crowded every day with supermarkets, restaurants, banks, hospitals, and various other facilities, making it an essential street for the daily lives of local residents. There are also many seasonal events and raffles.

Find out more about Oji Ginza Shopping Street here on Google maps.

Otani Museum 旧古河邸 大谷美術館

Kita City Ward Otani Museum
Credit: Wiiii

This stone Western-style building is the former Furukawa Residence. Otani Museum was designed by the British architect Conder, who also designed the Rokumeikan. The main building is a two-story building with one basement level, with Western-style rooms on the first floor and traditional Japanese-style rooms on the second floor, except for the bedrooms, which are cleverly composed to harmonize the Japanese and Western styles. 

The rustic and stately exterior is similar to Scottish architecture and English villa architecture. A guide will take you on a guided tour of the Furukawa Residence, which takes about one hour. The garden is famous for roses, which can be seen from mid-May to mid-June and from mid-October to late November.

Find out more about Otani Museum here on Google maps.

What to do in Kita City Ward 

  • 王子稲荷初午祭 Oji Inari First Horse Festival

Hotels in Kita City Ward 

Toyoko Inn Tokyo Akabane-eki Higashi-guchi (3*)

Conveniently located in the Kita district of Tokyo, Toyoko Inn Tokyo Akabane-eki Higashi-guchi is 100 m from Catholic Akabane Church, 300 m from Akabane Park and 500 m from Daiman-ji Temple. The property is around 500 m from Josho-ji Temple, 600 m from Baio-ji Temple and 600 m from Akabane Hachiman Shrine. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Hodo-in Temple, Shoko-ji Temple and Inatsuke Castle Ruins. 

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Tokyo Akabane (3*) 

Located a 3-minute walk from JR Akabane Station, Daiwa Roynet Hotel Tokyo Akabane provides modern rooms and free WiFi. Major stations including JR Ikebukuro and JR Shinjuku stations can be reached within a 13-minute train ride. Oshiage Subway Station, the closest station from the Tokyo Skytree, is a 30-minute train ride from the hotel. Haneda Airport is a 60-minute and Narita Airport is a 50-minute train ride away.

Tabata Oji Hotel (3*) 

Conveniently set in the Kita district of Tokyo, Tabata Oji Hotel is located less than 1 km from TABATA Memorial Museum of Writers and Artists, a 19-minute walk from Kyoouji Temple and 1.6 km from Shinkomutsumi Shopping Street. Popular points of interest near Tabata Oji Hotel include Sunpop Machiya, Nurie Museum and Nippori Fabric Town. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 34 km from the hotel.

Akabane Holic Hotel (3*) 

Situated in Tokyo, 100 m from Catholic Akabane Church. The property is around 500 m from Kamegaike Benten Shrine, 600 m from Hodo-in Temple and 700 m from Daiman-ji Temple. Popular points of interest near Akabane Holic Hotel include Akabane Park, Inatsuke Castle Ruins and Josho-ji Temple. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 25 km from the hotel.

Capsule Hotel Block Room (1*) 

Capsule Hotel Block Room features air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV in the Kita district of Tokyo. The property is around less than 1 km from Daiman-ji Temple, a 12-minute walk from Shoko-ji Temple and 1.2 km from Baio-ji Temple. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Akabane Park and Catholic Akabane Church.

Mokkoan (2*) 

Every room comes with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Certain units have a seating area where you can relax. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries. The guest house also offers free use of bicycles. Yokohama is 37 km from Mokkoan, while Chiba is 41 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 24 km from Mokkoan.

URBAN LODGE Komagome (1*) 

Located 600 m from TABATA Memorial Museum of Writers and Artists in Tokyo, URBAN LODGE Komagome provides accommodation with air conditioning and free WiFi. Popular points of interest near the apartment include Fabre Insect Museum, Atrevie Sugamo and Mori Ōgai Memorial Museum. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 20 km from URBAN LODGE Komagome.

Super Hotel Tokyo Akabane (2*) 

Fully renovated in December 2014, Super Hotel Tokyo Akabane is located a 6-minute walk from JR Akabane Station. JR Ueno Station is a 10-minute ride on the JR Keihin Tohoku Line while Tokyo Station is a 20-minute ride. Tokyo Haneda Airport can be reached within an hour via train.

Tabata Oji Hotel (3*) 

Conveniently set in the Kita district of Tokyo, Tabata Oji Hotel is located less than 1 km from TABATA Memorial Museum of Writers and Artists, a 19-minute walk from Kyoouji Temple and 1.6 km from Shinkomutsumi Shopping Street. Popular points of interest near Tabata Oji Hotel include Sunpop Machiya, Nurie Museum and Nippori Fabric Town. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 34 km from the hotel.

nestay suite tokyo tabata (1*)

Located less than 1 km from TABATA Memorial Museum of Writers and Artists, nestay suite tokyo tabata offers accommodation with a balcony and free WiFi. Popular points of interest near the apartment include Asakura Museum of Sculpture, Kyoouji Temple and Tennoji Temple. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 34 km from nestay suite Tokyo tabata.

What do you think about Kita Ward in Tokyo? Do you like finding out about the history and culture of this interesting area of Tokyo? There is so much history and unique things to do in this local neighbourhood of Tokyo, if you’re interested in coming for yourself, make sure to refer back to this blog.

We host our own bar tours regularly as well! We take you to all kinds of unique and underground locations around Tokyo, with anywhere between five to fifteen international guests! We’ve also lived in Japan for years and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have, ranging from history, and culture to society and nightlife! Come join us for a great night!

Stay tuned for more information about Japan travel, Japanese culture, moving to Japan, living in Japan and more.

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We’re your local friend in Japan, helping you explore, experience and enjoy the ins and outs of Japan! When we first arrived in Tokyo, we all found this city to be overwhelming, not sure where to begin. During the years that we have lived here in Japan, we have discovered and visited countless famous tourist attractions as well as unique underground places. We are now proud to say that we are experts of Japan and would love to share the knowledge with all of you!

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FLIP GUIDE TEAM

Hey friend!

Just like you, we are foreigners from all around the world.

When we first arrived in Tokyo, we all found this city to be overwhelming, not sure where to begin.

During the years that we have lived here in Japan, we have discovered and visited countless famous tourist attractions as well as unique and underground places.

We are now proud to say that we are experts of Japan and would love to share the knowledge with all of you!

 

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