10 Best things to do in Shibamata

Places to visit in Tokyo
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Writer’s Profile

Bryce was born in California, but raised from the age of 3 near Seattle, Washington. He’s been living in Tokyo for about 7 years, and graduated from Temple University, Japan with degrees in economics and international business. He loves traveling of course, but also cooking, snowboarding, some video games as well. His biggest interest is songwriting/music production, more specifically electronic music… (think Skrillex, Marshmello, Daft Punk, etc.) He also has terrible humor as you’ll notice, but he hopes you’ll enjoy it!

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Welcome to Shibamata, Tokyo, a perfect example of the incredible way that Japan intertwines historical, old fashioned elements within a technologically advancing nation. For many who appreciate Japan, they know that old or even ancient things are protected and displayed proudly around the cities. Shibamata is no exception, and is a great opportunity for those who plan to spend time in Tokyo! In this charming neighborhood, ancient temples, cinematic treasures, and culinary delights await your exploration. Join us as we unveil the best things to do in Shibamata, promising an unforgettable journey into Japanese culture.

1. Taishakuten Daikyoji Temple

Kickstart your Shibamata adventure at the Taishakuten Daikyoji Temple, an oasis of serenity steeped in history. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance, marvel at the intricate architecture and wood carvings, and be sure to do some shopping. Yes, this temple sits at the end of the main road where there are plenty of unique shops and things to see. If you’ve ever been to Senso-ji, you’ll feel a similar energy but in a different context, yet equally enjoyable, fun, and filled with great stuff to buy. Also, there’s a remarkable garden around the back, don’t miss it!

2. Yamamoto-tei

皓月旗CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another great way to enjoy traditional Japanese architecture is just around the corner, and perhaps a bit more interactive. Step back in time at Yamamoto-tei, an impeccably preserved residence surrounded by enchanting gardens. Each room is unique and filled with a palpable sense of authenticity, offering a glimpse into the refined elegance of traditional Japanese living. Let the scenic landscapes and traditional interior design transport you to a bygone era.

3. Find the Tora-san Statues

Embark on a playful quest to discover the Tora-san Statues scattered like hidden gems throughout Shibamata. These bronze tributes pay homage to the iconic 1969 Tora-san film series (called “Otoko wa Tsurai yo”, or “It’s Tough being a Man”), infusing the streets with a delightful cinematic charm. The main character travels throughout Japan, but always comes back to Shibamata, hence the importance of this area to the film. The movie is a classic and is well admired by many; it wouldn’t be in bad form to watch it before heading here! You may even impress some of your Japanese acquaintances by knowing about the film. Snap photos with each statue and unlock the magic of Shibamata’s connection to Japanese cinema.

4. Katsushika Shibamata Tora-san Museum

NesnadCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Calling all cinephiles! As if the statue scavenger hunt wasn’t enough, there’s another opportunity for you to realize just how iconic this move was. Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Tora-san at the Katsushika Shibamata Tora-san Museum. Explore exhibits featuring props, costumes, and behind-the-scenes glimpses, unraveling the captivating legacy of Japanese cinema in this cinematic sanctuary. Maybe you won’t need to watch the film if you want to understand it, perhaps going here is just enough!

5. Taishakuten Sando Street

As mentioned before, the street leading up to the main temple is quite the experience, and one that you certainly can’t avoid. Engage your senses as you stroll along Taishakuten Sando Street, a bustling thoroughfare adorned with eclectic shops and eateries. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, sampling local snacks, and exploring traditional crafts. This vibrant street is a microcosm of Shibamata’s spirited charm. Be sure to check out the old fashioned candy shop for a nostalgic vibe!

6. Try Some Delicious Kusa Dango

Satiate your sweet cravings with Shibamata’s signature treat, Kusa Dango. These delectable rice dumplings, infused with mugwort (a type of plant, dont judge it by the peculiar sounding name), tantalize your taste buds with a unique blend of flavors. Whether you’re a food connoisseur or a casual explorer, savoring Kusa Dango is a must for an authentic Shibamata experience. There are about 6 shops in the area that offer different tastes! Which one is best?

7. Tempura at Yamatoya

If you’re still hungry after all the dumplings, Embark on a culinary odyssey at Yamatoya, celebrated for its exquisite Tempura. Delight in the crispy perfection of light golden-brown assorted meats and veggies, expertly prepared and served with a side of flavorful dipping sauce. This gastronomic escapade promises a taste of Shibamata’s culinary excellence. All the food is prepared right in front of you so you’ll enjoy a great view and mouthwatering experience.

8. Stroll Along the Edogawa River

Escape the urban hustle by indulging in a leisurely stroll along the scenic Edogawa River. Breathe in the tranquility and capture mesmerizing views of cherry blossoms in spring or relish the serene beauty of a sunset. The riverbanks of Shibamata offer a peaceful retreat in the heart of Tokyo. Edogawa river also features a great fireworks festival in the summer, be sure to check it out! There are many fireworks festivals to choose from, but if you’re trying to hit two birds with one stone, this is your best bet!

9. Shibamata Toy Museum

Awaken your inner child and continue the incredible nostalgic adventure at the Shibamata Toy Museum, a whimsical space celebrating the novelty of vintage toys. Explore exhibits featuring toys from different eras, transporting you back to the enchanting world of childhood. It’s not just a museum; it’s a magical journey through time. You’ll enjoy a similar kind of aesthetic at the candy shop mentioned earlier, so be sure to check out both if you like this kind of experience!

10. Unagi at Kawachiya

Kamemaru2000CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If dumplings and fried stuff aren’t really up your alley, satisfy your hunger with a more elegant choice of food. At Unagi at Kawachiya, you can conclude your Shibamata sojourn with a culinary masterpiece. Indulge in the rich, savory flavors of grilled freshwater eel, prepared to perfection. This gastronomic finale encapsulates the culinary excellence that defines Shibamata’s allure. Unagi is often a luxury dish for many, some people like to have it on their birthdays or to celebrate some kind of occasion. Of course, you can have it casually too, but you’ll certainly be enjoying a treat! 

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if yu have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Mt. Fuji Day Trip Bus Tour from Tokyo
Experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji by visiting the highlights of the area on our guided sightseeing bus tour! Departing from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, you can travel comfortably to all of the best spots in the area by bus.

mount fuji chureito pagoda

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Happy traveling!

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