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Travel Leisurely in the Big City via the Toden Arakawa Line, a Local Line in Tokyo

The Toden Arakawa Line is a street car that runs mainly within Tokyo. This article introduces nostalgic spots found in the city that you can get to with this train line!

What is the Toden Arakawa Line?

This is a street car that runs across an approximately 12.2km line from Minowabashi to Waseda with 30 stops, and has been used by locals since long ago. In 2017, this line has been nicknamed "Tokyo Sakura Tram". You can view spots with beautiful flowers, as well as stop by historical and cultural sites, retro shopping streets, and other charming places.

What is the Toden Arakawa Line?

1-12 Minami Senju, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo

Kishimojin-do

One of the stops on this line is Kishibojimmae, which is a 5-minute walk from Kishimojin-do. This shrine is dedicated to the deity, Kishimojin, who ensures easy delivery, conception, and child rearing. It was built in 1578, with the Main Hall and Ema (votive picture tablets) designated as some of the city’s Tangible Cultural Properties. The gingko tree found in the vicinity is said to be 600 years old, and is a designated Natural Monument of Tokyo.

Kishimojin-do

3-15-20 Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Gokokuji

Next up is Gokokuji, which is a 12-minute walk from the Higashi-ikebukuro Yonchome stop. This temple was built in 1681, and is reminiscent of the Edo period despite being in the city center. Its principal image is a statue of Nyoirin-Kanzeon- Bosatsu (Bodhisattva) that normally isn’t shown to the public (goes on exhibit on the 18th of each month). There are many sightseeing spots in the area, such as the main temple, Kannon-do (built in 1697) and the Gekko-den (guest house) that has been designated as an Important Cultural Property.

Gokokuji

5-40-1 Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Togenuki Jizo, Sugamojizo-dori Shopping Street

Next up are 2 popular spots that are about 2 minutes by foot from the Koshinzuka stop.

Togenuki Jizo (Official Name: Kogan-ji)

This Soto Buddhist temple attracts around 8 million visitors yearly. It is especially famous for giving away "Mikage" (a small piece of Japanese paper with a copy of the Jizo Bosatsu that is said to extend your life). Furthermore, it is believed that if you pour water on the same part of the Bosatsu statue, Arai-Kannon, as the part of your body which ails you, your illness will go away!

Togenuki Jizo (Official Name: Kogan-ji)

3-35-2 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Sugamojizo-dori Shopping Street

Since this calm shopping street is mostly popular among the elderly, it is nicknamed "Grandma's Harajuku". This shopping street has been around since the mid-Edo period (1603 - 1867) as a place for commerce and worship. Here, you may have a taste of the good old days in Japan from temples, stalls, and mini shops.

Sugamojizo-dori Shopping Street

3, 4 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Asukayama Park

Next up is a park just next to the Asukayama stop. This park started off as a place for commoners to enjoy their time with cherry blossoms planted by the 8th shogun from the Tokugawa family. Here, you can find nearly 650 cherry blossoms and around 1,300 hydrangea. You can also find a historical archive and museum within the vicinity.

Asukayama Park

1-1-3 Oji, Kita-ku, Tokyo

Toden Memorial Square

Last but not the least is a spot directly next to the Arakawa shakomae stop. Here, you will be able to see exceptional street cars from the golden age of this line (around 1950s – 1960s). This park features 2 precious old-modeled vehicles in a space designed to look like a station from the olden days. You can also find various articles within the car.

Toden Memorial Square

8-33-7 Nishiogu, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo

It is recommended to make use of the Toei One-day Pass (Adults: 700 JPY, Children: 350 JPY) if you are looking for a 1-day pass!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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