Koto, a ward in Tokyo bound by two rivers, translates to the "East of River" in English. It's rich waterfront and lush greenery, in addition to its Edo era atmosphere, make it a must visit area when in Tokyo.
[Don't miss out on our other Tokyo Guides]
What to Experience...
Edo Glass | Eh・Do
This distinctive way of making glassworks that made its first appearance in old capital Edo (now Tokyo). Tokyo Glass originated in Edo, as Tokyo used to be called, when Western-style glass manufacturing technology was introduced in the early Meiji period. Tokyo glass is carefully processed by the craftsmen, who pull the melted glass from furnaces using rods and other tools to manipulate its shape. Its brilliant sparkle comes from the transformation of natural quartz sand, finally polished using paulownia tree. Try your hand at making a soy sauce dispenser, essential to Japanese tableware, in the Edo Glass style.
What to See...
Fukagawa Edo Museum 深川博物館
Located on the east area of Tokyo, Kōtō ward is perfect if you want to get off the beaten tracks of a Tokyoite. A few kilometers from the Imperial palace, Owari-ya is well surrounded by shrines and temples giving a pleasant sense of tranquility. The facade of the restaurant, now 58 years in business, retains a traditional style and an interior design that blends you into the shitamachi atmosphere. Experience variety of Soba, Udon and fancy side dishes but do not forget to enjoy 日本酒 (Japanese sake) along your meal!
What to Do...
Kiyosumi Teien 清澄庭園
Kaiyu-shiki-teien style Japanese gardens, traditional promenade gardens, first started to form during the Edo Period (1600–1854) at the residences of nobles and warlords. They were meant to be seen by following a particular path leading from one scene to another. To catch the viewer’s attention, different techniques were used such as miegakure, or "hide-and-reveal" which used fences, bamboo and winding paths to hide specific scenery so the visitor would only see them when reaching the best view point. Enjoy the beautiful and authentic scenery at the Kiyosumi Garden with a hot beverage at the teahouse located on the pond.
Where to Eat...
Fukagawajuku is the perfect spot if you want to experience authentic Japanese food; this restaurant serves Fukagawa-meshi, a typical Edo style steamed rice with clams and spring onions. Because of its proximity with Sumida river, fishing always had a significant place in the lives of The Edo-kko (Edo locals). Originally prepared for busy fisherman before casting off, this seafood dish is prepared with one of the best rice of Japan, あさり (manila clams), miso soup and chives to offer customers the most authentic taste.