Escape the crowd in Tokyo for a day and see the sights that this port city has to offer whether its a folk museum or historical temple.

The populous industrial city of Kawasaki is just south of metropolitan Tokyo. As you enter the Kanagawa prefecture, towering factories and steel plants will be the welcoming sight; Kawasaki may be an industrialised coastal city but venturing deeper inland will uncover its tranquil suburban town and sightly attractions in the midst.

Nihon Minkaen Open-Air Folk House Museum

Kawasaki Station is conveniently connected to the JR Tokaido, JR Keihin-Tohoku and Keikyu and JR Nambu Lines from Tokyo. Furthermore, you can also get to Kawasaki via the Odakyu Odawara line from Shinjuku Station.

Taking only 17 minutes by train, the short and commodious travel distance makes Kawasaki a perfect day trip destination to see more of Japan.

Nihon Minkaen Open-Air Folk House Museum

Nihon Minkaen Open-Air Folk House Museum

Remnants from the Edo Period in Japan are collected from all over the country and relocated within the hills here in the suburbs of Kawasaki. The authentic and rustic folk museum care for a collection of 25 traditional buildings of different structures and purposes between the years of 1603 to 1867.

Discover historical monuments like the Gasshozukuri farmhouses (traditional Japanese farmhouse from Shirakawago), exciting samurai houses, merchant houses, fishing villages homes, a religious shrine and a kabuki stage used for classical Japanese dance-drama.

Nihon Minkaen Open-Air Folk House Museum

Fully live in the historical setting by joining the traditional Japanese handicraft workshops like cloth weaving and bamboo craft making at the folk museum. Depending on the season, the folk museum would also organise cultural events in line with the festivities. So before you go down, visit their website at http://english.nihonminkaen.jp/ to get the latest updates and event information.

Getting there: A 15-minute walk from Shukugawara Station (JR Nambu Line) or take a direct bus service from Noborito Station (Odakyu Odawara Line) to the museum. Bus frequency is at every 10 to 15 minutes. 

Anata No Warehouse

Anata No Warehouse

Beating Saitama’s arcade center, Anata No Warehouse is the amusement arcade to visit–even if you don’t like playing games. The 5-storey center is a dystopian themed complex with a dark interior and orchestral pipe music echoing through space. The haunting space somehow draws resemblance to a war-torn period of a battered Chinese town. After you get past the eerie setting, you will notice that the arcade houses a wide range of game machines from darts, shooting games, dance machines, table hockey and many more.

Getting there: From JR Kawasaki Station, the arcade center is a 10-minute walk.

Kawasaki Daishi Temple

Kawasaki Daishi Temple

Founded in 1128, this large temple in Kawasaki is alternatively known as Heiken-ji. The century-old temple is a prominent shrine for locals during the New Year where the community goes to worship and pray for good fortune. Kawasaki Daishi is currently the headquarters of the Chizan sect of Shingon Buddhism, one of the few surviving Vajrayana lineages in East Asia.

Kawasaki Daishi Temple

What you see today are the reconstructions of the period’s architecture as the temple was destroyed in the war. Modern building materials like steel and concrete are used in the main hall (Dai-Hondo) when restoration took place in 1958. Other new monumental structures in the temple include the main Dai-Sanmom Gate and the octagonal five-story pagoda. The temple’s vicinity has plenty of restaurants and souvenir stores for shopping.

Getting there: Ride the Keikyu Daishi Line to Kawasaki Daishi Station and the temple is an 8-minute walk away. 

A festival parade on the streets of Japan. Photo from Adobe Stock

Festival to Note

Kanamara Matsuri or known as the Festival of the Steel Phallus is held at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan each spring. Viralled as the “penis festival”, Kanamara Matsuri main emphasis is the enshrinement of the phallus, as mirrored in the candies, carved fruits, and vegetables, illustrations and decorations with the phallus palanquin parade. First began in 1969, the festival is based on a Japanese legend for the shrine but today, the festival is also used to raise funds for HIV research. 

This article is made possible by Kanagawa Japan Prefecture. 
Text by Jessy Wong

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