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Wednesday’s Ward – Adachi

Today is the first article in the 23 part Wednesday’s Ward series where I will be provide a little bit of history and some of the things to do and see in each of  the wards, or neighborhoods, of Tokyo.  This week’s ward is Adachi, which is located on the northernmost boundary of Tokyo and is home to over 650,000 people.  Adachi-ku, or Adachi City, is the third largest ward in Tokyo and occupies a 53.2 square kilometer area that is bordered by Chiba and Saitama Prefectures to the north and Kita, Katsushika and Arakawa Wards to the south.

A Brief History

Adachi-ku was originally part of Kosuge Prefecture and was a marshy agricultural center with many rice fields in the Edo area (1600-1868).  It was also a convenient place to stop if you were traveling to Nikko during the same era.  In 1932, Tokyo’s boundaries were expanded and Adachi became a ward of Tokyo but it was not officially recognized as such until the late 1940’s.

The train lines that serve Adachi-ku are the Hibaya and Chiyoda Lines which began operations in 1962 and 1969 respectively.  In 2005, the Tsukuba Express, offering service to Ibaraki prefecture, began serving the area.  The main train station in Adachi-ku is Kita-senju.

The city emblems are the cherry tree and the tulip which bloom in the parks and gardens of the city each spring and summer. Events

The Adachi Fireworks Festival is held on the 4th Thursday of July each year along the banks of the Arakawa River between Senju Shinbashi and Nishi Araibashi bridges.  The event started in 1924 and has been presented annually since 1979.

In early October, the Adachi Citizens Festival is held along the banks of the Arakawa River and in other locations throughout the city.

The Issa Matsuri Festival at Entenji Temple is held each November to commemorate Issa Kobayashi, a famous Haiku poet who lived from 1763-1827.

The Festival of Light is held each December along the avenue of trees between the Motofuchie Park and the East exit of Takenotsuka Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line.  In the park you will find eight, 20 meter tall, Christmas trees illuminated with 10,000 twinkling lights that is the largest display of its kind in Japan.

The Sights

Nishiarai-Daishi Temple is a Buddhist temple that is one of the “Three Great Daishi of Kanto” and is a popular temple for New Years visits as it is believed to bring visitors longevity.

Belmont park was developed in 1984 and is a symbol of the sister relationship that the city has with Belmont, Australia with native plants and Black Swans that are the state bird of Western Australia.  The western style brick house in the park is open on weekends and holidays and displays Australian Handicrafts and household items.  The park is also home to the Adachi International Festival held each fall that

Toneri Park (PDF) has a number of athletic fields, a large pond and a splash pool that is popular in the summer (map).

Fun Facts & Trivia

Did you know that a large number of the Cherry Trees in Washington, D.C. came from Adachi Ward?  In December of 1910, over 3,000 scions were taken from cherry trees on the banks of the Arakawa River in Adachi and grafted onto trees from Hyogo Prefecture, in southern Japan, before being shipped to Washington.

For mor information on the Adachi ward, visit the Tokyo Tourism Information Adachi-ku page or the City of Adachi website in English which will provide additional details about the area and the events held there.

Image Credit:  Wikipedia, Adachi-ku & Flickr, 20060727DSC_0128