Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rey Ian Corpuz


Let’s Enjoy Edogawa: A Short Daytrip Guide

Edogawa Ward in Tokyo is located in the eastern most part of Tokyo’s special 23 wards bordering Chiba to the east and Tokyo Bay. Edogawa is probably the easiest ward to recall because its name is derived from the samurai era of the Edo Period. Also in this ward lies the famous Edo River which Japan’s old capital, also named Edo, flourished its trade and commerce.

For Edogawa’s southern side, Kasai is famous for three things.  The Tokyo Metro Subway Museum, Tokyo Sealife Park and the Kasai Rinkai Park. Here, travelers can enjoy these three areas in just a day on a meager amount.

Tokyo Metro Subway Museum
The Tokyo Metro subway museum, unlike the one in JR Train Museum in Omiya, is small and good for kids and kids-at-heart, too. The museum lies behind the exit of Tozai Line’s Kasai Station. Entrance fee for adults are at 210 yen while kids at 100 yen. Inside the museum, one can see a timeline how the Tokyo Metro Subway lines were created. The museum also houses the first Ginza train coach that was used in 1939. One can actually feel how comfy and sturdy the train coaches back then. Trains were hard metal on the outside and wood on its flooring and interiors.  There is also a train simulator on the rear end of the museum. Rail enthusiasts and curious children and child-at-hearts try to be the train operator for a couple of minutes. The controls are quite simple. You only have one lever to switch whether you want to go faster or apply breaks. The museum also has diorama for train simulations and some actual layering of subways especially in the junction of Ochanomizu (where the Ma-runouchi and Chuo Lines intersect). One of the most interesting finds in the museum is the actual subway drilling machine which is so massive where it was used to excavate earth and create the Tokyo’s subway lines.

Kasai Sea Life Park 
One of Tokyo’s famed aquariums is the Kasai Sea Life Park situated in Kasai Rinkai Park, which is just further south from the subway museum. The park is not as big and massive as other aquariums compared to Yokohama and Chiba. As short as 45 minutes or less, the aquarium can be toured leisurely. This aquarium made headlines last year when a Humboldt penguin escaped from capti-vity. The oceans of the world are well-represented inside the aquarium. Creatures from the Pacific Oceans are subdivided into two, one each compartment for the Indian, Atlantic and Caribbean seas. The massive donut-shaped aquarium at the center of the facility is the main attraction as it contains the priced bluefin tuna and species of sharks circling the tank like a racing circuit. Humboldt penguins and many species of sea birds can also be seen. Small kids will surely love this place as they will see real creatures from the sea brought into one place. The Tidal Pool area is where you can touch creatures swept during coastal tides like starfish and other shell fish. The aquarium also houses cafeteria and souvenir shops for those who want to keep a memory of the aquarium. Park fees are 700 yen for adults and kids 0-12 years of age are free and students 13-15 years old 250 yen. Junior high school students in Tokyo area are also free of charge.

Kasai Rinkai Park
Just outside of Tokyo Sealife Park is Kasai Rinkai Park. The park is so wide and is perfect for various outdoor activities. Whether strolling, dog walking, jogging, picnics, team-building activities, date with your boy or girlfriend, barbeque or just to breathe a fresher air is just anything that you can do at this park. The park sits on the edge of Edogawa-ku bordering Tokyo bay. The park is more accessible by Keio/Musashino Lines on the Kasai Rinkai Station and its just 5 minutes walk from the station. One of the highlights of this park is the humongous 117 meter tall Ferris Wheel that is also visible from the train station. The park also has several fields for flower viewing. Flowers are planted in each field depending on the season. Notable flowers are the rape flowers and tulips during spring, and the cosmos during autumn. You can also enjoy fishing and collecting shellfish during summer. And you can also enjoy the beach during hot summer days. The best spot for picnic is facing Tokyo Bay or at the ground of the big Ferris Wheel. The whole park is also accessible by bicycle and in the edges of the park. Tokyo Disney Resort and Tokyo Bay Bridge are visible. The park is free  entrance. Spring, is the perfect season so enjoy this park as the cool breeze of the sea blows inland.

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