With its natural beauty and its unique festivals, Tokyo’s Ota Ward is the perfect destination no matter the time of year. Each season hosts a variety of events that will delight both visitors and residents alike.
Sakura (cherry blossoms) have long been the herald of spring in Japan and the banks of the Tama River are an excellent place to enjoy the blossoms. Cherry blossoms also bloom in the traditional Shotoen Garden, best enjoyed while dining at Ikegami’s Sakura Garden Restaurant. You can even catch beautiful flowers in bloom along the walking route of the Magome Writer’s Village and in local parks such as Senzokuike.
The heat ramps up in Ota Ward in the summer, but so does the local schedule of festivals. Enjoy fireworks from the banks of the Tama River or catch a boat race in Heiwajima. Stroll the shotengai (covered shopping arcades) of Mihara or Umeyashiki or test your physical prowess on the ropes course at Heiwa no Mori Koen. Plan a local beach escape to the Omori Furusato Hamabe Park or cool off on a visit to the neighboring Omori Nori Museum.
A highlight event of autumn is the Ikegami Honmonji Oeshiki festival, held annually on the second weekend of October to commemorate the death of St Nichiren. The International City Ota Festival at Haneda Airport also attracts large numbers of visitors who are interested in learning more about traditional Japanese culture. In November, don’t miss the stunning foliage around the Senzokuike pond, or the golden gingko trees that line the promenades outside Den-en-chofu Station.
As the weather cools off, the winter months are the perfect time to enjoy a soak in one of Ota’s many natural onsen (hot spring baths). Pamper yourself at a full care spa like Heiwajima Natural Onsen or join the locals for a communal experience in one of the ward’s many smaller bathhouses. Even in winter, you can find a colorful palette in the pink and white plum blossoms that bloom in the garden next to Ikegami Honmonji temple. Or visit the Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park to observe the scores of wintering birds.
No matter when you plan your trip to Tokyo’s Ota Ward, you’ll find a host of activities and natural delights awaiting your exploration.