For those visiting Ota City for sightseeing, I would recommend taking advantage of a bike share service, which is affordable and convenient to get around this lovely city. There are 12 bike stations across Ota-ku, and there is one just a 3 minute walk from Ota City Tourist Information Center. You can rent and return the bike at any available station you like. To rent the bike, you need to register for a membership through their page. Be sure to reserve a bike online 20 minutes before you go to the bike station.
1. Ota City Tourist Information Center
The first spot I would recommend going to would be Ota City Tourist Information Center, which is located on the second floor of Keikyu-Kamata station. It serves as more than an information center, since it also offers various cultural activities, such as free kimono-wearing, origami, etc. You can also sign up for events ranging from a tea ceremony workshop to Japanese manner and etiquette lessons. Be sure to check out their events on the website before you go, and see if there are any cultural activities that you may never get to experience anywhere else. The staff at the information center are friendly and helpful, and provide language services in English, Chinese, and Korean. They will give you a detailed brochure and map, and recommend the best routes for you to take in Ota-ku.
2. Kamata Hachiman-Jinja Shrine
Ota-ku is home to numerous historical sites, including the Kamata Hachiman-Jinja Shrine, which is only one minute away from Ota City Tourist Information Center by bike. Originally founded in 1600, the Kamata Hachiman-Jinja Shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Japanese god of foxes. Although the shrine was partially burnt in 1945, it was rebuilt a few years later and kept its original magnificent, architectural style in the 17th century. At Kamata Hachiman-Jinja Shrine, you can enjoy a peaceful relaxation and clear your mind, as it is not crowded throughout the year. It gets especially beautiful during the cherry blossom season, which can be a good option to experience traditional Japanese culture and avoid the large crowds compared to Tokyo.
3. Senzokuike Pond
Biking for around 45 minutes from Kamata Hachiman-Jinja Shrine, you will arrive Senzoku-ike pond, which is located in Northern Ota, six stops from Ikegami Station. The area is named after the famous Buddhist priest Nichiren Shonin who washed his feet here on his way to Ikegami Temple. Senzoku in Japanese means “washing your feet,” which is exactly what Nichiren Shonin and many priests after him did at the large pond located here. Senzokuike Pond is the perfect place to embrace the nature. The pond is beautiful in all four seasons, and spring is said to be the best season because of cherry blossoms. Bring some of your friends and sit under the cherry blossom tree, nothing is more enjoyable than this during a “hanami” season. Take a break from the busy city life and enjoy the traditional-style wooden architecture. Take a moment to appreciate the birds singing next to you, the large koi fish in the water, and the lovely tree-filled Senzokuike park.
4. Ikegami Honmonji Temple
When you go from Senzokuike Pond to Ikegami Honmonji Temple, you can choose to bike along the Nomikawa river, where the movie Godzilla was filmed. Here you can cherish a peaceful moment, as you watch people walking their dogs, elderly people exercising, and the sunset reflecting on the river. Around 30 minutes by bike, you will reach Ikegami Honmonji Temple, which dates back to the end of the 13th century. Although not as famous as the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Ikegami Honmonji Temple is just as impressive and without the big crowds. Located to the left of the temple is the Five-Story Pagoda, which is the oldest five-story pagoda in Tokyo and reaches to a height of nearly 30 meters. It was constructed to be able to withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake and survived the fires and bombings during World War II. As Ikegami Honmonji Temple sits on a hill in central Ota-ku, it is a good choice to go up to the observatory right outside the temple and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the whole city.
There is one bike return station right next to Ikegami Kaikan, about five minutes down-hill biking from Ikegami Honmonji Temple. Here you can return your bike and take a 10 minute walk to Nishi-magome station, and take a train back to Tokyo.
Ota City Tourist Information Center (3 mins) → Kamata Hachiman-Jinja Shrine (45 mins)→Senzokuike Pond (30 mins) → Ikegami Honmonji Temple
If you depart from Tokyo, take the Keikyu Line and get off at Keikyu-Kamata station, or take the Keihintohoku Line and get off at Kamata station.