Thanks to its location right on the edge of Tokyo, passengers with a layover at Haneda International Airport have plenty of opportunities to get a taste of Japan on their travels. Ota Ward’s attractions are immediately accessible from the airport, and travelers can enjoy everything from shrines to special cultural programs in their short time.
For travelers with 4 hours
For travelers with limited time between flights, the Ota City Tourist Information Center is the perfect destination. Visitors can participate in a variety of cultural programs, from learning the art of origami to trying on a kimono. The English-speaking staff can also arrange more in-depth experiences such as ikebana, easily booked on the website in advance. The TIC also provides a comfortable place to relax, with beautiful books on Japanese cultural traditions and free Wi-Fi access.
For transit passengers with longer to spend in Tokyo, the Ota City TIC is merely an excellent jumping-off point for further exploration.
For travelers with 6 hours
Head from the TIC to the nearby Haneda Shrine. The shrine dates back nearly 1000 years and holds an exuberant summer festival every August. A small hill to the side of the shrine mimics Mt Fuji, even using rocks from the famous volcano as its base.
If hunger gets the best of you, a short walk away is the Vegetable Café Abura-age. The friendly owner will fix you up with a sizable serving of fresh organic fare, or you can opt to relax with a simple cup of coffee or tea.
Nearby, visitors can wander the shotengai outside Amamoriiinari station, taking in the shops of local handmade goods and food. A highlight is the Isozakiya wagashi shop, whose homemade confections and traditional Japanese sweets make for the perfect snack as you wait for your next flight..
For travelers with 8 hours
From the Ota City TIC in Keikyu Kamata Station, the Hougaki Academy is a short walk or taxi ride away. If you’ve made reservations ahead of time, you can work up a sweat in a fun energetic taiko (Japanese drumming) lesson.
After your workout, fuel your body with some hanetsuki gyoza, a local specialty dumpling, at one of the Kamata area restaurants.
Return to the Keikyu Kamata station for a short train ride to Heiwajima. The Omori Nori Museum, which focuses on the region’s historical production of seaweed laver, makes for a fascinating visit, while the nearby park and beach at Omori Furusato Hamabi Park is an excellent place to relax in fine weather. If you still feel up to a challenge, tackle the ropes course at Heiwa no Mori Koen, where you can channel your inner Ninja Warrior on a variety of obstacles.
Unwind with a visit to Natural Onsen Heiwajima, one of Ota Ward’s many natural hot springs, before catching the monorail at Ryutsu Center Station back to Haneda for your flight out.