Ota City (大田区) is probably the least known among the 23 special wards of Tokyo (東京). Many foreign tourists do not even know much about it even though it is home to one of the country’s famous international airports namely, Haneda (羽田). In fact, Ota is the largest ward in Tokyo and has many things to offer to both local and foreign tourists. Here are ten things to do in the area!
Haneda Airport is one of the major airports in the country, along with Narita (成田), that serve the Tokyo region. The Ota City Tourist Information Center organizes free tours of Haneda International Airport on specific dates. You can find information on the dates and the meeting point via the link below.
The International Terminal has an observation deck for you to go and witness the airport at any time of the day. You can find it on the highest floor of the terminal.
— 大田区 (@city_ota) April 17, 2017
Ota City is famous for its traditional handicrafts including glassware, toys, and others. It is also home to some of Tokyo’s largest manufacturing companies that produce a wide range of electrical goods.
If you are visiting Ota, get yourself a Hanepyon (はねぴょん), the official mascot of the city, together with kiriko cut glassware which was once famous during the Edo (江戸) era.
Omori is a small area of Ota which is famous for its seaweed or nori (海苔). You can walk along the streets of Omori and buy seaweed from the shops.
One shop that has been producing seaweed since 1901 is the Morihan Noriten (守半海苔店) which sells Yakinori Tabekiri packs that are very famous in the region.
Bourbon Road is the place you should go if you want to grab a delicious meal or do a bit of fancy shopping in Ota City. It has izakayas, bars, restaurants, pizza shops, malls, and more. The best time to visit this place is during the night where it gets crowded and becomes lively.
Ever tried a black bath at a sento (public onsen)? Black baths, or “kuroyu (黒湯)” in Japanese, are the hottest baths you will ever try. The waters of kuroyu look black like cola due to a specific rare mineral from the earth. Some scientists say it has radon, a radioactive material that is present in huge quantities in Tokyo.
Kuroyu has a lot of benefits as it makes your skin glow and look youthful. But be careful though, as black baths tend to be much hotter than regular baths. Visit Daini Hinode-yu (第二日の出湯) to have this unique experience.
If you want to relax amidst clean waters and beautiful migrant birds, Senzokuike Pond is the place to go in Ota City. This is also the best place to go during early spring to witness the cherry blossoms. You can leisurely take a boat across the pond and stroll around the park.
Anamori Inari is one of the oldest shrines in the city which was first built around 1818 in the area where the Haneda Airport currently lies. Since the building of the airport, the shrine has been shifted to its present location. It is a famous shrine in the region and worshipers come from different areas of Tokyo and do offerings here.
Ota City is famous for some of its Chinese dishes such as winged gyoza (wing-like dumplings) and Xiaolongbao which are steamed dumplings.
Also, the neighborhood of Magome (馬込) in Ota is famous for a unique type of carrot called “obuto (大太),” which is used in carrot manju (steam buns).
If you want to see a temple that is as magnificent and as impressive as Tokyo’s Senso-ji Temple (浅草寺) in Asakusa (浅草), Ikegami Honmon-ji is the one to visit. It has a giant five-storied pagoda which was able to withstand earthquakes and war bombings. In fact, it is one of the oldest temples in Tokyo that you must visit alongside the famous Senso-ji.
If you want to take your kid or spend time yourself at one of the creative playgrounds in Tokyo, Nishi-Rokugo Tire Park is a must-visit. This park, which is located in the Kamata (鎌田) area of Ota City, is entirely made of unused or recycled tires. There are approximately 3,000 tires in the place, some of which are made into unique sculptures. There is also a huge Godzilla sculpture made with tires if you want to take a picture.
Apart from these, there are several other interesting things to do near Haneda in the beautiful city of Ota. Do a transit or stopover in this city when going to or from the Haneda Airport.