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Published on 06.03.2016
Sandwiched between Japan's two largest cities Tokyo and Yokohama, Kawasaki is mainly an industrial city in Kanagawa Prefecture. While not a major tourist destination and usually known for its industrial beauty, the city offers a few attractions that make it a unique trip. Topping the list is Fujiko F. Fujio Museum, which represents the world of Fujiko F. Fujio, the creator of the most famous anime character in the world, Doraemon. The museum features a theater, exhibition room, a manga reading room, a number of kid spaces, several life-size statues of Doraemon characters, a cafeteria with original menu that accompanies the artwork and a gift shop with character goods from Fujio’s works.
Meanwhile, Taro Okamoto Museum of Art is the place to exhibit colorful, abstract paintings, sculptures and furniture created by a versatile avant-garde artist who had strong ties to the City of Kawasaki.
There is also Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum, an outdoor museum of 25 preserved traditional folk houses from the Edo Period (1603-1867) including traditional farmhouses, samurai houses, merchant houses. Demonstrations of traditional handicrafts such as bamboo craft making and cloth weaving are carried out regularly.
Another must-visit place is Kawasaki Daishi temple that ranks as one of Japan's top three most visited temples during the New Year. As one of the 100 selections of soundscape in Japan (designated by Ministry of the Environment), it attracts many visitors to gather to pray for safety and ward off evil every year.
As for shopping, Kawasaki offers visitors with a few commercial facilities around JR Kawasaki Station. Located on the West side of JR Kawasaki Station, Lazona Kawasaki Plaza, a huge commercial area includes almost 330 stores, from luxury shops to dining places to cinema complex. On the east side of Kawasaki Station, meanwhile, is La Cittadella, a complex built to resemble a small Italian town offering visitors several boutiques, restaurants, cafe, live concert halls, movie theaters and other entertainments.
Below are details of some must-visit spots in Kawasaki:
Fujiko F. Fujio Museum
Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 (advance reservations required)
Closed: Tuesdays (or the following day if Tuesday is a national holiday) and Dec 29 to Jan 3
No closures during Golden Week
Admission: 1000 yen (adults), 700 yen (12-18), 500 yen (4-11), Free (under 4)
Tickets are not sold at the museum and must be purchased in advance.
Taro Okamoto Museum of Art
Address: 7-1-5 Masukata, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-0032
Tel: 044-900-9898 Fax: 044-900-9966
Hours: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm (Last admission 30 minutes before closing)
Closed: Mondays (if Monday is a holiday, then next weekday), the day after national holidays, year-end holidays
Admission Fees: Permanent exhibition – Regular: 500 JPY, Concession: 300 JPY
Temporary exhibition - varies according to exhibition
Nihon Minkaen Open Air Museum
Hours: 9:30 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from November to February). Admission ends 30 minutes before closing
Closed: Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday), days following national holidays (except for Saturdays and Sundays), December 28 to January 3
Admission Fees: 500 yen
Kawasaki Daishi Temple
Hours: 5:30 to 18:00 (April to September); 6:00 to 17:30 (October to March)
Closed: No closing days
Admission fees: Free
Source: K&S TV