Stay and Play in Ota City
By Casey Hawkins on 5 Mar 2016
1. Try Crispy Winged Gyoza for Two
Kamata is the birth place of the original Hanetsuki gyoza. They’re unique in appearance and texture, forming as a clutter held together by their ‘wings’. Ni Hao Bekkan is a restaurant famous for being the original producers of the highly crispy style and are conveniently located next to Keikyu-Kamata station.
2. Sleep well at a Love Hotel
Book yourself into one of the many love hotels situated close to Kamata station. Just a 20-minute train ride out to Haneda Airport, a night’s accommodation in one of Kamata’s love hotels will cater to your schedule, curiosity and taste. While being very affordable, many of the rooms’ interiors are chic and modern—similar to that of a hotel in Shibuya, just without the price tag. For those looking to be entertained, room facilities and décor can be playful or incorporate gaudy elements that’ll be sure to make you smile.
3. Wander through idyllic Senzokuike Park
Fall in love during Hanami (cherry-blossom season) whilst strolling around the pond or wading through the water in a swan-shaped pedalo. Senzokuike Park provides a romantic backdrop for active couples who appreciate open-space, fresh air and spectacular nature. Upon visiting you will witness small wooden boats gliding along the water and maybe even spot turtles swimming close to the surface.
4. Relax in Black Water Hot Springs
Ota City has 43 sento (baths) open for public use for as little as 460 yen. Without having to stray too far from your hotel, you can relax in the warm water and become accustom to Japan’s traditional method of cleansing and body and mind. Aside from the area having the most baths to choose from in the whole of Tokyo, the natural hot springs are typically black. Known as Kuroyu, it’s compounds are said to soften the skin and leave it feeling moist while removing excess oil.
5. Cheer on speed boat racers at Heiwajima
Watch six coloured racing boats compete for champion status as they cut through the water of a 600m circular course. The stadium in Heiwajima holds around 15 races per month for spectators to come and watch from the grand stand overlooking the canal. Save your money for legal betting by opting for free tickets in the standing section. The organiser’s website has English information listing scheduled races and how to get there.
6. Meet the Monks at Honmonji Temple
If you visit the temple between 10-3pm, you may witness the monks beating the taiko drum or praying for visitors in the main hall. If you go early morning you’re likely to see just as many practising monks onsite as tourists, for there is a university close by dedicated to the teachings of Buddhism. In addition to beautiful buildings and sculptures, there’s a special piece of art featured on the inside ceiling of the main hall. It’s an incomplete painting of a dragon by famous Japanese artist Kawabata Ryushi. He passed away before completing it in 1966.
Casey Hawkins grew up immersed in Australia’s sea, sun and surf culture. While working as teacher she developed a passion for storytelling and writing. Since moving to Japan in 2015, she has had the privilege of writing about her growing experiences as an expat. She counts herself lucky, as no two days are the same; spending her time becoming acquainted with Japan’s most fascinating characters, traditions and attractions.