7 Reasons Why Living in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward is Great
Many apologies for the double post. “My Life in Edogawa” post got published while I was editing – and I didn’t even notice!
I’m slowly finding my groove as a freelance writer. However, life with a baby means that she always becomes my priority. No matter if I have the perfect pitch or perfect opening for an article, I can’t write until she lets me.
Still, I’m proud that I’ve been officially freelancing for two months now. I’m not making anywhere near my previous salary, but I like having something to do. At least I can justify being on the computer all day! As a result, I have several articles up on multiple sites, most about living in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward. Edogawa is absolutely a great place to live in Tokyo and an even better place for families. Here’s 7 reasons why:
1. It’s green all year round
First, let’s start with the obvious: There’s no shortage of parks and greenery here in Edogawa. In fact, you wouldn’t even think that this could be Tokyo. Edogawa is a peninsula, bordered by the Naka River, Kyu Edo River, Shin-Naka River, and Edo River. All this water means that it’s fabulously green all year round. The city has even created small “water parks” – man-made streams that look deceitful natural. In the summer these streams become wading pools that kids and grown-ups love. No doggies, allowed, though.
2. Free health checkups for everyone
The municipal government is very motivated to protect the health of its residents. Every year, free physicals are available for residents under 40 years of age. Additionally, cancer screening tests and special dental exams are also available free of charge. Generally, full-time workers get physicals done in the fall for their place for employment. For those who are not full time employees or who want to keep a close eye on their health records, they can get a physical done at one of several health centers in late May/early June. The city-wide physical consists of a blood and urine and screens for more things than a company’s health checkup!
3. You can enjoy o-hanami and fireworks without the Tokyo crowds
In April, I had an awesome time doing o-hanami with my family far away from the crowd of Shinjuku Gyoen, Ueno Park, and the like.
And in the summer time, I just head to the river bank, along with everyone else in the neighborhood, and enjoy the Edogawa Fireworks Festival.
Mount Fuji can be seen from practically anywhere
I’ve never climbed Mount Fuji but seeing that iconic mountain is a beautiful reminder that I’m living in Japan. One of the great advantages of living in Edogawa Ward is that there are few high rise buildings, so Mount Fuji can be seen from many of the bridges that cross cross Edogawa’s rivers.
4. Free checkups, medicines, and medical care for children – plus a monthly stipend
If you haven’t heard, Japan’s population is declining and rapidly graying. Yet, the number of children in Edogawa, on the other hand, is steadily growing. It could very well be because of the affordable health care options.
I find the Japanese health care system easy to understand and affordable, but when checkups, medication, and medical care are free, that certainly helps.
The system of free health care for kids is the “System for Subsidies for Children’s Medical Payments.” “Children” are those up to the third year of junior high school
- kodomo iryou-hi josei seido こどもいりょうひじょせいせいど 子ども医療費助成制度
The monthly stipend from Edogawa is a “stipend to take care of infants.” It’s 13,000 yen a month.
- nyuuji youiku teate にゅうじよういくてあて 乳児養育手当
A stipend which is in addition to the stipend (“children’s allowance”) given out by the Japanese government. This stipend is based on child’s age and household income.
- jidou teate じどうてあて 児童手当
It’s not much, but it certainly helps when buying diapers, items to baby proof the house, skin care goods, and so on.
5. Tokyo Disney Resort is only 25 minutes away
From any major train station in Edogawa (Kasai, Ichinoe, Koiwa), it’s a 20-30 minute bus ride to Tokyo Disney. Consequently, many residents of Edogawa don’t feel the need to go to the park. After all, it’s literally right there, across the river. At 8:30 p.m. every night, you can hear the fireworks. From several areas of the city, you can even see the park and the nightly fireworks display.
However, when locals go to Disney, it’s usually after taking advantage of the After 6 ticket (a reduced ticket that can be used to enter Tokyo Disney Land and Tokyo Disney Sea after 6 p.m.).
6. You can avoid the crowds of Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza when shopping
Being on the Tokyo-Chiba border, we head to Chiba for entertainment and shopping. Our favorite places are Tokyo Bay Ikea (in Funabashi), Ikspiari (in Urayasu) and Costco (in Makuhari).
Traveling to the city by train is always an option but a round trip ticket for two adults of us costs ¥1200. It’s cheaper and convenient to drive to Urayasu, Funabashi or Makuhari. Major shopping malls or department stores have free parking. Other options are free parking with a total purchase of ¥2000 or more. If we go out for lunch and dessert we already earned our free parking
7. The entire ward can be easily navigated by bicycle or bus
Yes, people get around on bicycles in Japan. That’s not new. But the county is full of mountains and Tokyo is full of bumpy hills. Though in Edogawa, the land is reasonably flat, making it perfect for cycling or commuting. The city encourages bicycle rental, and you can rent a bicycle at one of 11 locations. You can rent a bicycle for 210 yen a day. One month rental is 2060 yen while three month rental is 6,170 yen.
Me personally, I rely on buses to get around town. I find the buses much more comfortable and stroller friendly than trains. If I need to go to the train station, I’ll ride the bus to the station then hop on the train. The Toei bus fleet is wonderfully efficient, cool in the summer/warm in the winter, and comes with fast wi-fi. As a bonus, you can buy a one day pass for only 500 yen! A 700 yen bus pass will give you access to unlimited bus rides and rides on the Asakusa, Shinjuku, Oedo, and Mita Lines.
There you have it – my 7 Reasons Why Living in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward is Great. Have I inspired you to visit us on your trip to Tokyo? And it you’re already in Tokyo, why not make the move east?
7 Reasons Why Living in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward is Great
Check out these travel pieces I’ve written on attractions in this city. For starters:
Check out these posts on Edogawa life with a baby and dog:
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