Sumida Ward Guide

Sumida Ward is known for being home to Tokyo Skytree and the crowds of tourists that visit the attraction. But it also contains many shitamachi ("low town") neighborhoods that preserve the look-and-feel of Showa-era Japan. Here you will find relaxed and affordable stations that are within easy commuting distance of downtown business districts.

A variety of landmarks are located within Sumida Ward, from Ryogoku Kokugikan (National Sumo Stadium) to Tokyo Skytree. In fact, there are a number of short-term apartments available close to Skytree which can be cheaper than accommodations closer to downtown areas. The Edo-Tokyo Museum and Sumo Stadium in Ryogoku help connect us to the past traditions and rich history of Tokyo. The neighborhoods of Sumida are fairly residential as far as the 23 wards go. Outside of the touristy sightseeing areas of Sumida, residents enjoy a livable slice of Tokyo that is within commuting distance to Tokyo Station (approximately 20 minutes away depending on the station).

Contents

Sumida quick facts

  • Population: 271,859 (as of January 1, 2019)
  • Area: 13.77 km²
  • Density: 19,742 (/km²)
  • Population of foreign residents: 12,645 (4.7% of total population of Sumida)
  • About 2.7% of the total resident foreigner population of the Tokyo 23 Wards lives in Sumida.

Major Train Stations

Station Train Lines
Kinshicho  JR Keihin-Tohoku Line
 JR Tokaido Main Line
 JR Yamanote Line
 JR Yokosuka Line
 Keikyu Main Line
Oshiage  Tokyo Metro Asakusa Line
 Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line
 Keisei Oshiage Line
 Tobu Skytree Line

Main residential neighborhoods

Sumida ranks high for

  • Good transportation options despite being outside the central wards.
  • Outside of the touristy areas, the residential neighborhoods are quiet and calm.
  • Abundance of short-term rental apartments available next to Tokyo Skytree.

Who lives in Sumida Ward?

  • Those working close to a stop on the Asakusa Line or Hanzomon Line (Oshiage Station).

Popular housing searches in Sumida Ward

Location and highlights

A prominent feature of Sumida Ward, Tokyo Skytree is world famous for its expansive view of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. It’s the largest tower in Japan, and holds the title of the second tallest structure in the world (only beaten by the Burj Khalifa). Tokyo Solamachi, a large shopping and dinning complex, is located at the base of the Tokyo SkyTree. There are over 300 shops, restaurants, and food stalls here, including imported foods and wines. There are often seasonal events taking place around Skytree, but one of particular note is the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival. Part of the fireworks display occurs over the river itself, closer to Asakusa in Taito Ward, but another part of the show continues at Skytree.

The Edo-Tokyo Museum is a popular attraction for those visiting Tokyo. It features many different exhibitions focusing on the history of Tokyo. Permanent exhibitions include a replica of Nihonbashi Bridge, restoration of a house built in the Taisho period (1912 – 1926), and intricate dioramas portraying life in Tokyo during the Edo period. Close by the Edo-Tokyo Museum is another fixture in Sumida Ward: the Sumo Stadium where you can watch the national sport of Japan. 

The Kinshicho neighborhood is sometimes referred to eastern Tokyo’s version of Ikebukuro. In other words, it’s a large transportation hub with tons of shopping, dining, and entertainment options available close to the station. Within five minutes from the station you can find Marui, Parco, and Arcakit shopping malls. The wide variety of apparel and goods available at the stores in this malls means that residents don’t need to make their way to downtown Tokyo every time they want to do some shopping.

Neighborhoods in Sumida tend to have a bit of a traditional Tokyo city vibe. This is because Sumida Ward is an example of Tokyo’s shitamachi (lit. “lower city,” a term used to differentiate the historically upperclass and wealthier city center areas from the outlying residential areas). You’ll notice that a lot of older buildings still remain around some neighborhoods like Hikifune in the north part of Sumida Ward. This brings a certain uniquely Tokyo charm to the neighborhoods, which can be appealing to some who prefer a calm, relaxed living environment. But those seeking a more modern development close to department stores and exciting nightlife might want to continue their apartment search in other areas (such as Nakameguro, Omotesando, and Roppongi).


Apartments for Rent in Sumida Ward

Properties for Sale in Sumida Ward

Lead photo: hans-johnson via Flickr

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