In the eastern part of Tokyo, Kinshicho is not very famous but it is a district that couples of foreign tourists can enjoy very much. Kinshicho has a nice touch of old times so you can go shopping for retro products, eat traditional sweets, admire handmade artworks, and practice traditional crafts. In addition, the area has a green oasis you can enjoy during a date or when jogging!
Personally, I have walked many times in Oyokogawa Water Park when I was working at Tokyo Skytree because this park was very close, because this park was so peaceful, and because this park was so green! I really like it. Dating my girlfriend int he area, I invited her to lunch at Sasaya Cafe, and we both were very satisfied with the food and interior of the restaurant 🙂
Start your date on the north side of Kinshicho station, walk in front of the post office, and cross the street to find the Ewatari shop selling cheap sweets and candies. This place is just great if you like retro stuff and have a sweet tooth and there is so much choice that you cannot buy everything! This kind of shop is rare in Tokyo; the only time I saw another one was in Shibamata area… At Ewatari, you can buy things that the previous generations know well but not the young Japanese people. You may find delicious sticks, chewing gum, chocolate sweets, old style rice crackers, wasabi snacks, gelatin desserts, gummi candies… Explore, buy, taste, and share!
After shopping at Ewatari, walk north-east and cross the street to enjoy the cute Kinshi Park, which is quite big, pleasant, with a view of Tokyo Skytree, playgrounds for children, and benches to relax! There are also 162 sakura blossoms trees in this park so you can enjoy a “hanami” flower-viewing party if you visit the park at the right moment in spring.
Personally, I prefer the narrow long park that is a bit west and stretches from south to north, almost to the Tokyo Skytree. Oyokogawa Water Park is very relaxing with its many green trees, its sinuous streams, its bridges, its bamboo trees, flowers, and rocks. There are spots for children to play and benches so you may see Japanese families when you walk there. This park is below ground level but open sky so you do not see cars and the pace feels tranquil. Look around for beautiful birds! On the east side of Oyokogawa Water Park, you can stop for a short rest, drinks, a meal and delicious sweets at Sasaya Cafe. The food there is tasty, plant-based and organic. In addition, you can see artworks on the walls. Oyokogawa Water Park is a perfect for a date but it is also a great place for couples who normally start the day by jogging in a park (open 24 hours) if their hotel is near Kinshicho station or Tokyo skytree.
If you skip Oyokogawa Water Park and continue west instead, you can share sweets at Hokusaisabou (also written Sabo Hokusai), shop that won “Best Sweets” awards. There, you can for example get shaved ice with rice flour dumpling and sweet beans. If you think this is too adventurous for you, just ask ice cream and a cup of hot green tea. This shop is clean, with a neat wooden design and you can sit at tables as well as on the ground (bringing a pair of spare white socks is always a good idea). The ambiance is extremely pleasant.
Finally, you can visit the Sumida Edo Kiriko Museum. Edo is the ancient name to Tokyo, and Kiriko is cut glass. At Sumida Edo Kiriko Museum, you can see, buy and make cut glass artworks. Enjoy this traditional craft together!
If the night falls at the end of your date, look north to admire the illuminated Tokyo Skytree in the background…