areas shibamata

Places to visit in Shibamata

Shibamata is one these areas that is touted as harboring the true legacy of the shitamachi spirit. The reason why it became famous is not due to its exquisite heritage, but a movie series that put this part of town on the map. It is located on the eastern edge of Tokyo, on the border with Chiba prefecture.

The movie series “It’s Tough Being a Man” (Otoko wa tsurai yo) stars Tora-san, a good-hearted traveling salesman with a big mouth. 48 movies were shot over 26 years (from 1969 until 1995), making it the longest movie series ever. In each installment, Tora-san is traveling around Japan, but always returns home in the end to his hometown Shibamata.

Perhaps due to these movies, the shitamachi character has been well preserved. In particular the Taishakuten Sando, a 200-meter-long main approach to the Taishakuten temple, is lined with beautiful shops. Most of the shops are there for half a century or more and serve delicacies that are hard to get by elsewhere in Tokyo. At the end of this street you have the intricate wooden Nitenmon Gate that gives you access to the temple. The Taishakuten temple is the main reason why and how this town has developed in the past.

Shibamata is currently located inside of Tokyo city (within the 23 wards), but right on the border with Chiba (on the other side of the Edogawa river). In the Edo period (1603-1868), this town was not part of Edo (old name for Tokyo), but was only added after the administrative reform in 1932.





Another often advertised thing to do in Shibamata is the Yagiri no Watashi crossing.


Closest stations:
Shibamata Station (Keisei Line) 

Names in Japanese:
帝釈天参道 (Taishakuten Sando), 柴又帝釈天 (Taishakuten temple), 山本亭 (Yamamoto-tei), 寅さん博物館 (Tora-san Museum)