Kashiwa is a bedroom community for neighboring Tokyo served by the Joban, Tobu and Tsukuba Express train lines. A hub for transit to and from Tsukuba Science City and Narita Airport, its city center is dense and busy with eateries and shopping. But a short distance away are places of great beauty and history. Start your trip at Kamon Kashiwa Information Center on the third floor of the Family Kashiwa Building for maps and tips on events and places to eat and play.
Temples and Shrines
In the heart of the city is Kashiwa Shrine, close to the east exit of Kashiwa Station. This small but well loved shrine, affiliated with Mt. Haguro in Yamagata Prefecture, holds seasonal ceremonies and traditional dance five times a year. When you’re there, try fishing your omikuji fortune from a trough, or receive a goshuin of the month in your pilgrim’s stamp book. Take a 25 minute bus ride from neighboring Abiko Station to Fuse Benten, an ancient Shingon Buddhist temple with a great view of Mt. Tsukuba. Another Shingon temple, Kisshoin, is best visited in late April for its peony garden shaded by paper parasols.
Gardens and Parks
If you would rather not contend with the massive crowds in spring at popular cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo, consider a visit to Akebonoyama Agricultural Park. The hillside overlooking the flower fields and Tone River has a stand of venerable cherry trees once appreciated by Haiku poet Kobayashi Issa, and in the peak blossom season, you can enjoy food stalls and picnic under the pink profusion. Any time of year, the Nihon-en traditional garden below the hillside and the vast flower fields offer seasonal color and ample space to play and enjoy the flowers.
Landmarks and History
The vestiges of little villages that were gathered together as Kashiwa City give an insight into a different time in Japanese history. See the Tokyo region's oldest surviving Christian sanctuary the Old Tega Church, established by Orthodox priests in the Meiji Period. Also in the city is The Former Yoshida Residence, a well preserved and beautifully appointed Edo Period farm house.
For an exciting day of football, cheer on the local team at Sankyo Frontier Kashiwa Stadium (also known as Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium), home of the Kashiwa Reysol football club.
If you are up for a bicycle ride, rent a simple shopping bike and tour Teganuma Marsh with its 18 kilometer cycling and walking path. On early summer mornings, take in the vast lotus fields and rest your feet in a roadside foot bath. The marsh is also a great place to watch migratory and native birds.
Dining and Shopping
Kashiwa Station is straddled by a shopping complex with popular department stores and retail shops. But if you head out the east exit, you will find Kashiwa "Nibangai", the Number Two covered shopping avenue. You won't find Number One, as it burned down decades ago, and Nibangai retains the second place title. Wander the back streets of Kashiwa, affectionately known as "Urakashi". A wealth of eateries, bars, izakaya taverns, and boutique shops welcome visitors. Many of the small establishments host live music in the evenings. Savor delicious international cuisine and drink at hip and fun bars.