The JR East Ryogoku station, opened as Ryogokubashi in 1904 and gaining its current name in 1931, is your gateway to the famous Sumo district of Tokyo. Servicing the JR East Chuo-Sobu Line with connections to the TOEI Oedo Line, Ryogoku is not only your gateway to a Sumo neighborhood, but also a convenient connection to Akihabara and Shinjuku to the west, and Chiba to the east.
JR East Ryogoku station consists of an elevated platform serving as a local stop on the Chuo-Sobu Line. Platform 1 services the westbound trains for Asakusabashi, Akihabara and Shinjuku, while Platform 2 provides eastbound service to Kinshicho and Chiba. At a slightly lower level there is also a 3rd platform which currently only accommodates special services. The interior of the station is beautifully decorated with various Sumo paintings and artwork. My particular favorites are the ink handprints of the Sumo wrestlers and the beautiful artwork located on the ceiling to your right as you enter. The station is conveniently designed to handle large volumes of crowds at once with wide staircases and passageways. The station also houses a JR ticket reservations office.
The station is well-equipped for the nearby Ryogoku attractions, the Edo Tokyo Museum and the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium. I once visited the Edo Tokyo Museum and conveniently stored my day pack in one of the rental lockers available outside the station. This is also really handy if you’re heading into a Sumo event at the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium as the seating can sometimes be a little cramped. There are also numerous restaurants located right outside the north exit, offering the famous local Sumo cuisine, Chanko Nabe. The streets surrounding the south exit of the station are also jam packed with restaurants each claiming to serve the most original Sumo meal.
Kyu-Yasuda Teien and Yokoamicho Park are also within walking distance from Ryogoku Station. The Sumida River is also a short walk from the station which I recommend checking out if you’re around the area as the sun goes down. There is a barber on site, as well as relaxation space if all that walking around has gotten the better of you. If you have arranged to be picked up from the station, there is a short stay parking lot available directly outside the station, along with a taxi rank.
Ryogoku station is an accessible station right in the heart of the Sumo neighborhood of Tokyo, one you’re likely to use if you are visiting the local attractions.