|The Sumida River runs through the eastern part
of Tokyo, known as Shitamachi (literally the "lower city"), and flows
into Tokyo Bay. It was known in the Edo period (1603-1868) simply as Okawa ("big
river"), and the view of this waterway was near to the hearts of Edo residents.
This tour takes you up from the mouth of the Sumida River all the way north to Asakusa,
the heart of Shitamachi.
Sumida River Estuary
Toward the end of the Edo period the shogunate constructed gun batteries offshore
to protect against raids by foreign ships. Today that area has been converted
into the Odaiba district, which is home to a number of popular tourist destinations.
Nearby is the high-rise residential development known as River City 21. The east
bank of the Sumida River once prospered as home to geisha establishments (in present-day
Fukagawa) and lumber distribution (in present-day Kiba), and some reminders of
this past still exist today.