Under 10 kilometres from the centre of Tokyo, Chuo is a lively special ward with a popular fish market in addition to cultural institutions, former Imperial gardens and a wealth of local and international shops. Positioned along the Sumida River, Chuo boasts a tranquil atmosphere around its waterfront parks, while Tokyo’s exciting nightlife and sightseeing are within easy reach.
Things to do
One of Chuo’s claims to fame is the Tsukiji fish market, which is flooded with locals and visitors most mornings. You’ll see an array of fresh seafood, along with a frantic tuna auction, which can be viewed from a special platform. Afterwards, wander over to the waterfront Hamarikyu Gardens, former Imperial gardens with a sprawling pond, historic shrine and a teahouse.
Immerse yourself in Japanese history at the Mitsui Memorial Museum, home to an array of Japanese artefacts and artwork from the Edo period. Highlights include tea ceremony items, traditional Hina dolls and ancient writings. Venture across to the nearby Kite Museum to see a vibrant collection of traditional Japanese kites.
Don’t miss seeing some of the revered shrines around Chuo, particularly the Namiyoke Inari Shrine, a Shinto shrine home to memorial plaques and carvings. You can pay respects to Suiten, a Japanese deity, at the Suitengū shrine or see intricate decorations at the nearby Koami Shrine.
Venture deeper into Tokyo’s bustling city centre to discover some of the world’s most famous attractions, including the Imperial Palace, National Theatre of Japan and Science Museum. They’re all found within or around a central park in Chiyoda, which features scenic waterways, traditional Japanese gardens and cherry blossom trees.
Chuo is about 30 minutes’ drive from Haneda Airport, which also has direct rail services throughout Tokyo. Chuo is serviced by a bullet train, subway and above-ground trains, along with taxis. You can walk around parts of the city.