What You Need To Know
Kawasaki has been an important city of trade since the days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, as a stop on the Tokaido Road between Tokyo and Kyoto. With a population of over 1.3 million, Kawasaki is the ninth most populated city in Japan, but it’s sandwiched between Japan’s two largest cities, Tokyo and Yokohama, and consequently ignored by the vast majority of tourists zooming between the two. There are attractions, though, that make Kawasaki a unique side trip, including a Buddhist temple that ranks as one of Japan’s top three most visited temples during the New Year, a Shinto fertility shrine that hosts one of Japan’s wackiest festivals, and an underrated open-air museum.
Geographically, Kawasaki lies in the middle of the Keihin region, separated from the Tokyo metropolis by the Tama River, which it roughly follows, and is divided into seven wards. The eastern part of Kawasaki, along Tokyo Bay, contains industrial work areas and blue-collar housing, while more upscale buildings can be found in the Tama Hills further west and inland.
Population: 1.426 million (2010)
Area: 55.1 mi²
The Japanese currency is the yen (円, en). One yen corresponds to 100 sen. However, sen are usually not used in everyday life anymore, except in stock market prices. Bills come in 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen (very rare), 5,000 yen and 10,000 yen denominations. Coins come in 1 yen, 5 yen, 10 yen, 50 yen, 100 yen and 500 yen denominations. Counterfeit money is not an issue in Japan.
Japan has a reputation of being a cash-based society, but trends have gradually been changing, and there has been a significant increase in the acceptance of other payment methods.
In Japan, currency exchange is usually handled by banks, post offices, some larger hotels and a handful of licensed money changers found especially at international airports.
The climate here is mild, and generally warm and temperate. Kawasaki is a city with a significant rainfall. Even in the driest month there is a lot of rain. The climate here is classified as Cfa by the Köppen-Geiger system. In Kawasaki, the average annual temperature is 11.0 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1318 mm.
Precipitation is the lowest in February, with an average of 66 mm. Most of the precipitation here falls in July, averaging 180 mm.
At an average temperature of 24.1 °C, August is the hottest month of the year. January is the coldest month, with temperatures averaging -0.9 °C.
Fujitsu’s Main Branch is located in Nakahara-ku. It was formerly Fujitsu’s headquarters.
Kawasaki has several factories and development bases of the companies of heavy industry (e.g., JFE Group, Nippon Oil Corporation) and high technology (Fujitsu, NEC Corporation, Toshiba, Dell Japan and Sigma Corporation
By Train, the surprisingly rustic Keikyū Daishi Line putters through people’s backyards, and is useful for the three-stop trip from Keikyu Kawasaki to Kawasaki Daishi.
By Car, You really don’t need a car to travel in Kawasaki, especially since trains make it easy to get in and get around. Nevertheless, Mazda, Nissan and Nippon Rentacar have car rental facilities between Kawasaki Station and Route 15 should you need it.