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Updated: October 5, 2021

Discover the cultural flavors of Showa-era Japan

Ome is like stepping back in time to the Showa era of Japan. Quiet, serene and fascinating it makes for a perfect nature experience day trip when visiting Tokyo.

General Tips

  • Definitely try the machine which prints the front cover of the newspaper from the day you were born. For only ¥400, it's a wonderful memento.
  • Try a workshop (in English) at Kosoen Studio to see, firsthand, how indigo is made and applied to apparel.
  • Bring a drink yourself
  • The Ome Station area is full of quaint backstreets and restaurants. Lose yourself in these small pockets of the city and you'll be sure to find some gems.

Map Legend

  • Walking
  • Taxi
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Water Bus
  • Bike

1

Stepping into Showa

Ome Station

While Ome is technically in Tokyo, it seems like another planet compared to Shinjuku and Shibuya. Walking out of Ome Station which is about one hour from Shinjuku on the Chuo Line is like entering a Ghibli film. Lush, quaint and nostalgic, Ome is a beautiful part of Tokyo with rivers, mountains and a small town atmosphere. It's known as a Showa town meaning that it reflects an old school aesthetic and cultural experience from the post-war period. It's akin to stepping back in time to an era when life was simpler, movies had charm and design wasn't made by computer software. Showa style is still very popular in Japan and its distinctive look and feel can be found in other parts of Tokyo such as Itabashi's Oyama district. Ome, however, revels in it and even has a museum devoted to Showa and nostalgia.

Walking10 mins

2

The evolution of Japanese railways

Ome Railway Park

A quick hike up a steep hillside stairway (about 15 minutes or so from Ome Station) leads you to Ome Railway Park which is an essential stop for any train fanatics out there. With an array of historical train carriages on display in the open air, cutesy kids activities and the first car of the first ever shinkansen (bullet train) it's a fascinating insight into the evolution of trains in Japan. The attached memorial hall has an exhibition of railway materials, mainly models, and boasts a Benkei steam locomotive for children as well as play facilities, making it a great place for families. It's a compact museum and park but one which anyone, even with a passing interest in trains, will find informative and absorbing.

Walking7 mins

3

A treasure trove of Japanese history

Showa Retro Goods Museum

As previously mentioned, Ome is a great representation of Showa as a geographical entity. With the town's signage and mini shotengai, the Showa aesthetic has never disappeared here. The Showa Retro Goods Museum, a short walk from the station, is like stepping back into simpler times. Small, but choc a bloc with Showa goods and memorabilia such as soft drink cans, cigarette packs from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, old movie posters and sweets and toys from the post war era, it's absolutely engaging and worth the trip to Ome in itself. One of the highlights of the museum is the machine which prints out the newspaper front page from the day you were born. It costs only ¥400 and is a thoroughly engaging way to connect with the visitors and the notion of history and nostalgia.

Walking20 mins

4

Getting to grips with Ome's artisanship

Kosoen Studio - Japanese Indigo Dyeing - Aizome

Ome was once one of Japan's largest textile producers. So it's no surprise that Kosoen Studio, a Japanese indigo dyeing (aizome) space, located about 30minutes walk from Ome Station) and near the banks of Tama River, is doing a roaring trade collaborating with apparel makers who require the artisanal approach in which they specialize. Visitors can actually see how indigo is made, the organizers also do workshops for locals and international guests (in English) and the studio even has its own shop where you can purchase a spectrum of handcrafted garments all in beautiful hues of indigo blue. Utilizing traditional methods of dyeing which date back to the Edo period (1603 - 1863) Kosoen Studio is keeping history, culture and tradition alive and reflects, ostensibly, Ome's profound connection with textiles, dyeing and artisanship.

Walking15 mins

5

A riverside wonderland

Kamanofuchi Park

The final stop in Ome, before returning to the station, should always be the riverside Kamanofuchi Park. On the banks of the stunning Tama River, Kamanofuchi Park is a perfect spot for relaxing with family and friends or even for a waterfront stroll. Located inside the park itself is a 100-year-old thatched farmhouse which reflects the history which lives inside the town of Ome. Visitors in late March and early April will be delighted by the abundance of cherry blossoms which line the banks of the Tama River and it makes for a pleasant picnic spot and photography location. People also come to fish in the river and during Tokyo's hit and humid summers it's been known for visitors to swim in the river, although naturally precaution should be taken.
Surrounded by glorious mountains and a dramatic river which runs through the town, Ome is a beautiful part of Tokyo and ideal for excursions. Rooted in history, culture and the Showa era, it's a city which wears its traditions on its sleeves. Quit, tranquil and with wide open spaces, Ome is the antithesis of central Tokyo. It's a stunning location which deserves to be seen, experienced and lived.

Waterfront

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