Let me take you on a tour of my neighbourhood, Nishi Kasai. “Nishi” means “west” so this is the west side of the area known as Kasai, in Edogawa City between the banks of the Asa (Asakawa) and Edo (Edogawa) rivers, not far north of Tokyo Bay. It is not a particularly big district – the rapid trains go right through, but it is served by local trains on the blue Tozai line (from Mitaka to Nishi-Funabashi).
It turns out I was right, the area is known as “Little India” or “India Town” because of the large conglomeration of Indian families that live there. As you might expect this means there are several Indian restaurants, including this one conveniently located next to my share-house, wafting spicy, meaty smells through my window. It is my go-to source of food when I am too tired to cook.
Just across the road is the Sunny Mall, featuring a supermarket and drugstore on the ground floor (as well as a family fast-food restaurant), and a clothes shop, household goods store, stationary giant Daiso, shoes, phones, and games and amusements on the upper floors. I shop there regularly because it is just so convenient, although just last week I discovered the bigger and better quality Aeon Mall (featuring KFC, Baskin-Robbins and import store Caferrant) just 3 minutes along the same road!
There are plenty of Konbini (24-hour convenience stores) dotted around, though none as close to me as Sunny Mall – unfortunately it closes at 9pm which on some nights is before I get back from work.
Walking towards the station every morning, I stroll through this pleasant dolphin-infested plaza. Gu seems to be a shop for ladies’ fashions, but there is also a bakery, a bar, a fabrics shop, an Indian grocer and a bric-a-brac shop with all kinds of junk from used fridges to giant golden gargoyles.
This weekend the plaza hosted some kind of market festival. There were singers, a balloon sculptor, lots of food vans, one man tried to sell me tiny bonsai plants decorated with superheroes!
Having discovered Aeon Mall last weekend and got distracted, I continued my wanderings this weekend and crossed the main road alongside the mall, to find on the other side a tranquil park, Nagisa Park. The remnants of another market were being tidied away from the main walkways, but the centrepiece of the park was a little pool containing some VERY big fish! I’m guessing they are Koi carp, popular Japanese decorative fish, but they are very big and ugly up close!
Beyond the park was a sports ground for kids – it had big baseball nets so they could practice their hitting – I think it probably hosts little league games. The official Edogawa Baseball Stadium is on the south side of the station. Further south on the shore of Tokyo Bay there is a seaside park, not far from Disneyland and Sea Disney – places I may explore in future adventures!