Thanks to movie director Yamada Yoji and Atsumi Kiyoshi, alias Tora-san, Shibamata has become famous throughout Japan. Its anchor is the Shibamata Taishakuten Temple which served as a recurrent backdrop in the Tora-san series. The temple's priest was played by the humorous Ryu Chishu. However, even without its movie fame, its exquisite wooden sculpture walls make it a major attraction by itself.
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"Watakushi, umare mo sodachi mo Katsushika, Shibamata desu..." (I was born and raised in Shibamata, Katsushika Ward) If this opening line sounds familiar, you must be one of the many ardent fans of the Tora-san "Otoko wa Tsurai Yo" (It's Tough Being a Man) movie series. Played by the late Atsumi Kiyoshi, Tora-san is Japan's most lovable drifter and lovelorn on the silver screen. Forty-eight movies in this series were produced from 1969 to 1995. Katsushika-ku is where the Tora-san Museum is. Also see my video at YouTube.
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Since centuries ago, this is one of Japan's most famous iris gardens. Often depicted in woodblock prints and in vintage postcards, this iris garden was purchased by Tokyo and became a metropolitan garden in 1960. In April 1975, it was transferred to Katsushika Ward. Although it is smaller than its original area, the garden today is still quite large with numerous iris paddies. Near Horikiri Shobuen Station on the Keisei Main Line.
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