Ikebukuro at night in Toshima
Location of Toshima in Tokyo
|• Mayor||Yukio Takano|
|• Total||13.01 km2 (5.02 sq mi)|
|Population (May 1, 2015)|
|• Density||22,920/km2 (59,400/sq mi)|
|• Tree||Prunus X yedoenis|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City hall address||1-18-1 Higashi Ikebukuro
Toshima (豊島区? Toshima-ku) is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the eight central wards of the Tokyo Metropolitan area, including Chiyoda, Minato, Shibuya, Chuo, Shinjuku, Taito, and Bunkyo surrounding the Imperial Palace. Located in the northern area of Tokyo, Toshima is bordered by the wards of Nerima, Itabashi, and Kita wards, in the north, and Nakano, Shinjuku and Bunkyo in the south.
The ward was founded on March 15, 1947 and reached a peak resident population of 370,000 in 1965. The population has continued to decline and as of May 1, 2015, the ward had an estimated population of 298,250 with a population density of 22,920 persons per km². During the day the population swells with commuters, resulting in a daytime population of around 378,475.
The total land area of Toshima is 13.01 km², sitting on a moderate plateau with a difference of 28 m between the ward's highest and lowest points. Approximately 47% of Toshima's land is residential, and 20% is commercial and public areas.
Although Toshima is a ward, it is referred to as a city. The ward offices are located in Ikebukuro, which is also the commercial and entertainment center of Toshima.
With a non-Japanese population of 19,868, or 7.42% of the total, Toshima is one of the most international wards in Tokyo. Of the foreign population, 56% is of Chinese descent, 20% is of Korean descent, with the rest being of primarily Filipino and European descent.
Toshima was formed in 1932 by the merger of four towns, Sugamochō, Nishi-sugamochō, Takadachō, and Nagasakichō, bordered by the quickly expanding former city of Tokyo.
The area evolved from a suburban agricultural district in the Edo period to the urban commercial center that it is today. The growth was fueled by the construction of various rail lines built in the Meiji and Taishō periods.
The former Somei village, now part of Toshima, is the birthplace of the Somei Yoshino, Japan's most popular variety of sakura (cherry blossom tree). The variety was developed at the end of the Edo period.
Politics and government
- Kami Ikebukuro
- Nishi Ikebukuro
- Higashi Ikebukuro
- Sunshine City: The focal point of much of the entertainment in and around Ikebukuro, Sunshine City sports some of the best shopping and dining in Toshima.
- The Ancient Orient Museum
- Morikazu Kumagai Art Museum
- Zoshigaya Missionary Museum
- Toyota Amlux Showroom building is located here
- Tokiwa-sō, an apartment complex famous for being the early living-quarters of many prominent manga artists.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre: Near Ikebukuro Station, this facility built in 1990 is one of the newer spots in Toshima and has a concert hall with regular performances and art exhibitions. There is a stage in the open space out front and it is a popular place for amateur musicians during the warmer months.
- Myonichikan of Jiyu Gakuen Girls’ School: Designed by famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this notable building was completed in 1922, shortly before he completed work on the Imperial Hotel.
- Sugamo Jizodori: The shopping district known as "old ladies' Harajuku."
- Fukuro Matsuri: This festival started in 1968 and features a parade of mikoshi (portable shrines) and a yassa dance. It is held on September 14 and 15 of each year outside the west exit of Ikebukuro Station and attracts as many as 200,000 people.
- Otsuka Awa Odori Dance: A large summer event gathering 150,000 people, this festival features groups performing and competing with colorful costumes and dancing in front of JR Ōtsuka Station.
- Nagasaki Shishimai (lion dance): The lion dance is performed every year on the second Sunday of May at Nagasaki Shrine.
FamilyMart has its headquarters in Ikebukuro, Toshima. Seiyu Group has its registered head office in Toshima. Libro, a bookstore chain, is headquartered in Toshima. Itochu corporation and Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd. has a presence in Toshima.
There are five Universities in Toshima.
- Gakushuin University
- Tokyo College of Music
- Rikkyo University or St. Paul's University
- Taisho University
- Tokyo University of Social Welfare
Two prestigious universities are located bordering Toshima. They are University of Tokyo in Bunkyo and Waseda University bordering Shinjuku. Located Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education operates area public high schools.
Toshima is also home to a number of accredited private schools:
The main hub for rail transportation in Toshima ward is Ikebukuro Station, the second busiest train station in Japan.
The rail lines which run through or terminate in Toshima are:
- East Japan Railway Company (JR East)
- Seibu Railway
- Tobu Railway
- Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei)
- Tokyo Metro
- Tatsuro Yamashita, singer-songwriter and record producer
- Kō Shibasaki, singer and actress
- Jun Matsumoto, singer, actor, and member of Arashi
- Natsuko Fukue (April 26, 2011). "First openly gay candidate wins in Tokyo ward". The Japan Times.
- "Company Information." FamilyMart. Retrieved on April 7, 2010.
- "Corporate Data." Seiyu Group. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
- "会社案内." Libro. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
- "Corporate Overview." Asatsu-DK. Retrieved on November 9, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Toshima, Tokyo.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Toshima.|
- Official website (in Japanese) Scroll down and click on "English" to translate.