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Toshima-ku (豊島区) is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. Toshima is located in the northwest-most corner of special ward area and is bordered on its sides by Nerima, Itabashi, Kita, Shinjuku, and Bunkyo. Founded on March 15, 1947 as one of the 23 special wards, Toshima has recently experienced a decrease in its total population from a peak of 370,000 in 1965 to 252,000 as of 2005.

However, the daytime population is much higher due to commuting and peaks around 450,000. Additionally, Toshima is home to one of the largest non-Japanese populations with 15,516 or a little more than 6% of residents being from China, Korea, the Philippines and other outside countries.



The region in which Toshima is now located was once a mostly agricultural district during the Edo period. Additionally, during the 19th century, when Toshima was still a largely agricultural district at the tail end of the Edo period, the Somei Yoshina, a very popular strain of the cherry blossom tree was developed. The current commercial status of the district is due largely to the development of numerous rail lines through the area.

In 1932, the former towns of Sugamocho, Nishi-sugamocho, Takadacho, and Nagasakicho were integrated into what is now Toshima in the new City of Tokyo. Today, Toshima is run by a 36 member city assembly and the mayor – Takano Yukio, an independent backed by all major parties.


Within Toshima, there are multiple destinations for shopping, sightseeing, and cultural significance, including:

  • Sunshine City – Sunshine City is a major entertainment center near Ikebukuro and is home to some of the more active shopping and dining options in Toshima. The tallest hotel is located in Sunshine 60 and a wide array of pachinko parlors, music venues, and shopping boutiques draws thousands of shoppers and visitors every day.
  • The Ancient Orient Museum
  • The Morikazu Kumagi Art Museum
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space – Built in 1990, this space contains a concert hall and multiple art exhibits throughout the year. During the summer, many amateur musicians play live music on the outdoor stages located out front. The Art Space can be found nearest Ikebukuro Station.
  • Myonichikan of Jiyu Gakuen – This Frank Lloyd Wright designed building is well known for its 1922 vintage appeal and being one of the earliest modern western style creations in Tokyo.


Numerous events take place in Toshima every year including Fukuro Matsuri which was originally started in 1968. The festival consists of a parade with multiple mikoshi and a yassa stage held every year on September 14 and 15 just outside the Ikebukuro Station. More than 200,000 people regularly attend each year.

Otsuka Awa Dori Dance

The Awa Dori festival occurs each August on the last Friday of the month and consist of multiple traditional style Japanese dance groups in costume dancing near the Otsuka Station.

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