Fukagawa is named after its founder, Fukagawa Hachirozaemon. Originally, parts of Fukagawa below the Eitai river (excluding Etchujima) was sea; Hachirozaemon developed these areas with landfills.
After losing about 60 percent of the city in the Great Fire of Meireki of 1657, the shogunate ordered for Buddhist temples on the east bank of the Sumida river, and on both the north and west banks of the Onagi River, to be relocated. At the time, this area was occupied mainly by fishermen, with a population of just over a thousand. In 1695, it officially became the town “Fukagawa-Sagamachi.”
Sagamachi was a place full of granaries storing rice and grains. The large quantity of these granaries lead to Sagamachi developing into a center for grains trade. Up until World War II, it was known to some as Tokyo’s largest grain market. Later, the construction of bridges along the Sumida River (which had been previously prohibited for security purposes) allowed greater access to the area. Sagamachi became a gateway for the neighboring towns of Monzen-machi, and a red-light district developed.
In 1947, Fukagawa was incorporated into the ward of Koto, together with Suginami.
Fukagawa is a traditional shitamachi district located 2 km east of Nihombashi, on the eastern side of the Sumida river, just across the Eitai-bashi bridge. In August it holds one of Tokyo’s three major festivals, the Fukagawa Matsuri.
Now, the whole area is roughly comprised between Monzennakachō, Kiyosumi-Shirakawa and Kiba stations. The main arteries are Eitai-dōri (永代通り) and Kiyosumi-Dori (清澄通り). Coming from Nihombashi or Kayabacho station through Eitai-dōri, you will cross the Sumida River on the blue Eitai-bashi Bridge (永代橋). The 185m tied-arch bridge completed in 1926 and is illuminated at night on a backdrop of skyscrapers on the island of Tsukishima, making it one of the most picturesque bridges in Tokyo.
So many tourists choose Fuakagawa as a good destination.