Question: How do I get to the Kawasaki industrial zone?
Answer: The Kawasaki Industrial Zone is located to the southeast of Kawasaki station, along the coast. Because the zone is made up of many factories and industrial sites, there will be different transportation routes depending on where exactly you are going. A bus, in addition to a train, may be required.
In general, the Kawasaki Industrial Zone is serviced by the Tsurumi Line 鶴見線 (source). In this map, Kawasaki Station is not shown, but would appear somewhere at top center of the map, where the legend to the map is shown:
As you can tell from the map, there is the main Tsurumi Line (in red), with branches in yellow and blue. The line, and particularly the branches, is intended primarily for factory workers in the industrial zone. As a result, the train timetable reflects this. Unlike other trains in the greater Tokyo area, the service can be quite infrequent during the middle of the day. Take the Umi-Shibaura branch, for example: only four trains run between 11:25 a.m. and 5:03 p.m., a rate unheard of for most lines.
The one time I visited we took a bus from Kawasaki Station to our first location, then took the Tsurumi Line back. Google Maps gave me accurate and helpful information, so I recommend doing the same once you’ve planned your route.
As far as which places to see, please consider some of the following locations when planning your trip to the Kawasaki Industrial Zone.
1. Showa Station 昭和駅 and environs
Showa Station is a quaint, slightly overgrown station that has the appearance of disuse (map). My brother and I reached the station by bus from Kawasaki Station due to the infrequent train times.
Nearby is the Showa Denko chemical company.
(1b) An easy walk north of Showa Station is a bridge to the mainland. Looking to the west is an impressive view of factories belching out smoke (map). On some days it looks more bleak than others:
(1c) Further up the bridge, now looking east, is an interesting look at some machinery that looks like a Mad Max amusement park:
2. Chidoricho 千鳥町
Chidoricho 千鳥町 is one of the larger man-made islands in the Kawasaki Industrial Zone. Although it is currently shaded green on Google Maps (implying a park), it is mostly covered by factories and other industrial activity. For indicative photos of this area, I suggest doing a search on Flickr for 千鳥町.
(2a): Scrap metal yard (map):
(2b): Oil tanks and factory pipes, plus a salaryman (map)
3. Ukishimacho 浮島町
Ukishimacho (“floating island town”) is the largest island in the Kawasaki industrial zone.
(3a) Large smokestacks
(3b) Ukishimacho Park and view of Haneda Airport
(3c & 3d) Photos from Kojimacho 小島町, just across the bridge from Ukishimacho:
(4) Mizuecho 水江町
Mizuecho is one of the islands no longer served by the Tsurumi Line. See also the flickr photos of 水江町:
View of factories from the bridge to Mizuecho (map):
(5) Umi-Shibaura and Shin-Shibaura Stations: you cannot leave!
Umi-Shibaura and Shin-Shibaura stations are so specifically geared to the surrounding factories that a tourist like me cannot leave the train station! Only workers at the station are allowed to leave these stations. However, you are able to travel to these stations from other stations; you just can’t leave.
(5a) Shin-Shibaura Station, unable to be accessed due to Toshiba factory gate
(5b) Umi-Shibaura Station:
6. Yokohama, technically
To the west, across the Tsurumi River, we cross into Yokohama, so this is no longer the Kawasaki Industrial Zone, technically. However, I’ll share the following:
Photo of the marina per the TPSP website (source):
7. River Cruise
There are probably various companies, but I found this map of of Kawasaki Industrial Zone cruise from Reserved Cruise (website). The start of the cruise is the Red Brick Warehouse (Akarenga)Tourist Ship Pier ピア赤レンガ観光船ターミナル (map):
- Visit beautiful Kawasaki! (You can’t get there from here!) かわいい川崎に行こう
- How to get to the Kawasaki industrial zone, and Korea Town コリアタウン