Katsushika has boundaries with three wards of Tokyo: Adachi, Edogawa and Sumida. The cities of Matsudo in Chiba Prefecture, and Misato and Yashio in Saitama Prefecture form the northeast border of the ward.
Major rivers in Katsushika include the Edogawa, Arakawa and Ayasegawa. Nakagawa and Shin-nakagawa flows through the ward.
Katsushika District was originally a division of Musashi Province. When the province was divided and reconfigured, the district was partitioned between Kita-Katsushika District (within Saitama Prefecture), Higashi-Katsushika District (within Chiba Prefecture) and the remainder was based in Tokyo Prefecture. Minami-Katsushika District conformed today's Katsushika Ward proper, plus Edogawa, Koto and Sumida wards.
On October 1, 1932, the former Minami-Katsushika District of what was then known as Tokyo Prefecture, and its seven towns and villages, merged and became part of the old Tokyo City.
Katsushika contains the Kasai Shrine, Narihira Santosen Temple, the "Bound Jizō" of Ōoka Echizen, and Shibamata Taishakuten, selected as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan and 100 Landscapes of Japan (Heisei era).
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education operates public high schools.
The longest-running manga series in history, Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo takes place in Katsushika. The neighborhood of Shibamata is the home of Tora-san, the protagonist of the long-running Otoko wa Tsurai yo film series, played by Kiyoshi Atsumi. A statue of Tora-san stands outside of Shibamata Station. Other notable works set in Katsushika are the television series Kamen Rider Hibiki and the film Long Vacation. A statue of Captain Tsubasa main character, Ozora Tsubasa, is also located there, as the fictional town of Nankatsu was inspired by Katsushika itself.