A Trip in Japan (1) ~Water Town, Sawara (Chiba)

Hello! It’s Mee-wa.

The rainy season in Japan is changeable; we sometimes have sunny skies, but it suddenly gets cloudy, or it starts to rain the next moment.  It’s like a woman’s mind.  (Oh, I am a woman, so I can say this.)

Well, today I’d like to introduce the old Water Town, “Sawara.”

It is located in the northern part of Chiba Prefecture, about two hours from Central Tokyo by train, and about thirty minutes from Narita Airport by car.

But before I tell you about this town, I should probably tell you about the “Tone” River.”

The Tone River, the largest river by discharge volume of water in Japan, runs between Chiba and Ibaraki Prefectures.

And the Tone River has a lot of “side streams,” one of which is called the “Ono River” and it flows into the town of “Sawara.”

In the Edo Period, about 150 to 400 years ago, people used the Ono and Tone Rivers to transport merchandise from Sawara to Tokyo by boat.  It was much easier and faster to carry things than walking or running with carriages on the roads.

The Ono River had a lot of river docks, which made the whole area flourish in trade, with shops and inns along the river side.

Today you can still see many old buildings or houses in this area, and walking in Sawara will make you feel like you have traveled back in time into the Edo period.