NAVITIME Travel - Japan Travel Guides, Transit Search and Itinerary Planner

A Day in Sawara

A Day in Sawara
  • While Japan is a country of fascinating history and culture it is perhaps unfortunate that some of its oldest buildings can be hard to find. Natural disasters, wooden structures, and war has meant that preserved areas can be hard to find, particularly in urban prefectures such as Tokyo and Chiba. Luckily, where concrete high rises are the staples of Chiba’s cities, old-world charm can be found in its towns. 30km north-west of Chiba’s spiritual centre Shinshoji Temple lies Sawara, a beautifully preserved neighbourhood of Katori City.

    A Day in Sawara

    A Day in Sawara

    A 10-minute walk from JR Sawara Station, lies the Sawara old town. Sawara flourished in the Edo period, thanks to its canal being a centre for water businesses and was even nicknamed Edo masari (surpasser of Tokyo), as it was more prosperous than the capital. Today the canal is still the centrepiece of Sawara’s sightseeing appeal, with a number of charming bridges crossing it. The most notable bridge is the Ja Ja Bridge from which a waterfall spouts into the canal below twice every hour.

    A Day in Sawara

    A Day in Sawara

    If you prefer to get onto the river rather than just look at it, a number of companies offer boat tours along the Ono River, in the 1,000 to 2,000 yen price range. This can be a wonderful way to see the town as water merchants in the Edo period would have. To complete your transformation into the past, head to the Inoh Tadataka Museum. Just a short walk from the canal, the museum honors Inoh Tadataka, the first person to make a surveyed map of Japan. He walked the length of Japan and travelled to the islands for his research – no mean feat in 1800. The museum contains many beautiful and fascinating maps, paintings, and drawings as well as a fun puzzle room.

    A Day in Sawara

    A Day in Sawara

    A Day in Sawara

    A Day in Sawara

    If you’re feeling peckish Sawara has no shortage of restaurants for its tasteful tourists. Try Inae for tasty light noodles in a beautiful Japanese setting. The restaurant building is actually a traditional Japanese home that has been renovated. For food on the go, try the town’s great yakimochi – pounded rice cake, prepared in the traditional way of using a small charcoal grill.

    A Day in Sawara

    A Day in Sawara

    Sake brewing has had a history in Sawara since the 1600s. In the Edo period, sake was shipped along the Ono River to the capital along with soy sauce, vinegar, and miso. This legacy continues today with Tokun Sake Brewery still being a respected sake brand. Tokun offers free tours every day for visitors to Sawara and at the end you can sample some of the brewery’s tasty sake.

    A Day in Sawara

    A Day in Sawara

    A day in Sawara isn’t complete without a trip to pay your respects at Katori Jingu, a major shrine atmospherically surrounded by forest. Katori Jingu is said to have been founded in BC 643 and enshrines Futsunushi no Kami, a deity who is believed to have helped found Japan. Unlike the other attractions mentioned, this one is a little way from the canal, but its remote location is part of its charm. Take a four-minute train to Katori Station on either the Kashima or Narita line. It’s then a 25-minute walk.
    A day in Sawara is like a trip back in time to Edo Japan. If you fancy a traditional day out, Sawara offers the perfect counterbalance to the skyscrapers in Tokyo. There are buses from Tokyo Station or it’s a 45-minute train journey from Narita International Airport, with a brief change at JR Narita Station.

    Naritasan Shinshoji Temple
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Naritashi Narita 1
    Phone
    0476222111
    Sawara
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Katorishi Sawara Lee
    Phone
    Toyohashi
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Katorishi Sawara Lee Ino Tadataka former residence before
    Phone
    0478501212
  • Inochukei Memorial
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Katorishi Sawara Lee 1722-1
    Phone
    0478541118
    Azumakaoru Sake Brewing
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Katorishi Sawara Lee 627
    Phone
    0478551122
    Katori
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Katorishi Tsunomiya
    Phone
    Narita
    Address
    Chiba Pref. Naritashi Hanazakichou
    Phone
  • Facebookでシェアする
  • Twitterでシェアする
cntlog