Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!!

by Hiroki - Japan Licensed Guide
(37) Reviews

◆The town of Sawara, located some 45minutes by train from JR Narita Airport Terminal 1 Sta. or some 90minutes by highway bus from Tokyo Sta. Yaesu Exit, exposes all visitors to the traditional Japanese culture and lifestyle dates the Edo Period(1603~1868).

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!! Traditional townscape lies along the Onogawa River once functioned as an inland transportation waterway leading to the great river of Tone and continuing to the megacity of Edo(present Tokyo).

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!! The views seen from a boat reminds you Sawara was a Merchant Town of water transport.

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!!Boating on the Onogawa River.

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!! The river bank lined with long-established shops.                   

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!!Inoh Tadataka successed to calculate the accurate distance of one degree of meridian line with the aim of obtaining the earth size through surveying activity of all the coastal line of Japan for drawing the first-ever detailed map of Japan.

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!! Tadataka studied astronomy and surveying at the Asakusa Astronomical Observatory. “100 views of Mt. Fiji:Armillary Sphere at Official Business Residence” created by Katsushika Hokusai after ages shows a scene of astronomical observation there.

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!! These materials multilaterally convey Tadataka’s studies, the concrete method of creating maps,and also his life achievement.  

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!! A sample of Armillary Sphere

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!! Hotel Nipponia Sawara, renovated old folk house as hotel

Sawara, the traditional town filled with nostalgic air of 19th Century!! Stylish guesthouse named Co-Edo Sawara

◆About Sawara
SAWARA’s locational advantage makes easier for many tourists including people of the layover in the Narita Airport to use the available time effectively.
Besides its locational advantage,it exposes all visitors to the traditional Japanese culture and lifestyle dates the Edo Period(1603~1868). Because, it’s a Merchant’s Town flourished as a center for the trade activity benefiting from the Tonegawa River transport to support Edo(present Tokyo), a big city with a population of over one million, by being a riparian port to accumulate and send a broad range of things necessary of daily life for Edo.
The Onogawa River that flows through the town of Sawara, leading to the Tone River and continuing to the megacity of Edo was an important water transportation route during the Edo period.
It’s also called the “Eastern Nada” comparable to the famed “Sake” brewing area of Nada(present Kobe).
Even now, many traditional buildings, such as machiya townhouses and storehouses in kurazukuri-style that line both banks, remain elegant.
“If you want to see Edo,come to Sawara; Sawara Honmachi(central Sawara) exceeds Edo”was a limerick of the Edo Period which best describes the prosperity of Sawara in those days.
Specifically,it’s also home to administrative operations conducted by upper-class merchants called “danna-shu” (“the masters”),many artisans in Edo were summoned to Sawara.
The fusion of Edo artisans’ craftsmanship and stylish spirits of “danna-shu” allowed Sawara to develop the distinctive culture based on the spirits of exceeding Edo called “Edo-masari”!!
Incidentally,Inoh Tadataka(1745~1818) who surveyed all over Japan and made the very first surveyed maps of Japan’s coastal area , was one of them.
After being active as a leader of “danna-shu” community, he retired at the age of 50 and left for Edo later to study Western astronomy and surveying techniques under the famous astronomer Takahashi Yoshitoki, who was officer in charge of astronomy bureau in Edo feudal government, there.
Mastering astronomy in a amazingly short time of 5 years, he set out on his journey to Ezo(present Hokkaido) with
some followers to calculate the accurate distance of one degree of meridian line with the aim of obtaining the earth’s size through surveying activity under the supervision of Yoshitoki. He spent some 17 years traveling 40,000km to survey all the coastal line of Japan. His maps,many of which are accurate to 1/1,000 of a degree, remained the definitive maps of Japan for nearly a century. This episode suggests that Sawara was a Merchant’s Town with a sophisticated culture,and even now this distinctive culture based on the spirits of exceeding Edo called “Edo-masari” is still alive along with the traditional townscape here in Sawara!!
Incidentally, the central part of Sawara was designated as Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings by Japanese government in 1996!!

 

Did you like my article?

You can send me a message to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience. Let's explore Japan Together.

I'll be waiting for you, so please check my profile and get your trip plan now


Hiroki

Licensed Guide
(37) Reviews

Related Blogs

Winter is the best season to visit Ueno Area!!

by Hiroki
★Short days of winter are good for enjoying the breathtaking night view of Ueno Area like below!!  Bentendo-do Temple on the Naka-no-jima i...

Selected Destinations in Tokyo to learn about Japanese history and culture !!

by Hiroki
It’s the best itinerary plan hiring a knowledgeable guide, which is good for learning about Japan’s history and culture!! The destinations a...

Travel to "Hideout Islands" of "GOTO ISLANDS", one of the real unbeaten tracks in Japan !!

by Hiroki
Takahama beach is a sea-bathing resort noted for its high degree of clarity of the water.   This beach against a mountain has ineffable beau...

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

by Ro
As many of you already know, Japan has a wonderful and unique cuisine but mostly when we think about Japanese food, what automatically comes...

10 Best Places for Pokémon Go in Tokyo

by Coelho
TLDR: The 10 best places for Pokémon Go in Tokyo are: Senso-ji Temple, Shibuya, Meiji-Jigu Shrine, Akihabara, Roppongi, Tokyo Tower,  Ueno P...

10 Useful Apps while Traveling in Japan (2019)

by Mieke
Glued to your phone Especially in a country as gadget-loving as Japan, being glued to your phone only makes you blend in with the Japanese....

Tours by Guide

YANAKA’s Walking tour with cultural experiences !!

(37) Reviews
by Hiroki
It’s a Temple Town, Yanaka’s Walking Tour with a stroll through the Historic Temple District there!! It’s a tour of the carefully selected highlights of YA...
4h $ 122

YANAKA Private Walking tour & Soba buckwheat noodle making!!

(37) Reviews
by Hiroki
Learn Soba buckwheat noodle making and try your own made Soba noodle. [The venue: Traditional Soba restaurant, ”やなか蕎麦YANAKA Soba” in YANAKA] 40 years ex...
3h $ 80 per person

Private Tour of selected destinations in Tokyo to learn abou...

(37) Reviews
by Hiroki
It’s the private full-day walking tour with a knowledgeable guide, which is good for learning about Japan’s history and culture!! The destinations are stri...
8h $ 169

Sunday tea gathering in Samurai town near Narita!!(Tea cerem...

(37) Reviews
by Hiroki
Besides its locational advantage(60 minutes from Tokyo and 30 minutes to Narita airport by train),SAKURA city exposes all visitors to the Samurai’s culture...
5h $ 122 up to 4 people

Tour of Samurai town good for stopover tourists in Narita A...

(37) Reviews
by Hiroki
SAKURA city is most suitable sightseeing spot for the tourist who are going to stay in Narita or transit at Narita Airport!! Besides its locational advanta...
4h $ 94 up to 4 people

Private Iaido experience to learn Samurai spirit near the Im...

(37) Reviews
by Hiroki
Learn the SAMURAI spirit!! Authentic Iaido experience near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo!! [The venue:”Edo Mugai Ryu Iai Hyouho” dojo("The art of drawing t...
2h $ 141 per person

Plan your trip to Narita with Hiroki

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Send a message

Recent Tour Reviews in Narita

“ Walking Tour and Tea Ceremony ”

Excellent
1 week ago Traveler: Steve -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

Hiroki was a wonderful guide and his knowledge and enthusiasm made our tour most enjoyable. We would highly recommend Hiroki to anyone wanting a knowledgeable and friendly guide.
read more

“ Amazing experience, thanks to an amazing guide ”

Excellent
1 month ago Traveler: Robert -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

One of my favorite experiences of the entire trip. Our guide was extremely helpful and professional and the Iaido experience and master were unforgettable. I can't reccomend them both enough
read more

“ Historical & cultural tour of Tokyo ”

Very Good
1 month ago Traveler: Clifford -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

Hiroki is friendly and very knowledgeable about the shogun history of the Imperial Palace. He provided us with a folder with the tour itinerary and historical photos (3 pages) that compared historical & current day locations. Maybe he needs to revise his tour so that the tourists can reach the main gate of the Imperial Palace quicker -- too much walking for most. Hiroki offered to take many photos...
read more

“ 1 day tour & guide to Tokyo Disneyland ”

Very Good
1 month ago Traveler: Eileen -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

Hiroki was our guide for 1 day tour to Central Tokyo. We visited Imperial Palace, Ginza, Tsukiji Market Hamarikyu Gardens, waterbus cruise on Sumida River, Asakusa & Rysuseikan Dojo. We enjoyed our tour though it was a rainy day. Hiroki is a helpful guide. He gave us advice on how to travel from Narita airport to my hotel, how to come back from Disneyland & how to travel from hotel to Haneda airp...
read more

“ Asakusa was fun ”

Very Good
2 months ago Traveler: Doreen -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

We particularly enjoyed our visit to Asakusa and the Sensoji temple where Hiroki explained how the temple came to exist. His tip about the Pasimo subway card was a useful one for we have used it even after the tour. He kindly took us back to our hotel at the end of the day even though he must have been tired as our tour was on the hottest day of the year and was patient when we had to make an unex...
read more

“ Tokyo Tour with Hiroki ”

Excellent
3 months ago Traveler: Lee-Ann -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

Hiroki San was our local guide in Tokyo for 2 Days. He was excellent and cheerful throughout. Our family of 5 visited many places with Hiroki over 2 days. He planned a personalized itinerary for us. The highlights of which were a personal visit to a Samurai Dojo (Ryuseikan) and Tsukiji Markets (excellent choice for a sushi lunch as well). We absolutely recommend Hiroki as an excellent guide for al...
read more

“ Great Guide with excellent knowledge of Tokyo ”

Excellent
3 months ago Traveler: David -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

We had a great afternoon with Hiroki who was very professional and very patient with us as our plane was delayed by 90 minutes so are meeting time was deferred. Hiroki adopted our initial brief to fit our revised timeframe. This started with an introduction to the extensive Metro system to buy tickets for us to use for the next three days. Our tour included the area around the old fish market...
read more

“ One of the best! ”

Excellent
3 months ago Traveler: Stephen -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

There is no question that Hiroki is one of the best private guides in Tokyo! He was on-time, courteous, friendly, knowledgable, and organized. Hiroki patiently entertained my questions about Japanese history, culture, religion, and cuisine. I have plans to return to Japan with my family and will make sure to request Hiroki as our guide. I am confident that you will not be disappointed spending...
read more

“ This is a must do! ”

Excellent
3 months ago Traveler: Maria -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

It was such a wonderful and memorable day spent with Hirokisan. Hirokisan is a fountain of knowledge, not just about samurais, but Japanese history in general. He taught us SO MUCH, from cemeteries to katanas to samurais to dry moats to the Jomon period, and everything in between. Hirokisan made our last day in Japan very special and he is a consummate professional from beginning to end. You have ...
read more

“ Iaido tour ”

Excellent
4 months ago Traveler: Kim -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

Hiroki was amazing. Our train in was delayed an hour but he was able to rearrange things so we could continue with our tour. He was s kind and very easy to understand. We had many tours and guides over our two week vacation but Hiroki was the best!!!! We hope to have him again in the future. He also brought us to and fro the event. He even went out of his way to bring back some items to the sch...
read more

Related cities