★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 islet on the Shinobazu Pond modeled on the Benzaiten Temple on Chikubu Island in Lake Biwa.
Kiyomizu Kannon-do Temple modeled on the Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, which was moved to the current site in 1695, has survived frequent fires and earthquakes since its construction.
Ameya Yokocho is a maze of bustling shopping streets lined with some 500 shops where you can find anything from foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, amd marine products, to other consumer items such as footwear, clothes, and brand-name items!!
Unexpectedly, Ameya Yokocho has a Temple of Marishiten Tokudai-ji with long history, which is worshipped by the locals!!
The contrast between the modern view of huge billboards and traditional temple precinct is a must-see!!
★Needless to say, it has many highlights good for viewing during daytime like below!!
Ueno Toshogu is a shrine of Shinto established in honor of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1627.
The shrine’s Chinese style gate of “Karamon” built in 1651 has survived wars and great earthquakes!!
The magnificent Shrine Building of “Golden Shrine” built in 1651 also survived wars and earthquakes!!
Traditional townscape lies along a canal.
The views seen from a boat reminds you Sawara was a Merchant Town of water transport.
Boating on the Onogawa River.
The canal lined with Long-established shops
Hokusai”Armillary Sphere at Official Business Residence”
These materials multilaterally convey his studies, the concrete method of creating maps.
A sample of Armillary Sphere
【True “Off the beaten track”, Sawara】
SAWARA’s locational advantage(30 minutes to Narita airport by train) 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!!