[Nostalgia Touring] [Chiba Prefecture] Motorcycle trip to Suigo Sawara! A solo trip with nostalgic scenery and a feel of Koshito

Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, we will introduce touring to “Suigo Sawara” in Katori City, Chiba Prefecture. Suigo Sawara is a place where the historic townscape known as Little Edo, which flourished from the Edo period, remains, and there are many attractions such as Ino Tadataka and floats. I went there on my Harley Sports Glide, which took about 2 and a half hours from central Tokyo. I would like to share with you my route and impressions, so please use this as a reference.


What is Suigo Sawara?

Suigo Sawara is a merchant town that developed along the Onogawa River in the Tone River system. From the Edo period, Onogawa began to prosper as a distribution center for goods due to the Tone River East Relocation Project. From then until the early Showa period, the town developed into a central town in the surrounding area, lined with wooden townhouses, warehouse-style stores, and Western-style buildings, centered on the Onogawa River. Suigo Sawara, which has many buildings of high historical value, was designated as the first important preservation district for traditional buildings in the Kanto region, and many buildings are still preserved. The street is lined with buildings built from the Edo period to the Taisho period, and still retains the liveliness of those days with souvenir shops and cafes.

Route to Suigo Sawara

I toured on a Harley Sports Glide from central Tokyo to Suigo Sawara. The route looks like this:

  • From central Tokyo, take the Shuto Expressway to the Higashi-Kanto Expressway
  • Take the Higashi-Kanto Expressway towards Chiba and exit at the Narita Interchange.
  • Via National Route 51 to National Route 356
  • Go north on National Route 356 and enter Katori City.
  • In Katori City, take National Route 408 or Prefectural Route 62 to Suigo Sawara.

Overall, the main routes were expressways and national highways, so I was able to drive comfortably with little traffic congestion. There are some sightseeing spots along the way, such as Narita Airport and Katori Shrine, but I skipped them this time to concentrate on Suigo Sawara. The distance to Suigo Sawara was about 100 kilometers and the journey time was about 2 and a half hours.

Highlights of Suigo Sawara

When I arrived at Suigo Sawara, I first parked my bike at the townscape sightseeing parking lot. There is a charge for four-wheelers, but motorcycles can be parked for free here. I picked up a map at the tourist information center near the parking lot and began my walk. The highlights of Suigo Sawara are as follows.

  • Ino Tadataka Memorial Hall and Ino Tadataka Former Residence
    Suigo Sawara is also a place with deep connections to Tadataka Ino, who created Japan’s first surveyed map of Japan. Tadataka Ino married into the Ino family in Sawara when he was 17 years old, and it is said that he spent more than 30 years in this town before moving to Edo and starting surveying. The house from when I lived in Sawara still remains and you can freely tour it. The Ino family was wealthy, so they had a storehouse and a study hall on a large plot of land. At the memorial museum, you can see exhibits and videos about Tadataka Ino’s life and surveying. The entrance fee is 500 yen, but if you are a touring rider who loves maps, you should definitely check it out.
  • Hibashi Bridge (Jajar Bridge)
    Among the bridges that span the Onogawa River, this bridge called Toyohashi is a bit unusual, and is commonly known as the Jar Jar Bridge. This bridge used to be a channel for agricultural water to flow to the opposite bank, and when the amount of water got too high, it overflowed and fell into the Ono River, which is why it came to be called the Jar Jar Bridge. Today, the Jar Jar Bridge is completely used as a tourist bridge, and water is allowed to flow into the Onogawa River every 30 minutes during the day, as if to recreate what it looked like back then. There are still ferryboats floating on the waterway as sightseeing boats.
  • Suigo Sawara Dashi Hall
    In Suigo Sawara, a float festival called “Sawara Grand Festival” is held every July and October. During this festival, 14 floats are paraded through the town, and at night they are decorated with lanterns, creating a magical appearance. The Dashi Hall exhibits some of the floats as well as materials and videos related to the festival. The floats are intricately handcrafted down to the smallest detail and are worth seeing. Admission fee is 400 yen.
  • others
    There are many other old buildings and shops in Suigo Sawara. For example, there is the brick Mitsubishikan building built in 1923, and the Matsuura Soy Sauce Store, a soy sauce shop that has been around since the Meiji era. Also recommended are the Koedo Sawara Boat Tour,'' which takes you around the town by boat, andBurekimera Oyasudokoro,” where you can enjoy soy sauce-flavored gelato.

Suigo Sawara motorcycle parking lot

There are several motorcycle parking lots in Suigo Sawara, but in addition to the townscape sightseeing parking lot that I used, there are also the following parking lots.

  • Suigo Sawara Dashi Hall parking lot : The Suigo Sawara Dashi Kaikan parking lot is next to the Dashi Kaikan. There is also a fee for four-wheelers, but motorbikes can be parked for free. This is a convenient place to visit the Dashi Kaikan.


Suigo Sawara is a town called Little Edo, where the history and culture dating back to the Edo period remains. It is about 2 and a half hours away from central Tokyo by Harley Sports Glide. There are many attractions such as the townscape and floats, and you can park your bike for free. Recommended as a touring destination. The English name of Suigo Sawara is “Suigo Sawara”. Please come and visit us at least once.

The above was sent to you by _hiroyuki.ta. Look forward to the next touring article!