Have you heard of the town called Sakaemachi?
It is a small town in northern Chiba prefecture around one and a half hours from central Tokyo by car.
This town is surrounded by nature: the Tonegawa River flows in the north of the town, while the south of the town faces the Inbanuma marshes.
Most importantly, it is a town of rare historicity, home to both the Ryukakuji temple— one of the most spectacular examples of old temples in the Kanto region, built in A.D. 709—, and the Iwaya Kofun flat-topped burial mound, with sides measuring 80m and height of 13m, the only such burial ground in the country.
While the burial mound and temple may remind one of places like Nara and Kyoto, there are in fact many historical features to be found around the Tokyo region.
We have arranged free tour buses in cooperation with Sakaemachi town because we would like all of you to get acquainted with this part of Sakaemachi.
This tour will also include dinner featuring black beans and vegetables grown in Sakaemachi.
We look forward to seeing you at the tour.
Sakaemachi is a town located in Inba District, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of April 2012, the town had an estimated population of 21,961 and a population density of 677 persons per km². The total area was 32.46 km².
In Sakaemachi, the Iwaya Kofun flat-topped burial mound with the only such dimensions in the country is located within walking distance of the Ryukakuji temple built in A.D. 709.
It is also said that both these features could have been built around the same time.
It was hard for local residents who had been worshipping ancient Gods to embrace Buddhism at the time.
However, due to political reasons, Buddhist thought came to be backed by the royal family, and the temple replaced the burial mound as the symbol of authority.
In other words, both the Iwaya Kofun burial mound and Ryukakuji temple symbolize the historical transition from the end of the Kofun period to the Nara period.
The Tonegawa River flows in its north, while its south faces the Inbanuma marshes of the Tonegawa river system.
The Tonegawa River is Japan’s largest river in terms of size and plays an important role in the national economy as the water source for Metropolitan Tokyo.
It is one of the representative rivers of Japan.
The area surrounding the Inbanuma marshes has been gazetted as a prefectural nature park.
The waters which seem to be alive, together with the greenery, form a place which makes people feel at home.
Sakaemachi is one of the few places in Eastern Japan which cultivates tanbaguro black soybeans.
The tanbaguro is the world’s largest black soybean,.
When boiled (called nimame) it is shiny, velvety, and delicious; when eaten while still green (called edamame) it has a sublime taste..
Many kinds of fresh vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, eggplant, and taro are also grown here.