Narita Airport is conveniently located about an hour from Tokyo, and the route going there is blessed with rich natural surroundings. Here we introduce two gorgeous nature spots that are not featured in many guidebooks but are loved by local people. We also tell you the origins of the mysterious marsh that you can see from the train window on your way from Narita Airport to Tokyo or vice versa.
See the beautiful landscape of Japan’s oldest Western-style canal and a scenic riverbed!
Tone Canal is Japan’s oldest Western-style canal, linking the Edo River and the Tone River. It was dug almost 150 years ago under the direction of Anthonie Thomas Lubertus Rouwenhorst Mulder, a civil engineer from the Netherlands.
The canal not only links the Tone River and the Edo River, but was dug deep to be used as an inland waterway, which was given great priority by government policies at the time. In modern times, the administration has transitioned to a policy that emphasizes flood countermeasures. This means there is less water flowing through the waterway now, but there is gorgeous scenery that conceals the true depth of the investment.
The canal is highly valued for its distinctive status as Japan’s oldest Western-style canal, and so it was certified as a Public Works Heritage Site by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers in 2006, and as an Industrial Modernization Heritage Site by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2007.
Address: Higashifukai, Nagareyama, Chiba-ken 〒270-0107
This is the vast waterside you can see from the train on the way to or from Narita Airport!
Inba Marsh is a vast marsh in the northwestern corner of Chiba Prefecture. The vast marsh and waterside area you can see from the train on the way from Ueno, Tokyo to Narita Airport (or vice versa) is, in fact, natural scenery created by Inba Marsh.
Inba Marsh is the largest marsh by area in Chiba Prefecture, and is mainly used for irrigation water by surrounding communities. It also hosts a thriving fishing industry for carp and crucians. Eel, a specialty cuisine of nearby Naritasan, was originally caught in Inba Marsh.
At Sakura Furusato Square in Sakura City, right nearby Inba Marsh, you can enjoy seeing tulips, cosmos, and other seasonal flowers in bloom. Sakura City has had deep ties with the Netherlands since the Edo period, and you can see huge Dutch windmills here as well.
Address: 2714 Usuida, Sakura-shi, Chiba-ken 〒285-0861