Yesterday was another beautiful October Thursday so we took a day trip to Sawara, a small town located about half an hour north of Narita by train. Sawara is considered one of the most charming towns in the greater Tokyo area. Designated a Historic District by the National Government, the central area of town, located along the Ono River, has many well-preserved merchant houses built between the early 1700’s and the 1940’s. Others that sat in a state of disrepair for many years are now in the process of being restored.
We spent the afternoon exploring this quaint district on foot and also enjoyed a 40 minute boat tour along the river. Just outside town, the Ono River feeds into the much larger Tone River. The tour took us out into the larger river before turning back toward town. From there we were able to look out across the wide open countryside that surrounds Sawara. We also enjoyed the countryside from the train. It was a delight to look out on open fields and to enjoy a big prairie sky on a beautiful sunny day!
Different places in Japan are known for certain foods and Sawara is no exception. Unagi (eel) is it’s specialty so, of course, that’s what we had for lunch. Even had we not tried it last Sunday and discovered how much we liked it, we would have had to try it in Sawara. Fortunately, we enjoyed it just as much the second time around. That still surprises us because, for some reason, we both had the mistaken impression that it would be rubbery and unpleasant. Not true at all! Grilled eel is a rich oily fish but it’s melt in your mouth tender as well as delicious.