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Katori (香取市) is a city in Chiba, Japan.

Sawara Matsuri in Autumn


In 2006 the city of Sawara (佐原) and the towns of Omigawa (小見川), Yamada (山田) and Kurimoto (栗源) merged to form the city of Katori.

Get in[edit]

  • Plane - Narita Airport is quite near.
  • Train - Sawara station is on the Narita Line line, about 30 or 40 minutes from Narita City, heading away from Tokyo. Omigawa station is a little farther away. Roughly 1 train an hour travels between Narita and Sawara station.
  • Bus - Numerous buses travel to all of the former towns that make up Katori. There are direct buses between Tokyo (departing from near Tokyo station) and Sawara and Omigawa. The Sawara to Tokyo Bus stop is behind Sawara station (take the walkway over the tracks, it's at the edge of the parking lot). Travel time to Tokyo is about 2½ hours and costs ¥3000 or ¥4000.

There is a once daily bus from JR Akihabara (Tokyo) station (09:20 departure) to JR Sawara station (11:27 arrival),[1] [dead link] costing ¥3500. Sawara to Akihabara bus departs at 15:40 and arrives at 17:45. There are also several buses a day between Sawara station and Katori Jingu.

  • Car - Routes 51 and 356 pass through Katori and the highway has an interchange point in the city.

Get around[edit]

Katori is not set up like a normal city that starts at a single spot and spreads out. It is several population spots that merged their local governments, so all of the parts are spread out. The only easy way to travel between all the parts is to drive. You can get around each part easily by bike. A bike rental shop is a two-minute walk from the train station.


Katori Jingu Shrine
Historical Street
  • 1 Katori Jingu Shrine (香取神宮), +81-478-57-3211. Long considered an important shrine by the Imperial household, the present main shrine and tower gate were built in 1700 by orders from the fifth Tokugawa Shogunate. It houses the god of war/peace (depending on whether or not Japan is at war or peace). The shrine is surrounded by an impressive forest with huge trees, some of which have been given particular names. Katori Shrine (Q372380) on Wikidata Katori Shrine on Wikipedia
  • Historical Street. An area along Onogawa River in Sawara with merchant houses and tradesmen's houses from Edo and Meiji eras. It has been selected by the National Government as an important traditional building group preservation district and has been used as a backdrop for several TV shows.
  • 2 Ino Tadataka Museum (伊能忠敬記念館). Located on the historical street. Ino Tadataka is famous for creating the first scientific, highly accurate maps of Japan. Inoh Tadataka Museum (Q105188779) on Wikidata
  • 3 Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Garden (佐原市立 水生植物園). Around 1.5 million irises of 400 different breeds bloom in late May to early June. There are also many other plants such as lotuses and water lilies. It is open daily except on Monday. Suigō Sawara Ayame Park (Q4385625) on Wikidata Suigō Sawara Aquatic Botanical Garden on Wikipedia
  • 4 Suigo Sawara Dashi Kaikan (Float Museum). Sawara's summer and autumn festivals have been designated as an important intangible folk-cultural properties. This museum displays two floats used in those festivals. Suigō Sawara Festival Float Museum (Q11549309) on Wikidata


  • Sawara Matsuri. Actually, there are 2 three-day long festivals each year. The summer festival is on a consecutive Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between July 9 and 18. The fall festival is on a consecutive Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, on the week of the second Saturday of October. During the festival around a dozen dashi (floats) are pulled and pushed around Sawara buy dozens of people. Inside each dashi are several men playing musical instruments. On top of each dashi is 1 or 2 boys with special sticks to push up the phone and electrical lines. The festivals are the highlight of the year in Sawara. Sawara Float Festival (Q11383026) on Wikidata




There are 2 sake factories near the historial road area with free tours and free samples.


There are 2 business hotels in Sawara.


  • Katori City Commerce and Tourism Section, +81 478-50-1212. English is spoken.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Katori
TokyoNarita  W  W  Itako

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