Sazae-san and Sakurashinmachi: Sunday sanpo on the Nomikawa Green Road

the tokyo files archives 東京ファイル

Sazae-sanサザエさん is an incredibly well-known cartoon in Japan. It’s author, Machiko Hasegawa 長谷川町子 lived in Sakurashinmachi 桜新町, a leafy Tokyo that served as the comic’s setting. Several statues of the cartoon characters are on the sidewalks, including this one (below, left) near Sakurashinmachi Station 桜新町駅. South of the station is the Hasegawa Machiko Art Museum 長谷川町子美術館, which covers Sazae-san as well as Hasegawa’s private art collection.

The neighborhood immediately south of the station is very attractive, perhaps reflecting the town’s origins as a “luxury villa” 高級別荘 development in 1912 (the first in the Kanto region).

In the old days, a drainage ditch ran from north of Sakurashinmachi (near Chitose-Funabashi 千歳船橋駅), end ran southeast, eventually joining the Nomikawa 呑川 near Midorigaoka 緑が丘駅. According to a 1948 map, below, this was the “Shinagawa ditch”:

Today, the river is absent from Sakurashinmachi, but traces of it emerge on the other side of a large road. Fittingly, the northern start of this…

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