Flowing gently into the Seto Inland Sea, the beautifully curved Hiji River nurtures the Ozu basin allowing for abundant and savory harvests. It was also a crucial transportation route for wax, silk and timber trade until the onset of the 20th century. The city center, crisscrossed by the Hiji River, prospered as a castle town from the 16th century and this long and rich history is best enjoyed from the soothing swaying of the river boat.
Cruises on the Hiji River allow visitors to enjoy the old castle town from multiple angles. And the sights of Ozu Castle or Garyu Sanso Tea House directly from the water stream are truly memorable.
Fluvial transportation was instrumental in the development of inland communities since ancient times in Japan. So was for Ozu, where the castle lords carefully implemented infrastructure along the river to guarantee a smooth and safe travel. Sail boats, rafters and barges were a commonplace feature of the river in yesteryear Ozu. Even the lords themselves sailed away on their 'alternate attendance' to the capital Edo every second year. All this cultural background can be experienced first-hand during the Hiji River cruise while leisurely imbuing yourselves with beautiful pieces of architecture or seasonal colours and scents.