Walking along Nikko Higashi Oukan - Discover the Suzuki Kantaro Memorial Museum! | Nakazato - Sakai


Sekiyado is the birthplace of Kinjiro Sekine, a 13th generation Shogi master, and as I am somewhat interested in Shogi, I wanted to visit there someday. However, I had been hesitant to visit because there is no train service nearby. Of course, there are a few buses a day. But just the thought of waiting for them made me feel stressed and I couldn’t make up my mind to go. This time, as it was GW, I took on the challenge of a long distance walk to visit Sekiyado.


The highlights of Sekiyado are scattered almost adjacent to Nikko Higashi Oukan. It’s a good thing that we don’t have to walk extra distance to visit the old sites.

I had already walked the Nikko Higashi Oukan to Shimizu Park, so I decided to continue my walk.

According to my preliminary research, it’s about 30 kilometers long. It’s a bit long. If this is the case, I should have walked to Nanakodai Station or Kawama Station last time.


Shimizu Koen Station East Exit

I arrived at Shimizu Park before 8:00. I decide to walk slowly so as not to get tired.

日光東往還 野田市吉春付近

Nikko Higashi Oukan

After walking about 1.5km from the station, I came to Nikko Higashi Oukan, which is just west of Route 16. I could hear the nightingale chirping.

The road is straight. This area is called “Noda,” so I wondered if the straight road had been cut off by the rice paddies as far as the eye could see in the past. But even so, the large trees stand out.


Glico Chiba Ice Cream

I found a Glico’s factory!

They seem to be making ice cream.

When I was a student, I had a friend from Noda who said, “Noda doesn’t just make soy sauce, they also make Coca-Cola.” There was also Glico.

It was a food factory plant with shiny stainless steel tanks.


Nakasato relay pumping station

I found a round cylindrical building!

It seems to be a relay pumping station for the water supply. Is it a water tank to cope with a sudden increase in water usage?


Good looking heavy equipment

I found some cool heavy machinery!

It looks as if it could fire rockets. But what is it used for?


In the blink of an eye, I was at Higashi Houjubana. I’m lying, I walked 10km. It was a long walk.

There was no change in the road or surroundings, so I couldn’t take many pictures. Perhaps because it is a side road, there is not even a milestone. If you don’t like walking itself, I don’t recommend this road.

But then again, this is the birthplace of Kinjiro Sekine, the 13th generation Shogi master. I finally reached the first highlight of the tour.


Sanno Shrine

First, I paid a visit to the eye-catching Sanno Shrine.


The torii gate dedicated by Sekine Kinjiro

When I left the shrine, I looked at the torii gate and saw the words of the 13th Shogi master, Sekine Kinjiro! I guess he also visited this shrine and dedicated himself to it.

On the other side of the road, there is a cemetery with a monument and grave of Kanjiro Sekine.

I recognized the granite monument because it was in the shape of a Japanese chess piece. However, there were no signs around, so it was hard to find.

I visited a shrine and a grave associated with the 13th Shogi master, so I guess I became a little stronger. I haven’t played shogi for about 15 years, and I don’t plan to play in the future.

I had planned to visit the Sekine Meijin Memorial Hall, but I forgot about it.


Ninomiya Kinjiro

Passing by Futagawa Elementary School, I found another “Kinjiro”!

This one is Ninomiya Kinjiro.

On the pedestal, it says “Kinken Rikko.” It means to work hard, be thrifty, and make an effort. I am ashamed to say that I learned this four-letter phrase today. Did you know it?


Power line crossing

A high-voltage power line crosses the street. This crossing is quite rare, isn’t it?

At the far left, the three vertical power lines are horizontal under the higher-voltage power line, and then vertical again. Perhaps the lines have been twisted here and the vertical order has been switched. I should have looked more carefully.


Hojubana Bridge

At the Hojubana Bridge, I finally reached the bank of the Edogawa River.

A lark was singing.

The right bank over there is “Nishi” Hojubana, Kasukabe City, Saitama Prefecture.

Yes, the original Hojubana village was divided into east and west by the Edogawa River excavation work in 1635. Although the width of the river at that time was probably narrower than it is now, the construction period was a little over nine years. At that time, there was no heavy machinery, which reminds us once again of the greatness of human will and power.


Monument to the ruins of the Sekiyado barrier

The junction of the Tone River and the Edo River was still ahead of us, but there was a monument to the remains of the Sekiyado barrier.

In the old days, the junction of the Sakasagawa, the Gongendo River (the former main stream of the Tone River), and the Edo River was located at this point. Ships coming and going between Edo and the provinces always passed through the entrance of the Edo River, so this is where they set up a barrier to check the cargo coming to Edo.


Paulownia flowers

The paulownia flowers were in bloom; they bloom now, not in December.


Suzuki Kantaro Memorial Museum

I found the Suzuki Kantaro Memorial Museum near the intersection of Sekiyadodaimachi, Noda City!

I’ve always been averse to history, and I never knew the name Suzuki Kantaro. There were two exhibits at the museum that made me think he was a particularly great man.
The first was the photo of him sweeping his garden with a bamboo broom, and the second was the fact that he brought dairy farming to Sekiyado, which had no industry.

In other words, Suzuki Kantaro acted for the good of the world throughout his life, without becoming complacent even though he had been Prime Minister.

Suzuki almost died many times, but he was able to save his life each time. I can’t help but feel that some great force kept him alive until he did something that only he could have accomplished.


Chiba Prefectural Sekiyado Castle Museum

I arrived at the Chiba Prefectural Sekiyado Castle Museum.

I paid the admission fee of 200 yen to visit the museum.


Divergence of the Tone River and the Edo River

There is an observation room on the fourth floor, and I could vaguely see the divergence of the Tone River and the Edo River.

The water surface in front of us is the upper reaches of the Tone River and the Edogawa River that branches off from it. On the other hand, the surface of the water slightly visible through the trees on the right is the Tone River. I guess the northern end of Chiba Prefecture is around there.


When you leave the museum and go around to the north side of the building, you will see a strange sign.


The border between Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures

This is where the border between Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures is located. You must be joking. Wasn’t Chiba an island separated from the other prefectures by a river?

But this was true. Apparently, the river has changed its appearance as a result of repeated flood control works, but they didn’t move the prefectural border, so it became like this.

Now, I was on my way back.


Bridge to Nakanoshima

First, I will go through this bridge to the Edogawa stream head Nakanoshima Park.


View from the top of the bridge

From above, you can see the Edogawa River a little further ahead. There doesn’t seem to be any water directly under this bridge today.


Beware of pit vipers!

As I entered Nakanoshima Park, I suddenly encountered a sign that made me cringe. Beware of pit vipers!

Now, which would you choose, the path on the left or the path on the right?

I chose the right path without hesitation. There was no one around, so if you got bitten by a pit viper, it was the end.


Boudashi stone and a bucket

There was a Boudashi stone and a bucket for a large excavator.

These stones were used to narrow the width of the Edogawa River at the Sekiyado barrier as mentioned above. This made flooding less likely along the Edo River.


Sekiyado floodgate water level observation station

This is the Sekiyado floodgate water level observation station. It was in use until 1988.

Now they use a water level gauge that uses a crystal oscillator.

This is the Sekiyado sluice gate. I guess you could say this is the beginning of the Edo River.

Sekiyado Lock Gate. This is the passage for boats.

These Sekiyado Water Gates and Locks were recognized as Civil Engineering Heritage by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers.


Tipping rain gauge

We crossed the Sekiyado Locks and came to the right bank of the Edo River. There is a large, deserted parking lot. At the back of the parking lot, I found some kind of observation equipment!

It’s a tipping rain gauge. It must be sending data via satellite. However, with such a vast site, it would be nice to have more types of observation equipment.


Rice paddies

The rice paddies spread out. There is a forest of mansions, and the scenery is similar to that of the Tonami Plain in Toyama Prefecture.

I had brought 500ml of water with me from home, but I had drunk it all. There are no convenience stores or vending machines around. I’m in a bit of a pinch.


Roadside station, Goka

And just when I thought I was out of luck, I found the roadside station, Goka! Thank God!

Instead of lunch, I had some soft ice cream. It was delicious, with a thick taste like condensed milk. It was delicious and helped me recover a little from my fatigue.


Kamibunato Bridge

We cross the Kamibunato Bridge and enter Saitama Prefecture.


Satte’s Ichirizuka

I was heading towards Satte Station, taking the shortest distance possible, when I spotted the remains of Satte’s Ichirizuka!

Why? Even the Nikko Higashi Oukan didn’t have an ichirizuka. Is it more of a major highway?

It was. We had been going up the Nikko Highway from around the Kamifunatobashi bridge earlier.


Satte Station

I arrived safely at Satte Station a little after four o’clock. It was a long way.

Walking data

Tobu Urban Park Line Shimizu Koen Station -> Nikko Higashi Oukan -> Tobu Nikko Line Satte Station
Distance: 32.9km
Time: 8h32m