Sakawa, Kōchi


Location of Sakawa in Kōchi Prefecture

Location in Japan

Coordinates: 33°30′N 133°17′E / 33.500°N 133.283°E / 33.500; 133.283Coordinates: 33°30′N 133°17′E / 33.500°N 133.283°E / 33.500; 133.283
Country Japan
Region Shikoku
Prefecture Kōchi Prefecture
District Takaoka
  Total 101.21 km2 (39.08 sq mi)
Population (February 29, 2008)
  Total 14,606
  Density 140/km2 (370/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)

Sakawa (佐川町 Sakawa-chō) is a town located in Takaoka District, Kōchi Prefecture, Japan. It is 28 km west of Kōchi City.

As of February 29, 2008, Sakawa has an estimated population of 14,606 and a population density of 144.03 persons per km². The total area is 101.21 km².


Sakawa is a valley town and surrounded by mountains on all sides. The landscape is hilly and the roads and footpaths are winding and narrow.

The tallest mountain in Sakawa is Mt. Kokuzo, standing at 675m tall. Many rivers also run through the town, which are tributaries of the Niyodogawa River.


Sakawa experiences extreme seasons. Spring and Fall are mild and cool. Summer is very warm and temperatures routinely reach 35 °C with 100% humidity. The coldest months are January and February with temperatures around 10 °C during the day. There are usually one or two light snowfalls in January. The rainy season is from June to August and typhoons are common during this time.

Sakawa is also known for its noticeable temperature differences between day and night. Temperatures can dip as much as ten degrees once the sun goes down.


Many of the town's residents are farmers. Rice, Japanese pears, tea leaves, soybeans, strawberries, and many other crops are grown on family plots in town.


Sakawa is famous for the production of Tsukasabotan, a type of sake. There is a brewery in town that offers free tours and samples.

The town is also home to artisans who produce hand-made earthenware and woven bamboo products.

Sites of Historical Interest

Sakawa is the home of the Old Seizan Library, the only Western-style wooden structure still standing in Kōchi Prefecture. Although no longer in use as a library (a new building houses all the historical texts,) the house remains open as a small museum and historical site.

In 1987, 10,000-year-old evidence of human settlement was discovered in a region of town known as the Sakawa Basin.[1] Since then, Sakawa has been named “Mecca of geology in Japan” because "some of the world’s rarest and most precious fossils have been unearthed" in Sakawa.[2] The site is open for tours.

Assistant Language Teachers

The town participates in the JET Programme and currently employs two JET Assistant Language English Teacher at the junior high schools and elementary schools in the central area (Sakawa) and the peripheral areas (Ogawa, Kuroiwa and Togano).

An Assistant Language English Teacher hired privately is employed at Sakawa Senior High School.


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