Owase: City of Abundant Rain
The city of Owase, in Mie Prefecture, is known as one of the rainiest places in Japan and the people living there have developed their own culture and customs relating to this distinct climate. Stephen Carter comes from New Mexico, an area of southwest USA that is known for its desert climate. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, he visits Owase to experience firsthand how the city has coped with the intense precipitation. On a section of the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, he observes how it was laid out to withstand the torrential downpours. And in a small fishing village, he discovers how the rain and the mountains create fertile fishing grounds. He also takes a cruise along the coast to view a remarkable rock formation.

Owase Tourism and Products Association

In keeping with Owase's reputation as a "City of Rain," this facility holds workshops and classes related to the rain, such as umbrella making.

Kumano Kodo Center

This is a visitor center for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route which was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2004.

Kuki Town

Near this scenic fishing town, visitors can take a boat ride to visit the Ohai coastline, which is known for its spectacular rock formation.


To reach Owase from Tokyo, you take the Shinkansen bullet train to Nagoya, then transfer to a local train or express bus. In all, the journey takes about five hours.