Manazuru has thrived on quarrying and fishing since olden times. On Journeys in Japan, Kyle Card discovers this small coastal town near Tokyo and its simple attractions, which remain intact not by chance, but by design. The vibrant, civic-minded residents are behind Manazuru's nostalgic landscape.
Address: 240-2 Manazuruiwa, Manazuru-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Address: 1947-15 Manazuru, Manazuru-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Address: 1438 Manazuru, Manazuru-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
TEL: +81-465-43-7202 (Please call before visiting.)
Address: 1947-42 Manazuru, Manazuru-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Address: 268-8 Manazuruiwa, Manazuru-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Address: 504-1 Manazuru, Manazuru-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Traveler: Kyle Card > More Info
For my most recent episode of Journeys in Japan, I travelled to the peaceful fishing port of Manazuru, which is located close to Tokyo in Kanagawa prefecture. At first glance Manazuru seems like an ordinary fishing village, but upon further exploration I discovered it was quite unique. Situated in a characteristically bowl-shaped bay, Manazuru has almost no tall buildings to be seen to obstruct the local's beautiful view of the ocean.
Winding narrow pathways snake their way between houses and buildings, creating an interconnected labyrinth of discovery and beauty. Fruit trees dot this landscape, adding not only aesthetic properties but also feelings of abundance and safety.
I learned that these narrow pathways, fruit trees, and countless other reoccurring themes, so to speak, were all part of what is known as the "design code." This community created rulebook became a zoning law, which the locals continue to cherish to maintain the town's special flavor and lifestyle.
Guidelines and themes aside, what really stood out to me in Manazuru were the locals whom I met along those narrow pathways, and among the fruit trees. Rare is it for me to meet such warmhearted and welcoming people regardless of which wrong turn I may have happened to take. The locals went out of their way to answer my questions and teach me about their special way of life. They also conveyed openness to outsiders, welcoming them to come and share their lifestyle. That is, if they follow the code!
However, the code itself is not so much a rulebook to be followed, but more of a collective of ideas that people from all different walks of life but with similar values brought together and agreed to uphold. As a result, people from all over Japan have congregated there to enjoy and protect the lifestyle. I have to admit that even I felt quite comfortable in Manazuru, and imagined myself living there. That being said, from what I saw and felt in Manazuru, perhaps other townships and cities around Japan-and even the world-could positively benefit from this sort of system of community building. And above all else, this trip reminded me of the warmth and importance of a strong and closely-knit community system, which is something that seems to be slowly disappearing in our modern times.