I first visited Yanagawa on a peaceful summer’s evening after the crowds had gone for the day. Although it was too late to try a cruise on one of the donkobune, or boats that line the 470 km of canals here, there was plenty to see on a walk around the historic district. Most of the shops close in the late afternoon, but the waterways are also lined with cafes and restaurants renown for the local specialty, unagi (freshwater eel). Animal lovers will enjoy the friendly cats, ducks, and turtles. It’s a pretty town, dotted with patches of local beauty and mystique.
Find out more about Yanagawa Canals.