Tsugawa River Port
The stretch between the Residence of Fox Wedding and around the old Kirin Bridge used to be a river port.
Tsugawa was a west entrance for the Aizu domain. The Aizu domain transported commodities by land between Aizu Wakamatsu and Tsugawa on the Aizu Road, and by water on the Agano River between Tsugawa and Niigata. Tsugawa was important both for water transportation and finances for the Aizu domain; they received business taxes and earnings from the salt monopoly.
Rice, lacquer ware, cigarettes, firewood, charcoal and lumber from Aizu were loaded in Tsugawa and carried to Niigata. Salt, marine products and cotton from Niigata were unloaded from ships and carried to Aizu over land.
The wharf was called ‘the Grand Anchorage’ with as many as 150 sailboats coming and going and as many as 100 workers loading and unloading cargoes. The port was called one of the ‘Three Biggest River Ports of Japan’ because the area was an energetic cluster with a ship guard station, rice warehouses of the Aizu domain, a salt warehouse, a wax storehouse and wholesalers.
In the Meiji period, Sanho Road was built and a road was opened along the Agano River to Echigo District. However, since boats were more effective for transporting products, a new river port that could handle water increases and decreases was constructed 90m downstream of the Grand Anchorage, and water transportation was used.
Due to the development of railroad and motor transportation, water transportation declined. Then dam construction downstream lead to the death of the port.