Asian River Restoration Network (ARRN)

The Asian River Restoration Network was established in Nov. 2006 to support the exchange of information relating to environmental restoration of rivers and watersheds. JRRN has a role of ARRN secretariat currently.

Go to ARRN website

Contact us (Secretariat)

Lofty Chuoh Bldg., 7th Flr.

17-24, Shinkawa 1cho-me, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0033, JAPAN

Foundation for Riverfront Improvement and Restoration
Tel: +81-3-6228-3860
Fax: +81-3-3523-0640


< World's WATERFRONT:JAPAN Category: History and traditional restoration >

Restoration of Uzuma River (Tochigi City, Tochigi Prefecture)

Uzuma River was so contaminated that it was named the second-most contaminated river in Japan.
However, the clear stream was recovered through water quality improvement measures and the adoption of the Hometown River Model Project. Also a comfortable water environment and living climate has been regenerated, where transportation by ship has restarted and 100,000 carps swim. In this way, local regeneration rooted in history and culture has been realized.
Today, Uzuma River is evaluated as a tourist spot with the historical landscape of Tochigi city, designated as one of the 100 best city landscapes in Japan. It also won the "Public Color Award - 10 environmental colors" in 2003 and the grand prize of the "Handmade Hometown Award" in 2005.

Restoration of Ushiroda River (Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture)

Ushiroda River, which runs through the center of Miyazaki City, was used to carry a lot of human sewage as a result of the rapid urbanization and the water environment was so deteriorated that the water gave off a terrible smell.
Therefore, it was changed into a culvert as the Ushiroda main trunk line, on which a greenway park was constructed. Moreover, a babbling stream waterway was constructed in the greenway park by using the high-quality treated water from the sewage treatment plant under the "Aqua-park Model Project".
Today, children and adults are attracted to the clear stream like before containing fish and the green spaces for recreation that have been created.
Ushiroda River was selected as one of the 100 revived waters and won the "Handmade Hometown Award" in 1988 and 2007 as well as the "City Landscape Award" in 1993.

Restoration of Aiba River (Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

Aiba River is a 2.6km-long, 4m-wide small river, flowing east and west in the old samurai residential area in Hiyako, Emukai and Kawashima districts with the reminiscent atmosphere of a castle town. In the past there were indigo-dye shops operated by the clan on the riversides and the water was deep blue all over the river, thus this river was called Aiba (indigo-dye shop) River.
This river was used originally for supplying water for agriculture and daily living. In the middle of the Edo Period, the river was excavated so that ships could pass to transport firewood and coal.
Today, the water is still used for irrigation, disaster-prevention and daily living and the landscape and environment is conserved under a public-private partnership. As a canal, it is indispensable for civil life as a tourist spot of Hagi City, a castle town. It was designated as one of the best 100 canals in Japan and it won the "Handmade Hometown Award2 in 1988.

Restoration of Tsuwano waterway (Tsuwano Town, Shimane Prefecture)

Tsuwano Town called "a small Kyoto of Sanin" is famous for its beautiful streets and the carps living in Tsuwano River running through the center of the town. It has been famous as a district that produces high-quality water since olden days and sake breweries using the spring water stand in a row in the town.
In landscaping the town, iris-planted waterways were laid in many places and many houses keep carps by using the water. Just as in olden days, residents pump water from the waterway for domestic use even today.
Tsuwano waterways were awarded the "Civil Engineering Design Prize 2002, JSCE (Japan Society of Civil Engineers)" and a City Landscape Award in 2006.

Restoration of Genbee River (Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture)

For Genbee River, citizens, companies and the government are working together on Genbee River Waterpark Project, by cleaning the environmental water and improving the recreational waterfront to recover the deteriorated waterfront environment. Citizens' groups clean the river periodically and release nymphs of fireflies into the river. As a result of these activities, a beautiful waterfront richly endowed with nature has been recovered.
Today, Genbee River is highly evaluated as a good case example in which a lost river has been recovered by citizens participating in urban development. It won the highest award of the "Civil Engineering Design Prize 2004, JSCE (Japan Society of Civil Engineers)" and “the Handmade Hometown Award" (local improvement section), City Landscape Award, "the Beautiful Town Award" in 2005 and the gold prize of "the Excellent Tourist Spot Creation Award” in 2006. Also it was designated as one of the 100 famous Heisei waters, 100 hometowns for nurturing water, greenery and culture and 100 best canals in Japan.

Restoration of Tamagawa Waterworks (Tokyo)

Tamagawa Waterworks is a canal approx. 43km in length from Hamura City, Tokyo to Yotsuyaokido, Shinjuku Ward, excavated by the government of Edo to relieve water shortages in Edo by taking water from Hamura Diversion Weir of Tama River. Today, the part from Hamura Diversion Weir to Kodaira Observation Point approximately 12km in length is actually used.
Tamagawa Waterworks is a long wooden structure built based on the excellent surveying technology of early modern ages. It was designated as one of the Japanese historical places in August 2003 because it is a valuable civil engineering heritage as the water supplying facilities for a large city of Edo and irrigation water for Musashino highland in modern times.

Restoration of Rokugo and Shichigo moats (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)

Rokugo and Shichigo moats are important agricultural waterways that supply water from Hirose River of Natori River system to the rural area in the east of Sendai City. These waterways were excavated and opened in the Edo Period and used as the moat of Wakabayashi Castle, which was where Masamune Date lived in his final years. They were important artery waterways for supplying water for agriculture, disaster-prevention and daily living. However, due to the advancement of urbanization, they were changed into culverts in some parts and the water environment was extremely deteriorated by dumped-waste and human sewage inflow.
To improve the waterfront spaces and water environment, a "non-irrigation period flow examination" to flow as much water as possible even in the non-irrigation season was started by Sendai City mainly in 1999. This approach was institutionalized in the river law in March 2006 as "environmental flow" aiming at improving the local water environment. Shichigo moat was designated as one of the best 100 canals in Japan.

Restoration of Hachiman River (Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture)

When Hidetsugu Toyotomi opened a castle town at the base of Mt. Hachiman, the "Hachiman Moat" running through Omihachiman City was built as a canal to allow barges running in Biwa Lake, which was the artery at the time, call into Hachiman.
Due to the rapid urban development after the war, the water environment of Hachiman River was deteriorated and in the decade starting in 1965, a land reclamation plan was embodied. However, activities toward dredging and regeneration of the moat were started mainly by citizen groups who considered the moat to be historical heritage from their ancestors. Such activities are continued even today to maintain the landscape of the moat and improve the water quality by the "Citizens' Association to Protect Hachiman Moat."
Although transportation by ship has ended, ships are still used by tourists in imitation of the traditional elegant boating of the Imperial Court. Today this has become a special feature of sightseeing tours and 280,000 people visit this area yearly. Hachiman River was designated as one of the best 100 revived waters in Japan.

Restoration of Yanagawa’s Canals (Yanagawa City, Fukuoka)


Yanagawa’s canals were once devastated. The citizens participated in the movement to improve environment, ahead of other cities. Their driving force was that, during the over 100 meetings with the government, each member recalled the “life with the canals,” the days people enjoyed fishing and playing in the water.
With the understanding and cooperation by the citizens, dredging was unexpectedly well proceeded in a short period, together with the citizens. It resulted in a dramatic decline of mosquitoes, in changing previously flood prone areas to flood-free, and in a rise of citizens’ morale for river protection. Especially, the ex-moat sections in the central target areas, where coastal planted landscaping and walking trails were constructed, are now organically utilized as the relaxation place for the local people, and have many tourists, contributing to the Yanagawa City’s economy.

 >>More details (PDF 79KB)

Restoration of Nakashima ( Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture)

"Megane Bridge" over Nakashima River is the oldest arch-shaped bridge in Japan, designated as a national important culture asset. It is one of the main sightseeing spots of Nagasaki City and many tourists visit there.
In Nakashima River Water Control Plan, it was required to remove the bridge in order to widen the river channel. Based on the citizens’ opinions and as a result of an experiment with a model, however, it was determined to conserve the bridge at the present location by constructing a bypass waterway on either side to flow down flood water safely. Today the area around the bridge has been improved as Nakashima River Park, which is a place of recreation and relaxation.

| Next >>