Tokamachi area is located on the east side of the Shinano river and has been developed through textile industry and agriculture. People from surrounding villages used to bring products to the markets and the Sekki-ichi in winter today still resonates atmospheres of these markets. In addition to rice production on the field of the river terrace, people in Tokamachi have developed multiple agriculture including horticulture and mushrooms. The culture of Textile industry can be observed across the city.
National Treasure, Kaen-gata earthenware vessels which were excavated from Sasayama Remains in Nakajyo Area of Tokamachi during archeological survey in 1970s (Showaw 50s). It is estimated that Kaen-gata earthenware vessels were produced in the midst of the Jomon era about 4500 years ago. They have handles that look like roaring fire and their shape and patterns are artistically highly regarded representing primitive Japanese artwork. Visitors can see and learn about life and Kaen-gata earthenware vessels at the Tokamachi-city Museum.
Museum of Picture Book Art
More than ten elementary schools have been closed in the Tokamachi city because of depopulation. School has been appreciated by local people as an important base for the community and there are projects to redevelop these closed schools into a cultural hub for the community. Ex Sanada Elementary School in the Hachi village in Tokamachi-city has been renovated by Seizo Tashima, an artist and picture book writer into the Museum of Picture Book Art. Visitors can “experience” the story of the last three school children in this walk-in picture book.