Tone River

Tone River

River Less

Tone River

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The is a river in the Kantō region of Japan. It is in length (the second longest in Japan after the Shinano) and has a drainage area of (largest in Japan). It is nicknamed ; Bandō is an obsolete alias of Kanto, and Tarō is a popular given name for the eldest son).

It is regarded as one of the "Three Greatest Rivers" of Japan (the other two are the Yoshino in Shikoku and the Chikugo in Kyūshū).


The source of the river is Mount Ōminakami (大水上山), which straddles the border between Gunma and Niigata Prefectures. It gathers tributaries and pours into the Pacific Ocean at Choshi city in Chiba Prefecture. The Edo River branches away from the river and flows into Tokyo Bay.

Major tributaries of the river include the Agatsuma, Watarase, Kinu, Omoi, and Kokai rivers.


The river was once known for its uncontrollable nature, and its route changed whenever floods occurred. It is hard to trace the ancient route of the river.

The river originally flowed into Tokyo Bay, and tributaries like the Watarase and Kinu had independent river systems. For the sake of water transportation and flood control, extensive construction began in the 17th century, when the Kanto region became the political center of Japan. The present route of the river was determined in the mass during the Meiji period. Its vast watershed is thus largely artificial.


The river was important transport until the advent of the railway in the 19th century. It carried not...
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