Sakawa is a town in central/west Kochi Prefecture, located about 50 minutes by road west of Downtown Kochi City.
The two JETs placed in Sakawa teach at the 3 Junior High Schools and 4 Elementary Schools in the area.
Neighbouring towns include Ochi and Niyodogawa to the west, and Hidaka and Ino to the East.
Within the Block system used in Kochi to divide JETs into regions, Sakawa forms part of the Gohoku Block along with Niyodogwa, Ochi, Tosa City and Hidaka. Of these, only Sakawa and Hidaka have train stations.
A train to Kochi City takes approximately 45-50 minutes and costs 550 yen one way. An express service operates from Sakawa Station, and skips Nishi-Sakawa. this costs for 1070 for a non-reserved seat.
Sakawa lies on Route 33, which allows you to travel by road to Kochi City or in the other direction to Matsuyama without changing road.
Sakawa is famous as a sake brewing town, with the local Tsukasa Botan offering known throughout Kochi Prefecture. The brewery is home to the longest single Sake storage warehouse in Japan and offers tours and tastings.
Along the same street are several noteworthy buildings, including the oldest wooden western style building in Kochi. The Sakawa Tourism Association is housed on this street, and offers guidebooks in English and offers local products for sale.
Sakawa is also the birthplace of Makino Tomitaro, the Father of Japanese Botany. The Makino Botanical Gardens atop Mt Godaisan in Kochi city are named in his honour, and you can visit his house. This little resembles how it was when he lived there, and is more set over to exhibits of drawings he made but is interesting nonetheless.
Taishoken is another feature of Sakawa known around Kochi. Open since 1913, this eel restaurant serves simple yet delicious Unagi, and is very popular so reservations in advance are required.
There are three main supermarkets in Sakawa, with many smaller stores scattered throughout. Closest to the JET apartments is Sunshine, about 7 minutes walk. Moderately sized, there are discounts on prepared meals towards closing time, as at the other supermarkets.
There is also Sun Plaza, located along the 33 between the apartments and the Board of Education building. This is right next to a home centre and coin laundry, so is a useful hub. This is a bit farther to walk, so without a car Sunshine remains your best option.
Further afield, but with a better selection, is Marunaka. this is closest to the BOE building, and as such is ideal for those after-work shopping trips.
AS mentioned, there is a home centre near Sun Plaza, with a 100yen section. There is another home centre further west on the 33, which has a key cutting desk in addition to the regular home centre offerings.
There are two Lawson combinis, one to the west and one to the east of the centre of town, both along the 33.