The Tama Canal (Tamagawa Jôsui) was constructed in 1653 to supply water to the growing population of Edo, the present Tokyo. It was completed in 8 months. The responsibility for the construction was given to two brothers who were rewarded by being given the surname "Tamagawa" and a stipend of 200 koku.
The canal extends about 43 kilometers (26 miles), from a bend in the Tama River in the present city of Hamura to Yotsuya in downtown Tokyo. There is only a difference of 92 meters (300 ft.) in elevation.
The upstream part of the canal is still part of the Tokyo Water System, and water is taken from it for use in various places in western Tokyo. The downstream part used for draining rain water.
There is a shaded walking path along the length of the canal and it makes a good hiking course. The intake at the Hamura Weir is especially known for its cherry blossoms.