Many small- and medium-sized Japanese cities are located along the coast and have become vulnerable to both coastal and mountain hazards. The vulnerability is increased by a rapidly growing aging population, low resources, and lack of capacity in the local governments. In this scenario, it is important that the community's potential should be fully utilized through proper awareness raising and capacity building. Town watching is considered as a useful tool to reduce urban risk in small- and medium- sized cities, where local students, teachers, parents, resident associations, and local government members collectively watch both good and bad (vulnerable) parts of their city. This collective watching and participatory mapping enhance the engagement of school children and communities in risk reduction activities. Town watching is considered as a process and it is important to continue the initiative for effective risk reduction at the community level.