Chugoku/ Shimane Pref.

Tsuwano 

Nostalgic Old Town

Tsuwano has long been known as a Little Kyoto in San-in, the area of which Shimane Prefecture is a part, and lies in the southwestern part of the prefecture with approx. 8,000 inhabitants. More than 1,000 houses were once concentrated in the town’s small central area clustered around the castle. With the Nishiki River (aka Tsuwano River), Mt. Aono to the east and Mt. Shiro to the west, Tsuwano is set amongst magnificent natural surroundings. The first lord who governed the area was Yoriyuki Yoshimi whose governance started about 700 years ago. The Yoshimi Family ruled for the next 14 generations and then the Sakazaki Family took over for just 16 years. After this, the Kamei Family came and settled in the castle for the next 11 generations.

Sightseeing Highlights in Tsuwano

Yomei-ji Temple

Here can be found the graves of a number of famous people including the Sakazaki Dewa-no Kami and Ogai Mori, a famous author.

Access A 15-min. walk from JR Tsuwano Station

Old Site of Tsuwano Castle

Commanding a fine view of the whole town; cherry blossoms in spring and colored leaves for autumn.

Access One-hour walk from JR Tsuwano Station

Taikodani Inari Shrine

One of the five most important sub-shrines of the Inari Shrines in Japan. Widely worshipped by the people as the deity of good luck.

Access 5-min. by taxi from JR Tsuwano Station

Former Residence of Ogai Mori

Ogai (Rintaro) Mori is one of the most renowned scholars and authors in modern Japan. This is the house where the young Ogai spent his childhood until he was eleven years old.

Access A 6-min. by bus from JR Tsuwano Station

Tono-machi Street

An old classical townscape of Japan remains along Tono-machi Street. Colorful koi carp swim along the canal.

Access A 15-min. walk from JR Tsuwano Station

Important Annual Events in Tsuwano

New Year’s Day Festival

January 1, from 0:00
Inari Shrine

The first ceremony of the year to pray for safety in the coming new year. A large number of people from around western Japan come for their first shrine visit of the year.

Washihara Hachiman-gu Shrine Grand Festival (Yabusame Ritual)

Second Sunday of April, from 11:00 and 14:00
Washihara Park

Under the fully blooming cherry blossoms, a traditional Yabusame (acrobatic horse riding skills in which a rider shoot arrows from the back of the running horse) in the Ogasawara style will be performed.

Otome-toge Festival

May 3, from 10:00
Otome-toge

A procession of Christians starts from a church in the Tono-machi area heading to Otome-toge. A mass is held outside the St. Mary’s Chapel.

Inari Shrine Spring Grand Festival

May 15, from 10:00
Inari Shrine

A large spring festival in which people pray for a good harvest and business luck.

Hotaru Bus

June 9, 10, 16, 17
Busaka

Spectacular dance of Japanese fireflies will entertain visitors.

Gion Festival (Sagi-mai Dance Ritual)

July 20 & 27, from 15:00
Yasaka Shrine

Sagi-mai is a traditional dance which has been designated as a National Intangible Important Cultural Property. The dance will be performed at several places in the town. The children’s dance is very cute.

Tono-machi Bon Dance Festival

August 15
Tonomachi

Tsuwano Odori, a traditional dance designated as an Intangible Important Cultural Property, is one of the Nenbutsu dances (Buddhist dance and chanting) which have been passed on since the Muromachi period.

Imo-ni & Local Sake Gathering

Third Sunday of October, from 10:00
Yasaka Shrine

Imo-ni is a hotpot dish which uses Japanese taro (a kind of potato). People enjoy hot Imo-ni and local sake together.

Inari Shrine Autumn Grand Festival

November 15 & 16
Inari Shrine

Yakko Parade

Sunday closest to November 23
Tenman-gu Shrine

Yakko-dochu Parade will be held at a few places in the town.

Traditional Crafts of Tsuwano

Washi Craft

One of Tsuwano’s famous traditional crafts is Sekishu Washi handmade paper. Letter pads, envelopes and little puppets made with Sekishu Washi make a lovely gift from Tsuwano.

Food & Specialties of Tsuwano

Genji-maki

Traditional sweets invented in the Edo period. Sweet red bean jam is wrapped in a cake.

Imo-ni

Sato-imo (Japanese taro; a kind of potato) grown in the volcanic ashes are cooked in a large pot with grilled sea bream. One of the three most famous Imo-ni in Japan.

Uzume-meshi

Carrot, shiitake mushroom, tofu and other toppings are placed under rice in a bowl and savory broth is poured over them. Mitsuba herb and wasabi complete the dish.

Locally Brewed Sake

There are three traditional sake breweries still in operation today that have inherited their skills from former generations.

Access
Tsuwano Station on JR Yamaguchi Line
Contact
Tsuwano Town Tourism Association
TEL:0856-72-1771 / FAX:0856-72-1191
E-mail: tsuwanok@tsuwano.net
URL: http://www.tsuwano-kanko.net

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