Tsuwano Area

Shimane, Chugoku

Affectionately referred to as "Little Kyoto." A castle town with an abundance of nature and historic areas.

Tsuwano is located in the westernmost part of Shimane Prefecture. It is a castle town, developed along the Tsuwano-gawa River and surrounded by nature, and is also called "Little Kyoto" in the San-in region (the Japan Sea Coast). Near Tono-machi in the center of the town, there are streets lined with neat rows of stores and houses, including Sake (rice wine) breweries with lattice doors and Japanese sweets stores, and also samurai residences and storehouses with white plaster walls remaining as they were in the 17th century.

You can find koi, carps of various colors swimming in the waterways along the streets in Tono-machi. The carps in Tsuwano were first kept in the waterways built for irrigation and fire prevention, as emergency provisions in case of famine, in the period from the 17th century to the 19th century.

A holy ritual, horseback archery yabusame is dedicated to the god at Washibara-hachiman-gu Shrine in spring, and together with the heron dance sagimai at Yasaka-jinja Shrine in summer, attract lots of tourists. In addition, Youmei-ji Temple where successive rulers rest and Taikodani-Inari-jinja Shrine where thousands of torii (shrine gates) stand in rows, are some of the well-known tourist sights.

Around the Tsuwano Area