Tokushima, Shikoku

See the rare udatsu structures adorning the row of houses. Vestiges of the Edo Period remain in the houses of the once prosperous merchants.

Wakimachi is located near the midstream area of the Yoshino River and is located in the western part of Tokushima Prefecture. This area was once a castle town known for the "udatsu" structures and even to this day many tourists come to see this charming scenery and tranquil environment.

There are no longer any signs of the castle that once existed. This area was once a bustling castle town known as Waki-jo (Waki Castle) and was home to wealthy merchants and was the central area for indigo dye production during the Edo Period. Merchants built lavish homes with structures called "udatsu" to exhibit their wealth. However, these high-winged wall structures were originally built on either edges of the roof to prevent fire from spreading from or to adjacent houses. Udatsu later became valued for their aesthetic appeal. People were eager to place these eye-catching udatsu on their houses, extending the height of walls or using magnificently decorated tiles. Many buildings still have these udatsu structures left behind and are a rare sight in Japan. The street lined with these udatsu houses has been designated as a national important preservation district for group of traditional buildings and is one of the top 100 streets in Japan.

The main street lined with udatsu houses runs for approximately 430 meters and includes fifty traditional urban homes. Strolling along the street, you will be warped back 200 years in time. There are also many other important structures in terms of architecture and folklore in this area. The Odeon-za (Wakimachi Theater) was built about 80 years ago and the former home of the Nagaoka Family, built with a thatched hip roof, was built almost 280 years ago.

You should also visit the adjacent town of Teramachi (town of temples). As the name suggest, you can enjoy a historical journey through a "mini ancient city," home to several ancient Buddhist temples.


From Tokyo:
[Rail] 3h 20 min to Okayama Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line, and 1h 56 min from Okayama to Tokushima Station by JR Seto-ohashi Takatoku Line. 40 min from Tokushima to Anabuki Station by JR Shikoku Tokushima Line "Tsurugisan" (limited express). A 10-minute ride by car.
From Osaka:
[Rail] 40 min from Shin-Osaka to Okayama by Shinkansen.
[Bus] 2h 30 min from Osaka Station to Tokushima Station by express bus.

Around the Wakimachi

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