Tsuwano (little Kyoto) Samurai city in the middle of beautiful Nature surrounded by mountains

There are many things you can do and find around Tsuwano!

 Things to do in Tsuwano.


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 Video of my visit to Tsuwano Part 1.


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 Video of my visit to Tsuwano part 2.

Tsuwano (津和野町, Tsuwano-chō) is a castle town located in Kanoashi District, Shimane Prefecture, Japan.


Map of Japan with Tsuwano, Osaka and Tokyo highlighted.


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Popularly called the "Little Kyoto of San-In," Tsuwano is known for its picturesque main street, "Tono-machi," which is lined with Edo-era buildings and Koi ponds.

It also boasts one of the oldest still-used "Yabusame" (horse back archery) ranges in all of Japan, and its annual Yabusame festival on the second Sunday of April is a large tourist draw for the San-In region.

Picture of the Main Street Tono-machi in Tsuwano.

And the Video of the Tono-machi street

In the town center, old samurai mansions with white earthen walls, dark red roof tiles and wooden grated windows line the streets, portraying scenes reminiscent of past centuries.

The waterway which flows by the main street is filled with lively carps, which add color and vibrance to the picturesque surroundings.

Tsuwano is also home to the Taikodani Inari Shrine, one of the five greatest Inari Shrines.


The new shrine facing the city of Tsuwano.


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Motomiya facing the castle ruins.

The road up the mountain with many tori gates.

 Here is a Video of my visit to the Taikodani Inari Shrine.

Taikodani Inari Shrine is one of the five most important Inari shrines in Japan.

In 1773, the 7th feudal lord, Lord Norisada Kamei, invited the deity’s spirit from Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto and built the shrine on the top of Taikodani, facing kimon* (the north-eastern direction) of Tsuwano Castle to pray for peace and security of the castle as well as for the happiness for Tsuwano’s citizens.

At first, citizens were banned from visiting the shrine, until the abolition of feudalism in 1871.

Since then, locals and tourists alike have enjoyed visiting the site. In 1969, a new shrine building was constructed, while the old one has been preserved as Motomiya (former shrine building).

Motomiya faces the castle, while the new shrine building faces the town of Tsuwano.


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The Tsuwano Castle was torn down after the abolition of feudalism, now only stone pavements and stone-walls are left at the castle ruins.

It is a sight to behold it is the biggest castle ruin on a mountaintop in all of Japan.

Here is a Video of the Castle ruins!


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 Maria Cathedral is a church built at Otome Pass in 1951 to commemorate the Christian martyrs who were tortured there in the late 19th century.

When Japan "opened-up" in early Meiji, a group of "hidden Christians" emerged from 200 years of hiding their faith.

Unfortunately, Christianity was still illegal in Japan, and the government rounded them up and sent them into exile around Japan .

A group of 86 Christians from Nagasaki were imprisoned and tortured in Tsuwano.


Here is a Video, where it shows the Church.


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1 comment

Wow! I will add this village to the places, that i visit on my next Japan trip.

Horst V.

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