Tsuwano is a landlocked inland town at the westernmost edge of Shimane Prefecture right on the border with Yamaguchi Prefecture. The due to its proximity to areas that were touched by both national and international cultural influences, the town is full of history and historical structures. Tsuwano Town also has the distinction of being the terminus of the SL Yamaguchi-go Steam Train that departs from Shin-Yamaguchi Station.
The town rests in a beautiful valley, making only a subtle footprint on its natural surroundings. The fascinating thing about this seemingly isolated section of Shimane if that it is simply packed with culture and history. Furthermore, it is all very well documented and supported by a network of learning centers located throughout the town.
Some of the many sites of interest include:
Taikodani Inari Shrine – a brilliant vermilion and white shrine considered to be one of the top 5 in Japan
Washihara Hachimangu– a stunning 10th century shrine that is a nationally registered cultural property
Youmei-ji Temple– an Edo era prefecturally registered cultural property
Former Home of the Tsuwano Clan– an Edo era prefectural treasure
Takehara House– an Edo era traditional thatched-roofed Japanese farmhouse that is a town designated cultural property
Tsuwano Catholic Church – an understated yet elegant reminder of the long legacy that Christianity has in the region
Otome Toge St. Mary Chapel – a procession is held from the church to the chapel annually on May 3rd in honor of Christians in the past who were persecuted
Anno Mitsumasa Museum of Art– dedicated to the work of locally born world renowned artist Anno Mitsumasa
Shisei Kuwabara Photographics Museum– features the work of internationally heralded photographer Shisei Kuwabara
Access: Take the Shinakansen from JR Okayama Station to JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station. Transfer to the Sannin Express Line. Take the Yonago bound train to JR Tsuwano Station.
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