Tsuwano (津和野町) is a town in Shimane Prefecture, Japan. It's on the border with Yamaguchi Prefecture. It's sometimes referred to as "Little Kyoto" and is well known for having tens of thousands of koi (carp) that live in the narrow canals that run through town, mostly in the Tonomachi area.

Get in

By plane

Hagi-Iwami Airport(IWJ) is in Masuda City, about a 40 min. drive away.

By train

Tsuwano is on the JR Yamaguchi Line, which branches from the San'in Main Line at Masuda and terminates at Shin-Yamaguchi, the closest shinkansen stop. Much of the year a train pulled by a steam locomotive (SL Yamaguchi-gō) built in the early 1900s that runs once a day on weekends (daily in July and August) between Shin-Yamaguchi station and Tsuwano.

There are six incoming and six outgoing trains each day (3 local and 3 super ooki in each direction).

By bus

There are buses to and from local and regional destinations. There are also overnight buses to some large cities such as Osaka and Tokyo (Shinjuku Station New South exit).

Get around

Much of Tsuwano can be easily accessed by foot. There are some bicycles for rent across the street from Tsuwano Station and usually there are several taxi's waiting in front of the station as well.


Cenotaph for Christian martyrs


Shrines, Temples and Other Religious Buildings

Other Places of Interest



There are at least 3 sake factories, 2 of which are on Tonomachi road. Tsuwano has made washi (paper) for hundreds of years. The souvenir shops sell many kinds of paper and dolls made of paper. There is also a shop near Tsuwano High School that makes paper in the traditional way. For a fee, you can make some paper yourself and keep what you made. The souvenir shops also sale various kinds of traditional pickles. Tsuwano also sells Genji-maki, a kind of pancake wrapped around sweet beans.


Many visitors come through on tour buses, so most restaurants serve lunches but close early in the evening. If you are staying overnight in Tsuwano and your accommodation does not include meals, take care not to leave eating until too late.


Koraku (幸楽) is a somewhat run down ryokan hotel where little seems to have changed since the early 1960s. It definitely has character, but sadly few guests. Go up the main street from the station and turn left just after the hospital. Tel. 0856-72-0501. ¥10,500 for a tatami style room with attached toilet and bath including breakfast only.

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