The atmospheric avenue where Tsuwano’s merchants and samurai once lived
Tsuwano’s old merchant district, centered on Tonomachi-dori Street, is a charming and picturesque area filled with traditional buildings made of dark wood and white plaster. This historic district is a testament to Tsuwano’s rich cultural heritage and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Japanese history.
The Tonomachi-dori Street is lined with stunning storefronts that house working sake breweries and traditional sweet shops. As you walk along this street, you’ll be transported back in time to an era when merchants and samurai thrived in Tsuwano. The architecture of these buildings is truly remarkable, with intricate details and craftsmanship that showcase the skills of the artisans who built them.
One of the highlights of the old merchant district is the thousands of colorful koi that fill the small waterways. These vibrant fish add a touch of beauty and serenity to the area, creating a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. Watching the koi swim gracefully in the clear water is a mesmerizing sight that shouldn’t be missed.
Another notable attraction in the area is Maria Chapel, a small Catholic church located in a forest. Built in 1951, this chapel serves as a memorial to the Japanese Christians who were martyred in Tsuwano during the 19th century. The chapel’s simple and sober design reflects the solemnity and reverence of the martyrs’ sacrifice.
To get to Tonomachi-dori Street, simply walk along the road directly opposite Tsuwano Station for just a few minutes. The proximity of the street to the station makes it easily accessible for visitors, and it’s a great starting point for exploring Tsuwano’s old merchant district.
As you continue your journey through the district, you’ll come across the samurai quarter. Here, the wooden storefronts give way to grander buildings that once housed the samurai who governed the area. These buildings are a testament to the power and influence of the samurai class in Tsuwano’s history.
One of the notable buildings in the samurai quarter is the former school where samurai children were educated. Today, this building houses a folk history museum that is packed with items from daily life centuries ago. Exploring this museum is like taking a step back in time and offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the samurai and the people of Tsuwano.
The small canal that lines the street in the samurai quarter is another sight to behold. It is said that there are more koi in the canal than there are people in the town, which is a testament to the importance of these beautiful fish in Japanese culture. Walking along the canal and watching the koi swim gracefully in the water is a truly serene experience.
Aside from the old merchant district and the samurai quarter, Tsuwano has much more to offer. The town is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including mountains, forests, and rivers. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and exploring the scenic beauty of the area.
Additionally, Tsuwano is known for its traditional festivals and events. One of the most famous is the Tsuwano Odaiba Festival, which takes place in October. During this festival, the streets of Tsuwano come alive with vibrant parades, traditional music and dance performances, and delicious local food stalls. It’s a great time to experience the lively and festive atmosphere of the town.
In conclusion, Tsuwano’s old merchant district and samurai quarter are must-visit attractions for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture. The traditional buildings, working sake breweries, and colorful koi create a unique and enchanting atmosphere that is sure to captivate visitors. Whether you’re strolling along Tonomachi-dori Street or exploring the samurai quarter, you’ll find yourself immersed in the rich history and heritage of Tsuwano. So, make sure to add this charming town to your itinerary when visiting japan.
Address And Maps Location:
Kanoashi−gun Tsuwano−cho, Shimane-ken