A town straight out of an Edo-period drama
Wakimachi is a town located in the western part of Tokushima prefecture in japan. It is known for its well-preserved historic buildings that date back to the Edo period. These buildings are open to the public and provide a glimpse into Japan’s past.
Wakimachi is home to a row of traditional buildings from the Edo period. These buildings have udatsu roofs, which are high-winged wall structures that were originally built to prevent fire from spreading to adjacent houses. The presence of udatsu roofs in Wakimachi is rare, not just in Japan but in the world. It is a testament to the town’s rich history and the prosperity of its former residents.
The udatsu roofs were a sign of wealth during the Edo period. Only wealthy merchants could afford to have udatsu roofs on their houses. This is why udatsu roofs are found at large residences in Wakimachi. The presence of these roofs adds to the charm and uniqueness of the town.
Step into the past
Visiting Wakimachi is like stepping back in time. As you stroll through the streets, you can imagine what life was like during the Edo period. The well-preserved buildings and narrow streets create an atmosphere that is reminiscent of a bygone era. Some of the traditional homes in Wakimachi have been converted into gift shops, cafes, restaurants, and even a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn). These establishments allow visitors to experience the history and culture of the town firsthand.
Tokushima Prefecture’s only wooden theater
One of the highlights of Wakimachi is the Wakimachi Theater, also known as Odeonza. This wooden theater was built in 1934 primarily for kabuki performances. After World War II, it was modified to screen films. The theater is located at the eastern end of the udatsu buildings and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Japanese performing arts.
While in the area…
If you have some extra time, be sure to visit the former Nagaoka House, which is about a 15-minute walk from the udatsu buildings. This old farmhouse dates back to the 18th century and has been relocated to Wakimachi. It is now open to the public free of charge. Exploring the Nagaoka House will give you a deeper understanding of the daily life of the people who lived in Wakimachi during the Edo period.
How to Get There
To reach Wakimachi, you can take the JR Tokushima Line’s Tsurugisan limited express from Tokushima to Anabuki Station. From Anabuki Station, it is a 10-minute ride by car to Wakimachi. The train journey takes about 40 minutes. The easiest way to get to Tokushima is by flying into Tokushima Airport and then taking a taxi or bus to the train station.
In conclusion, Wakimachi is a town that offers a unique glimpse into Japan’s Edo period. Its well-preserved buildings with udatsu roofs and its historic theater make it a must-visit destination for history and culture enthusiasts. Whether you are interested in architecture, performing arts, or simply want to experience life in a bygone era, Wakimachi has something to offer. So, plan your visit to Wakimachi and get ready to step back in time.
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