Tsuwano (津和野), often called “little Kyoto”, is a small castle town in Chugoku.
Budget travel tips
- Like nearby Hagi, a great place to explore on foot or bicycle (800 yen per day) in a day.
Things to do
Site of Tsuwano Castle
The towns castle was a huge mountain top one, and the remains are well worth checking out alongside the views over the town. An easy 30 minute walk through a few different trails from near Taikodani-Inari Shrine.
A stunning 20 minute tunnel of red Japanese gates (tori) leads to this large shrine. A must-see. First walk to Yasaka Shrine (弥栄神社) from Tsuwano station (20 mins), then walk through the gates.
Ogai Mori’s house
See what a tradtional Japanese house works at the house of one of Japanese literatures most prominent writer. A 45 minute walk from Tsuwano station, past Ohashi Bridge (大橋) going over the main river.
Price: 600 yen
Open: 9:00-17:00 (closed Monday)
A museum of Japanese handmade paper, called washi. Next to Ogai Mori’s house.
Recommended hostels and cheap hotels
Very near the station. Traditional Japanese rooms with tatami floors in and old, but well maintained hostel. Check prices at Booking.com.
Compare more at Booking.com
How to get there
With a Japan Rail Pass or Chugoku pass
From Shin-Yamaguchi (on the Shinkansen from Tokyo or Osaka), take a Limited Express train on the Yamaguchi line (1 hour).
From Hagi, first take the JR train to Masuda. From Masuda, take a Limited Express train on the Yamaguchi line (2 hours, 45 mins).
Without a rail pass
From Shin-Yamaguchi, take a JR Yamaguchi line local train to Tsuwano station (2 hours, 1110 yen). Shin-Yamaguchi is accessible with Willer Bus or JR Bus from all major cities. There are also buses from Shin-Yamaguchi (74 mins, 2060 yen).
From Hagi, take a bus from Higashi-Hagi station to Tsuwano (96 mins, 2190 yen).