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
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).