History

The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum & Katsurahama Beach

Sakamoto Ryoma was born in Kochi in 1835, and played a vital role in the rapid modernization of Japan. In light of increased military subjugation, Ryoma aimed for a bloodless revolution, and successfully put an end to the shogunate government. He was one of the most famous great figures who set the foundation of present-day Japan. The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum and Katsurahama Beach where Ryoma’s statue was built are the popular tourist spots in Kochi. Katsurahama is a famous spot where the white waves the lap against the bow-shaped shore and green pine trees create a beautiful contrast. In the season called “Chushu no Meigetsu” (August 15th in the lunar calendar), people enjoy the Kangetsusai Festival by looking up to the full moon and think of the local literary figures while drinking. It takes about 5 minutes by foot to reach Katsurahama beach from the museum.

Address or Location830 Uradoshiroyama Kochi-city, Kochi (The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum)
Uradokatsurahama Kochi-city, Kochi (Katsurahama Beach)
Phone088-841-0001 (The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum)
Opening Hours9:00 – 17:00 (The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum)
Closed 
Fees500 yen (The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum)
URLhttp://www.ryoma-kinenkan.jp/en/
Transportation 

Yosakoi Festiva Kochi

Yosakoi Festival

The annual Yosakoi Festival takes place for four days from August 9 to August 12. The festival is held in the commercial district and streets of Kochi City. Dancers wear colorful costumes ranging from traditional kimono to modern designs, and play wooden clappers called naruko as they dance through the streets in this spirited festival.

Address or LocationKochi City, Kochi
Phone088-875-1178
Opening Hours 
Closed 
Fees 
URLhttp://www.cciweb.or.jp/kochi/yosakoiweb/
(Japanese only)
TransportationApprox. 30 min by car from Kochi Ryoma Airport. A 15-min walk from Kochi Station. A 1-min walk from the Sakai-machi bus stop on the Tosaden Bus route. Approx. 10 min by car from the Kochi Interchange.

Ishidatami no Yado・Streets of Yokaichi Ehime

【Ishidatami no Yado】
Make your way from the center of Uchiko town to the suburban district of Ishidatami, which has been selected as one of the top 100 beautiful landscape of Japanese farm villages. You’ll be welcomed by the idyllic scenery of a 350-year old weeping cherry tree, waterwheels, and terraced rice paddies which are rare to mountainous areas such as this one. Ishidatami no Yado is the inn made from a relocated and renovated 90-year-old farm house. Here you can enjoy the atmosphere of small mountain village trapped in time, and feel the hospitality of the locals. Having dinner near the Japanese hearth on the 1st floor is quite comfortable. They serve a healthy menu full of local vegetables, which will allow you to experience the same cuisine by those who live in the area.

Address or Location2877 Uchiko-cho Ishidatami Kita-gun Ehime (Ishidatami no Yado)
Phone0893-44-5730 (Ishidatami no Yado)
Opening Hours 
Closed 
FeesAdult 8,500yen/night (When used by 2 people) (Ishidatami no Yado)
URLhttp://www.town.uchiko.ehime.jp/soshiki/3/isidayaminoyado.html
(Japanese only)
Transportation 

【Streets of Yokaichi】
About 150 years ago, this area prospered as a post town (a key junction of highways) and still retains the atmosphere of the old streets where the white-walled storehouses and traditional wooden houses span about 600 meters. While there, make sure not to miss the stuccowork on the walls, known as “kote’e”. Through the use of a single tool with a similar name, the “kote”, artisans are able to make sweeping forms and waves which are said to resemble those of a dragon. Among other notable features is the Omori Candle Shop, which has been creating Japan wax for more than 200 years. They preserve tradition the candle gentle flame is attracting many people. The candles of this shop have been on exhibition as Japanese souvenir since 2001 in British Museum.

Address or Location3023 Uchiko-cho uchiko Kita-gun, Ehime (Machiya Museum)
Phone0893-44-5212 (Machiya Museum)
Opening Hours 
Closed 
Fees 
URLhttps://www.tourismshikoku.org/learnmore/old_japan/uchiko-antique-street
(Japanese only)
Transportation 

Uchiko-za Kabuki TheaterEhime

Uchiko-za Kabuki Theater

Uchiko Town prospered thanks to their world famous Japanese wax, which made the area an economic powerhouse and led to the locals building the Kabuki theater in 1916. The theater as it stands today is a restoration, but houses the same traditional Japanese entertainment that it did nearly a century ago. Visitors are able to see Kabuki plays which incorporate acting, dancing and music, or Bunraku – a Japanese play performed with sophisticated puppets. When there are no performances, visitors can view the area under the stage and see facilities such as the elevated runway, trap doors, and the revolving stage.

Address or Location2102 Uchiko-cho uchiko Kita-gun, Ehime
Phone0893-44-2840
Opening Hours9:00 – 16:30 Closed from the end of the year to New Year holidays No backstage tours available when shows are performed.
Closed 
Fees400 yen
URL 
Transportation 

Garyu SansoEhime

Garyu Sanso

Garyu Sanso is the 9,900㎡ elegant villa located by the Hiji River in Ozu, the city known as “Little Kyoto in Iyo” (Iyo is the former name of Ehime). The site consists of Garyu-in (the main house), Furo-an (an annex), Chishin-an (a tea house) and the “borrowed landscape” garden where distant mountains and rivers come to form part of the garden. Come and appreciate the great architecture where you can feel the spirits of the master artisans of the Meiji period.

Address or Location411-2 Ozu, Ozu-city, Ehime
Phone0893-24-3759
Opening Hours9:00-17:00 (last admission at 16:30)
ClosedOpen every day
FeesAdult 500yen, Child (under 15s) 200yen, Combination ticket for Garyu Santo and Ozu Castle: Adult 800yen, Child (under 15s) 300yen
URLhttp://www.garyusanso.jp
(Japanese only)
Transportation25-minute walk from JR Iyo-Ozu station, 10-minute walk from Ozu-Honmachi bus stop on the Iyotetsu Nanyo Bus, 10-minute drive from Ozu IC

Iyo Railway “Botchan Train” Ehime

Iyo Railway

The Botchan Train captures the look and feel of the steam train known from “Botchan”, one of the most popular novels of the prominent Japanese writer Soseki Natusme.

Steam locomotives used to be a familiar sight, but were eventually replaced by electric trains. However, the locals’ strong desire for the train’s restoration led to service resuming in 2001. They offer services between Okaido, the closest station to Matsuyama Castle, and Dogo Onsen hourly, so hop on board! It will be an unforgettable experience as you take in the nostalgic landscape of old Japan.

Address or Location 
Phone 
Opening Hours 
Closed 
Fees300 yen/ one ride
URLhttp://www.iyotetsu.co.jp/bus/busmap/english/
Transportation 

Saijo Festival・Niihama Taiko FestivalEhime

Saijo Festival・Niihama Taiko Festival

【Saijo Festival】
The Saijo Matsuri, one of the largest festivals in Japan, is a continuing tradition of over 300 years. The festival is held every October. Giant wooden portable shrines called Danjiri (5 m tall, 700 kg) are carried by 20 men each, and more than 150 portable shrines including some outfitted with large taiko drums, are paraded through the city to the shrine. This lavish and gorgeous festival is like a picture from a storybook.

Address or LocationFour shrines in Saijo City, Ehime
Phone0897‐52‐1446(Saijo City)
Opening Hours 
Closed 
Fees 
URL 
TransportationApprox. 20 min by car from the Iyo Saijo Interchange. (Saijo Festival)

【Niihama Taiko Festival】
This dramatic festival is one of the major autumn festivals in Ehime prefecture. Centered on the three days from October 16 to 18, over fifty lavish taiko drum floats decorated with gold and silver tassels are paraded around the city on the backs of 150 men each. An exciting event during the festival is when the floats compete in a kaki kurabe where groups compete to see which group can lift their float for the longest amount of time.

Address or LocationThe whole Niihama City area (five districts) in Ehime
Phone0897-65-1261(Niihama City)
Opening Hours 
Closed 
Fees 
URL 
Transportation 

Tobe-yaki PotteryEhime

Tobe-yaki Pottery

Tobe-yaki pottery, with its white clay and blue patterns, is a nationally designated traditional craft in addition to being a prefectural intangible cultural asset. Thick, simple pieces with good durability are the staple of Tobe-yaki.

Address or LocationTobe-cho, Iyo-gun, Ehime
Phone089-962-7288
Opening Hours9:00 – 18:00
Closed 
Fees400 yen
URLhttp://www.town.tobe.ehime.jp/index.html
(Japanese only)
Transportation 

Ritsurin GardenKagawa

Address or Location1-20-16 Ritsurin-cho Takamatsu, Kagawa
Phone087-833-7411
Opening HoursOpen sunrise to sunset, and at night when there are concerts or special events
Closed 
FeesAdmission fee; 410 yen
URLhttps://www.my-kagawa.jp/en/ritsurin/
TransportationFrom JR Takamatsu Station – 7 min. by car

Kagawa LacquerwareKagawa

Ritsurin Garden

Lacquer in Kagawa started with Zokoku Tamakaji, in the latter part of the Edo period (1600 – 1868), who brought information back to Japan from the Asian continent. A variety of lacquer goods are made, from large pieces of furniture to small bowls and other vessels. Five of the local techniques are nationally designated traditional crafts.

Address or LocationKagawa
Phone087-841-9820 (Kagawa Lacquerware Industry Cooperative Association)
Opening Hours 
Closed 
Fees 
URL 
Transportation 

HonjimaKagawa

Honjima

Honjima, in the centre of the Shiwaku Islands, developed as the home base of the Shiwaku Navy in the 12th to 17th centuries. The island’s nostalgic glory days can be seen in several historical and cultural properties such as Shiwaku Kinbansho (the former government office), listed as an Important Cultural Property and Kasashima Town designated as an Important Historic Structure Group Preservation Zone. In recent years, Honjima serves as one of the locations for the Setouchi Triennale and attracts art lovers.

Address or LocationHonjima-cho, Marugame-city, Kagawa
Phone0877-27-3222 (Marugame Town Hall Honjima Community Centre)
Opening Hours 
Closed 
Fees 
URL 
Transportation10-minute walk from JR Marugame station, then 20-minute high-speed ferry ride or 35-minute ferry ride from Marugame Port to Honjima

Marugame UchiwaKagawa

Marugame Uchiwa

Marugame clan makes three types of fans (uchiwa) which have become nationally designated traditional crafts. The Shibu-uchiwa, invented in 1633, the Medake Marue-uchiwa made since the 1780s, and the hirae-uchiwa developed in the 1880s.

Address or Location307-15Minato-cho Marugame,Kagawa (Kagawa Paper-fan Industry Cooperative Association)
Phone0877-24-7055 (Kagawa Paper-fan Industry Cooperative Association)
Opening Hours9:30 – 16:30
ClosedMonday December 28st to January 4th
Fees 
URL 
Transportation 

Yashima・Shikoku Mura VillageKagawa

Yashima

【 Yashima】
A lava plateau of an approx. altitude of 293 m,jutting into the Seto Inland Sea.
It features a viewing platform that offers sights of an ancient battlefield below your eyes as well as a place where you can enjoy panorama of the Seto Inland Sea dotted with islands of various sizes.

Address or LocationYashimahigashimachi,Takamatsu City,Kagawa
Phone087-841-9443 (Yashimasanjo Tourism Association)
Opening HoursExpressway 6:30~22:00
Closed 
Fees 
URLhttp://www.yashima-navi.jp/
(Japanese only)
Transportation 

【 Shikoku Mura Village】
Slip back in time to the period between the 1600s and the early 1900s! Old traditional houses were transported and re-built here to create an outdoor museum where visitors can experience the old way of life.

Address or LocationYashima Naka-machi 91, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture
Phone087-843-3111
Opening Hours8:30-18:00 (closes at 17:30 during November through March)
Closed 
FeesAdults: 800 yen, High school students: 500 yen, Elementary school/Junior high school students: 300 yen
URLhttp://www.shikokumura.or.jp/
(Japanese only)
TransportationApprox. 40 min by car from Takamatsu Airport. A 5-min walk from Yashima Station on the Kotoden Line. A 10-min walk from JR Yashima Station.

Awaodori KaikanTokushima

Awaodori Kaikan

Awaodori Kaikan is the facility where you can enjoy Awa Dance, which is considered to be one of the three most famous Bon dances in Japan. In the dance hall you will not only see the unique styles of Otoko Odori (male dance) and Onna Odori (female dance) performed in a double time rhythm, but also enjoy dancing on the stage yourself. Drums, flute and gongs are played in a rhythm and music created specifically for the dancers. The harmony of dance and sound create the art of Awa Dance. This is the real Japan! The facility attracts many overseas tourists by means of a museum which covers the history of the dance as well as a souvenir shop which carries a wide range of sweets, sake, traditional indigo dyeing products, and more! You can climb up Mt. Bi (Bizan) where you can command a view of the entire city.

Address or Location2-20 Shinmachibashi Tokushima, Tokushima
Phone088-611-1611
Opening HoursDay time stage: 11:00- (Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays), 14:00-, 15:00-, 16:00-(Everyday) Night time stage: 20:00 to 20:50 (Everyday)
Closed 
FeesDay time: 600 yen
Night time: 800 yen
URLhttp://www.awaodori-kaikan.jp/
(Japanese only)
Transportation 

Wakimachi Udatsu StreetscapeTokushima

Wakimachi Udatsu Streetscape

Whitewashed firewalls called udatsu erected between two-storey buildings are a distinctive feature of this old-fashioned streetscape. It’s the 28th streetscape to be designated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and is among Japan’s 100 picturesque streets.

Address or LocationOaza Wakimachi, Wakimachi, Mima City, Tokushima
Phone0883-53-8599
Opening Hours 
Closed 
Fees 
URL 
TransportationOne hour’s drive from Tokushima Awa Odori Airport, seven minutes by taxi or bus from JR Anabuki Station, one minute’s walk from Wakimachi Michi no Eki Bus Stop, approx. seven minutes by car from Wakimachi Highway Interchange.

Ai-no-Yakata (Aizumi-cho Historical Museum)Tokushima

Ai-no-Yakata (Aizumi-cho Historical Museum)

The museum used to be a dyer’s residence and factory, exhibiting the history and process of the “Awa Aizome” (natural indigo dyeing). Feel free to join in the hands-on class for indigo dyeing and make your own handkerchief!

Address or Location172 Aza Maezunishi, Tokumei, Aizumi-cho, Itano-gun, Tokushima
Phone088-692-6317
Opening Hours9:00-17:00 (class for indigo dyeing: 9:00-16:00)
ClosedTuesdays (except Bank Holidays), New Year’s Holiday (December 28 to January 1)
FeesAdult 300yen, Student (ages 13-18) 200yen, Child (under 12s) 150yen (50yen p/p discount for a group over 20)
URLhttp://www.town.aizumi.tokushima.jp/ainoyakata/

(Japanese only)
Transportation25-minute drive from Tokushima Awaodori Airport or from JR Tokushima station, 5-minute drive from Aizumi IC

Awa Jurobe Puppet Mansion and TheaterTokushima

Awa Jurobe Puppet Mansion and Theater

Awa Ningyo Joruri is a traditional performance art of Tokushima using puppets made of cypress wood. The lifelike movement of the dolls combined with traditional music is a unique entertainment experience.

Address or LocationMiyajima Honura 184, Kawauchi-cho, Tokushima City, Tokushima
Phone088-665-2202
Opening Hours9:30-17:00 (extended to 18:00 from July 1st to August 31st)
ClosedDecember 31st to January 3rd
FeesAdults: 410 yen, High school/College students: 300 yen, Elementary
school/Junior high school students: 200 yen
URLhttp://joruri.info/jurobe/
(Japanese only)
TransportationBy car: Approx. 20 min from Tokushima Airport. Approx. 15 min from JR Tokushima Station. Approx. 5 min from Tokushima Interchange. Approx. 20 min from Naruto Interchange. By bus: Approx. 20 min by the Tokushima Municipal Bus Route 7 from the Tokushima Ekimae bus stop.

Otaniyaki (Otani Pottery)Tokushima

Otaniyaki (Otani Pottery)

With over 200 years of tradition, Otaniyaki pottery in Naruto has long been known for large water jars and pots. The industry started off making pots for indigo dyeing and transformed over time to produce a range of ceramics for daily use. Pottery tours and hands-on classes are available. A must-see is their signature potter’s wheel known as a “Nerokuro”.

Address or LocationOtani, Oasa-cho, Naruto-city, Tokushima
Phone088-689-0204 (Otani Pottery Association, OOASA Society of Commerce and Industry)
Opening Hours 
Closed 
Fees 
URLhttp://www.tsci.or.jp/ooasa/ootaniyaki.html
(Japanese only)
TransportationA few minutes’ walk from Awa-Otani station on the JR Naruto Line