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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Tokushima Area

  • Otsuka Museum of Art
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    3.5
    7 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Narutoshi Narutochoutosadomariura Fukuike 65-1
    Located in Naruto Town, Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture, this art museum has the largest permanent exhibition space in Japan. The exhibits consist of more than 1,000 Western paintings reproduced in full scale on ceramic panels. Visitors can appreciate masterpieces from all over the world such as Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, Edvard Munch’s The Scream and Picasso’s Guernica. The viewing route through the museum is about four kilometers long. There is also a museum shop and a restaurant where visitors can enjoy meals while looking out over the garden.

    場所は中庭を通るので最初はわかりずらかったです。 最期の晩餐¥1800 ミュンヘンランチ¥1200 鯛御膳¥1200 を注文しました。 ミュンヘンランチがコスパが良かったです。 美術館も素敵ですが レストランも素敵でした。

  • Iya-no-Kazurabashi Bridge
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    4.0
    622 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Miyoshishi Nishiyayamamurazentoku 162-2
    Designated as an Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property of the country, the 45 meter long and two meter wide suspension bridge crosses the clear running waters of the Iya River at a height of 14 meters above the water’s surface. The bridge is made of hardy kiwi vines that grow wild in the cold mountains and are replaced once every three years. Various views exist as to why the bridge was originally built, one of which says that it was constructed by fugitives of the Taira clan who, in order to prevent attackers getting close, built it out of vines so they could quickly cut it down. Another probable story says that it was made by the saint, Kobo Daishi, who used to roam the valleys of Iya, in order to help stricken villagers.

    The bridge is inexpensive and fun to cross though I wouldn’t take a small child. The scenery is gorgeous and the Biwa waterfall is just 50 meters away. If you love the mountains and the sound of...

  • Awaodorikaikan
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    4.0
    336 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Shinmachibashi 2-20

    The museum has a performance hall where the famous Awa Odori dancers perform 4 or 5 times a day. Lots of fun even if everything is in Japanese, there is an English translation flashed on the screen...

  • Tokushima Modern Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Hachimanchou Mukouterayama Cultural forest in the general park
    The Tokushima Modern Art Museum is located within Bunka-no-mori Park. Besides artworks connected with Tokushima, the Museum also has impressive collections and displays of paintings, sculptures etc. from other countries. Facilities include a museum shop, restaurant, and reference room, etc. The Museum is located approximately 25 minutes by bus from Tokushima Station.
  • Tokushima Prefectural Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Hachimanchou Mukouterayama Cultural forest in the general park
    Located approximately 25 minutes by bus from Tokushima Station, the Tokushima Prefectural Museum is a general-interest museum situated within Bunka-no-mori Park. The museum’s collections cover a comprehensive range of humanities-related fields (including archeology, history, folk traditions, artistic handicrafts, etc.) and natural science-related fields (including zoology, botany and geoscience). Besides permanent exhibitions focused on the history and natural history of Tokushima, the Museum also hosts special exhibitions (with new themed exhibitions starting three times a year) as well as experiential classrooms and other special events. Facilities include a breastfeeding room, free lockers, a restaurant, and a museum shop. Free Wi-Fi is available.
  • Tokushima Prefectural Awa Jurobe Yashiki (Puppet Theater and Museum)
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    4.5
    45 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Kawauchichou Miyajimahonura 184
    Located approximately 15 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bus from JR Tokushima Station, the Tokushima Prefectural Awa Jurobe Yashiki (Puppet Theater and Museum) is housed in the former residence of Bando Jurobe, the historical figure who inspired the Ningyo Joruri puppet theater play Keisei Awa no Naruto. Awa Ningyo Joruri puppet theater performances are held in the Museum on a daily basis. The Museum’s exhibition room houses displays on the Ningyo Joruri puppet theater tradition and on the deko puppets used. A wide range of special events are held to provide opportunities for more people to learn about Ningyo Joruri puppet theatre.

    I loved everything about this place. Get there about 30 minutes early and catch the guided museum tour; a docent shows how the puppets work. The museum exhibits are all in English as well as...

  • Awa Deko Ningyo Kaikan puppet theatre museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Kawauchichou Miyajimahonura 226-1
    The Awa Deko Ningyo Kaikan puppet theatre museum is located around 15 minutes’ drive from JR Tokushima Station. The museum features displays of Ningyo Joruri puppets, classes in making puppet heads, and humorous introductions to the special techniques used in puppet-making. The aim is for visitors to be able to learn about Awa Deko puppets in an enjoyable way by watching and listening. The Awa Deko Ningyo Kaikan also sells, restores and repairs deko puppets.
  • Tokushima City Tokushima Castle Museum
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    3.5
    55 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Tokushimachoujounai 1-8
    This is a museum erected at the site of the Tokushima Castle palace ruins in Tokushima Central Park, Tokushima City. It is only a 10-minute walk from the JR Tokushima Station. The permanent exhibit is divided into five themes showcasing artisan works and historical materials of the Tokushima domain and the Hachisuka clan. Here, the Senzanmaru, a national Important Cultural Property that is a decorative whaling ship from the Tokushima domain is the main attraction amongst many other treasures. The museum annually hosts six special exhibits or themed exhibits. The visitors to the history museum may use the same ticket to enjoy the adjoining former Tokushima Castle Omote Goten Garden as well.

    This fascinating museum provides an insight into the history of the area. Get a combined ticket to see the gardens as well.

  • Ryozen-ji Temple (Starting point for the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage)
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    4.0
    141 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Narutoshi Oasachoubandou Tsukahana 126
    Ryozen-ji Temple is a Koya-san Shingon Buddhist temple that, according to legend, was founded by the monk Gyoki during the Tempyo era (729–749) on the orders of the Shomu Emperor. The Temple’s formal name is Zikuwazan Ichijoin Ryozenji. Selected for inclusion in the “88 Best Places to Visit in Tokushima,” the Ryozen-ji Temple is also the starting-point for the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage, and is affectionately known as Ichi-ban-san (“Number One”). The Temple is visited by white-robed pilgrims throughout the year, and it is possible to purchase Nokyo-cho (stamp-books for collecting the stamps that confirm that a pilgrim has made a donation to a given temple) and pilgrims’ clothing, staffs and bamboo hats etc. Must-see sights at the Temple include a two-storied pagoda housing the Gochi Nyorai Statues (five statues representing different aspects of the wisdom of the Buddha) and the Meiji Garden located on the north side of the Daishi-do hall.

    Ryozenji is temple 1 and where most henro start off. The grounds are a bit cluttered but charming nonetheless. You can "practice" your set of rituals here -- bell ringing, candle and incense...

  • Gokurakuji Temple
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    4.0
    42 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Narutoshi Oasachouhinoki Dan'no on 12
    The Gokurakuji Temple is a Koya-san Shingon Buddhist temple located in the Oasa-cho Hinoki district of Naruto City; legend has it that the Gokurakuji Temple was founded by the bodhisattva Gyoki during the Konin era (810–824). The temple’s formal name is Nissho-san Muryoju-in. The Gokurakuji Temple is the second temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. Famous sights inside the Temple complex include a beautiful Japanese garden built to evoke the Pure Land (Buddhist heaven), a Buddha statue praying to which is believed to ensure safe and trouble-free childbirth, and the Cedar of Longevity, which is said to have been planted by Kobo Daishi.

    The Daishido and Hondo can be reached via stone stairs. Do not miss the centuries old camphor tree and the small "wishing" jizo placed outside the Hondo. Lovely temple set up right at the foothills...

  • Temple No. 3, Konsenji Temple
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Itanogunitanochou Otera Kameyamashita 66
    The renowned monk Gyoki is said to have carved the main Buddha statue at this temple during the Tempyo era (729–749) on the orders of the Shomu Emperor, after which the temple was known as Konkomyoji. The name of the temple was changed to Konsen-ji (“Golden Spring Temple”) after Kobo Daishi visited the temple during the Konin era (810–824); during his visit, to relieve a drought that was affecting the area, Kobo Daishi dug a well, from which gushed forth a spring of golden-colored sacred water. Following a program of temple rebuilding initiated by the Kameyama Emperor (who had become a devout Buddhist), the formal name of the temple was changed to Kiko-zan (reflecting the Emperor’s name). In 1582, most of the temple buildings (excluding the Daishi-do hall) were burnt down by soldiers under the command of the warlord Motochika Chosokabe; the building that visitors see today date from after this destruction. The Konsen-ji is the third temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. The temple is located around one kilometer from Itano Station on the JR Kotoku Line.

    もみじがいい感じに植えられているので期待して出かけましたが、暖かい日が続いていたためか色づきがまだまだのようでした。

  • Temple No. 13, Dainichiji Temple
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    3.5
    24 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Ichinomiyachou Nishichou 263
    Located in the Ichinomiya-cho district of Tokushima City, the Dainichi-ji Temple is the 13th temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage, and the fifth temple visited on the Shikoku 33 Kannon Temples Pilgrimage. The temple’s formal name is Oguri-san Kezo-in; the temple belongs to the Daikaku-ji school of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. The name Dainichi-ji derives from the story that, in 815, when Kukai was performing the homa fire ritual in Daishi-ga-mori, the Dainichi Nyorai Buddha appeared to him and told him that, as the place where he was standing was a sacred spot, he should build a temple there; Kukai therefore carved a statue of Dainichi Nyorai as the principal object of veneration for the new temple. During the Tensho era (1573–92), the temple buildings were entirely destroyed by the armies of Motochika Chosokabe. The temple was subsequently rebuilt on the orders of Mitsutaka Hachisuka, the third lord of the Tokushima han (domain). The Dainichi-ji Temple later became the betto-ji (Buddhist temple associated with a Shinto shrine) of the Ichinomiya Shrine, and during the Edo period it was the Ichinomiya Shrine that was visited as part of the 88-temple Pilgrimage, rather than the Dainichi-ji Temple. As a result of the state-ordered separation of Shintoism and Buddhism in the Meiji period, the statue of Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy) with eleven heads that had been venerated at the Ichonomiya Shrine was moved to the Dainichi-ji Temple and became the main object of veneration there, with Dainichi Nyorai playing an ancillary role.

    At the end of a quiet mountain road is this pretty temple which is number 4 on the pilgrimage. It's a 2 km or so walk from the Rakan bus stop.

  • Temple No. 5, Jizoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Itanogunitanochou Rakan Hayashihigashi 5
    The Jizo-ji Temple is an Omuro Shingon Buddhist Temple located in Itano Town, Itano District, Tokushima Prefecture. It is the fifth temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage; the temple’s formal name is Mujin-zan Shogo-in. The Jizo-ji Temple is renowned for the 500 Arhat statues in the Okuno-in Hall.The temple is said to have been founded in 821 by Kobo Daishi (Kukai) on the orders of the Saga Emperor; Kobo Daishi personally carved a statue of the Shogun Jizo bodhisattva (approximately 5 cm high) to be the temple’s main object of veneration. Subsequently, Jokan Shonin, the officiating monk for Kumano Gongen, carved a statue of the Enmei Jizo bodhisattva (approximately 80 cm high) from Kumano Gongen’s sacred tree, and the statue of the Shogun Jizo bodhisattva carved by Kobo Daishi was placed inside this new statue. The temple thrived under the patronage of devout warlords, until it was destroyed by the armies of Motochika Chosokabe. The buildings that the visitor sees today date from the Edo period, when the temple was rebuilt on the orders of the Hachisuka family (the lords of the Tokushima domain).
  • Roadside Station Oboke (Monster House and Stone Museum)
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    3.5
    14 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Miyoshishi Yamashirochoukamimyou 1553-1
    Roadside Station Oboke is located in Miyoshi City. Besides the Monster House and Stone Museum, which feature 70 monsters from local legends and a sample of the rudaceous schist that has been designated as a Natural Monument, there is also a hotspring footbath (open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from March to November) where visitors can relax and enjoy beautiful views of the Yoshino River, as well as a gift-shop selling local Miyoshi specialties and natural stones, a café, etc.

    This attraction brings out the child in you! Different Yokai exist in Japanese folklore and each legend is interesting. The Yokai is a class of supernatural monsters. Some characters are quite...

  • Higashi Iya History and Folk Museum
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    3.5
    4 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Miyoshishi Higashiyakyoujou 14-3
    The Higashi Iya History and Folk Museum uses photographs and display panels to present legends from the Iya region relating to the Heike clan. Exhibits include a replica of a red banner linked to the Heike family. There are also exhibits of items connected to daily life in the Iya region, showcasing the unique way of life and cultural traditions that have developed in this area. From JR Oboke Station, take the Shikoku Kotsu bus for Kubo, and get off at the Kyojo bus stop.

    展示の量は少ないですが、手っ取り早く歴史を学べるのでおすすめです。10分の紹介映像を見るとより簡単に知識を得られます。

  • Yakuo-ji Temple
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    4.0
    65 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Kaifugunminamichou Okugawauchi Teramae 285-1
    The Yakuo-ji Temple is a Koya-san Shingon Buddhist temple located in Okugawauchi, Minami-cho, Tokushima Prefecture. It is the 23rd temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage; the temple’s formal name is Iozan Muryoju-in. According to legend, the temple was founded in 726 by the Buddhist monk Gyoki on the orders of the Emperor Shomu. The main object of veneration at the Yakuo-ji Temple is a statue of the Yakushi Nyorai Buddha (Medicine Buddha), and praying at the temple is believed to be very effective at warding off evil. The main hall is reached by two flights of stone steps: the Onna-yaku Zaka (33 steps) and the Otoko-yaku Zaka (42 steps). Further on, the Yugi-to pagoda houses an exhibition room and observation platform; downstairs, pilgrims worship by walking round the Yakushiji Sanzon (a triad of three Buddha statues).

    If you had visited others temple before this one has something new to offer! Apart from the huge red pilar that can be seen from a long distance, you have in the inside of that pilar an interesting...

  • Ai-no-Yakata Aizumicho Historical Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Itanogunaizumichou Tokumei Maezunishi 172
    The Ai-no-Yakata Aizumicho Historical Museum is a museum dedicated to indigo blue dyeing, located in Aizumicho. The building which houses the museum was formerly the mansion of the Okumura family, who were leading indigo dye merchants. Models depict the processes used to create indigo dye, and there are also displays of traditional agricultural tools and domestic utensils, as well as indigo-dyed traditional kimonos and historic fabrics. Visitors can also view the historical artifacts and works of art collected by the Okumura family. The intricate architecture of the buildings is also very impressive. To reach the Museum, take the Tokushima Bus service from JR Tokushima Station heading to Nijo and Kamojima, and get off at the Higashi-Nakatomi bus stop; the Museum is about five minutes’ walk from the bus stop.
  • Temple No. 8, Kumadaniji Temple
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Awashi Donarichoudonari Maeda 185
    The Kumadani-ji Temple is a Koya-san Shingon Buddhist temple located in Awa City. Its formal name is Fumyo-zan Shinko-in; it is the eighth temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is said that when the monk Kobo Daishi was meditating near here in 815, Kumano Gongen appeared to him and presented him with a gold statue of Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy) about 5 cm in height. Praying three times after each stroke of the wood-carving knife, Kobo Daishi carved a life-size statue of Senju Kannon in sacred wood, and placed the gold statue that he had received inside it, before building a temple to house the statue. These statues thus became the main object of veneration at the Kumadani-ji Temple. Unfortunately, the statues were destroyed in a fire that burnt down the Hon-do (main hall) of the temple in 1927; the statue that the visitor sees today was installed in 1971.

    こちらの見どころは、まず、はじめにくぐります山門で、木造作りの山門では四国霊場最大です。県指定の重要文化財にもなっています。また、中門の手前にあります多宝塔も色彩豊かな造りで、四国地方最大級の大きさでもあり、見ごたえ十分です。

  • Temple No. 10, Kirihataji Temple
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Awashi Ichibachoukirihata Kannon 129
    The Kihata-ji Temple is a Koya-san Shingon Buddhist temple in Awa City. It’s formal name is Tokudo-zan Kanjo-in; it is the 10th temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. According to legend, when the monk Kobo Daishi was practicing asceticism in this area, he asked a weaver’s daughter to give him some fabric offcuts to patch his monk’s robe with; in order to give him offcuts, the girl generously cut up the piece of cloth that she had just finished weaving for him to use. In return for her kindness, Kobo Daishi offered to carve a statue of Senju Kannon (Thousand Armed Avalokiteshwara) for the repose of her parents’ souls. When he performed the kanjo ceremony while bestowing the statue on the girl, she instantly attained Buddhahood and took on the likeness of Senju Kannon. The temple’s name and formal name both derive from this legend. Besides the statue of Senju Kannon in the Hon-do (main hall) which is the main object of veneration at the temple, Senju Kannon Bosatsu is also worshipped here in the form of a Bodhisattva.

    本卦還りを迎えた今、 自分への総括を問いかけることが、遍路への理由の一つだろうか。 第十番札所の切幡寺。 山麓から本堂まで「是より三三三段」・・ 崇高で、厳しく、厳粛な古刹。 いきなり自分の弱さを曝け出してしまった。

  • Temple No. 7, Jurakuji Temple
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    4.0
    29 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Awashi Donarichoutakao Houkyouden 58
    Juraku-ji Temple is a Koya-san Shingon Buddhist temple in Awa City. It’s formal name is Komyo-zan Rengei-in; it is the seventh temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. According to tradition, the temple was founded by Kobo Daishi. The name “Juraku-ji” (“Ten Joys Temple”) derives from the idea that, thanks to the mercy of the Amithaba Buddha, people can overcome the “eight sorrows” of birth, age, sickness, death, the pain of meeting people you dislike, the pain of separation, the pain of not getting what one wants, and pain caused by the five skandha (aggregates of mental and physical characteristics), and experience the “Ten Joys” of the Pure Land (paradise). Originally a very large temple, the Juraku-ji Temple was burnt down by the armies of the warlord Motochika Chosokabe in 1582. Only the temple’s main statue was saved, by being carried off by the head priest Shinzen on his back. The temple was rebuilt in 1635; these are the buildings that the visitor sees today.

    This is the 7th temple on the 88 temple pilgrimage and just a 15 minute walk from temple 6. The hondo is very interesting and there is a jizo that is said to cure eye problems. Also a very good...

Tokushima Main Areas

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The southeastern corner of Shikoku is home to Tokushima prefecture, a region celebrated for its luscious nature and the nation's favorite Awa Odori, an energetic dance to which an annual summer festival has been dedicated. Keeping the upbeat tempo, whirlpools excite the Naruto sea off Tokushima, while inland, dramatic cliffs line the Iya Valley, promising unrivaled views of vast and vibrant scenery.

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