History / Culture / Tour Spots in Tokushima Area

  • Otsuka Museum of Art
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    4.5
    973 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.

    Otsuka Pharmaceuticals pet project to make the worlds art pieces accessible to the world. Built inside a mountain, on the tip of Shizuoka is this museum of ceramic replicates of the worlds...

  • Ryozen-ji Temple (Starting point for the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage)
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    4.0
    181 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.

    only few people there. since it was so hot day, very calm and I had a relaxed time in there. temple is always as it should be.

  • Ooasahiko Shrine
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    4.5
    82 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Narutoshi Oasachoubandou Hiroduka 13
    This shrine is dedicated to two Shinto deities, Osahiko-no-Okami and Sarutahiko no Okami. Although the exact date of its founding is unclear, this ancient shrine had already become one of the representative shrines of Awa Province by about 1,100 years ago. The shrine’s sacred tree, a more than 1,000-year-old camphor tree, has been designated as a Naruto City cultural property.

    This shrine complex is very expansive, and tucked into the mountains, so is a nice place to walk around....there is even a stream running through the grounds. We went on New Years Day, and it was...

  • The Naruto German House
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    4.0
    77 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Narutoshi Oasachouhinoki Higashiyamada 55-2
    This museum features exhibits on the activities of German soldiers imprisoned at the Bando prisoner-of-war camp, their exchanges with locals, and other subjects. Musical activities in particular thrived at the Bando prisoner-of-war camp, which was the site of the first concert performance of the entirety of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Asia. In addition to exhibits and a museum shop, the museum also has large and small conference rooms available for rent.

    This is the museum that was built to remember the German prisoners who spent the war years in a camp run by the Japanese government. The museum itself is very well done and includes many samples of...

  • Roadside Station Oboke (Monster House and Stone Museum)
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    4.0
    63 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 amazing little town nesttled in the hills is worth exploring. There is a bus service to take you to your place of stay or you can use the local Taxi. The people are friendly and here are some...

  • Shosanji Temple
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    4.0
    46 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Myouzaigunkamiyamachou Shimobun Underground 318
    This temple of the Chisan sect of Shingon Buddhism is located in Kamiyama Town in Myozai County, Tokushima Prefecture, and it is the 12th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is known for its position near the difficult-to-reach eighth station of Mt. Shosanji, which has an altitude of 938 meters, but nowadays there is a roadway leading to it. According to temple legend, it was founded by a pilgrim in the Asuka period. Afterward, Kukai is said to have sealed an enormous snake that had been terrorizing the villagers in a rock cavern near the summit, after which he built the temple. A three-headed statue of Daikokuten (god of wealth), said to be Kukai himself, is enshrined inside the Sanmen (three-headed) Daikoku Hall. The temple grounds contain several large cedar trees said to be hundreds of years old, and the area has been designated a Natural Monument.

    Worth a visit, but dont expect there to be much there. The temple, while pretty enough, is spoiled a little by the presence of vending machines and signs and whatnot. Quite a trek up through the...

  • Iya-no-Kazurabashi Bridge
    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.
  • Hiwasa Sea Turtle Museum Caretta
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    4.0
    53 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Kaifugunminamichou Hiwasaura 370-4
    "This museum with its focus on sea turtles is one of only a handful worldwide. ""Caretta"" is another name for loggerhead turtles. The museum explains sea turtle ecology through fossils and panel displays. Recently hatched baby sea turtles are on display in their own special tank, and you can see rare sea turtle varieties in the facility's Large Turtle Pool and the Floating Sea Turtle Hall. On holidays they hold special programs that let you feed the turtles and get close to the hatchlings. "

    Hidden down on the south east coast of Shikoku, Tokushima is this lovely little Aquarium mainly made up of all different kinds of Turtles amd Tortoises. For two hundred million years Loggerhead...

  • Tairyu-ji Temple
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    4.5
    47 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Ananshi Kamochou Yongsan 2
    The Tairyu-ji Temple is the 21st temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. According to tradition, the Temple was founded towards the end of the 8th century on the orders of Emperor Kammu. Legend has it that, when Kobo Daishi was aged around 19, he engaged in a devotional practice called Kokuzo-gumonji-ho by chanting a mantra one million times on top of a peak called Mt. Shashin, which is located around 600 meters southeast of the Temple precincts. This peak can be viewed while traveling on the ropeway that leads up to the Tairyu-ji Temple; a bronze statue of Kobo Daishi engaged in his religious devotions has been installed there.

    Visited this temple as part of my 88 Temple Pilgrimage. When I visited, the only options were to either walk or take the cable car. The cable car costs ¥2400 for the round trip, but if you take your...

  • Unpenji Temple
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    4.0
    38 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Miyoshishi Ikedachouhakuchi Norochi 763
    This temple belongs to the Omuro sect of Shingon Buddhism and is located in Ikeda Town in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture near the summit of Mt. Unpenji, and it is the 66th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It has the highest altitude of all the temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It is said to have been erected by a 16-year-old Kukai in 789 when he visited the area. Afterward, under orders from Emperor Saga, he is said to have sculpted the principal image of Senju Kannon Bosatsu in 818 and performed the seven sacred rites. On the temple grounds, the principal image joins a standing statue of Vaisravana and other National Important Cultural Properties, and you’ll also find a statue of Gohyakurakan, a “wish-granting eggplant,” and other items worth seeing. This temple is known for its beautiful fall foliage, and a ropeway operates from the foot of the mountain.

    Peaceful among the Cedars and Cypress Trees. Unpenji has 500 Arhat States that it is famous for, made in recent years, they line some of the pathways, all with different faces and postures. Beautiful...

  • Tokushima Prefectural Awa Jurobe Yashiki (Puppet Theater and Museum)
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    4.5
    62 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...

  • Idoji Temple
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    4.0
    44 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Kokufuchouido Kitayashiki 80-1
    Idoji Temple, located to the west of Nakaakui Bridge, is the 17th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It used to be named Myoshoji Temple but it came to be called “Ido (Well) Temple” because of the story that Kobo Daishi dug a well with his staff for the local people who were lacking water. The well itself remains as the “Omokage no Ido.” The seven Buddha Yakushi Nyorai—main temple idols—are located in the main hall and were said to have been made by Shotoku Taishi. Visitors can come and worship directly. The eleven-faced Kannon bodhisattva located in the Kannon hall is designated as an Important Cultural Property.

    第17番札所 井戸寺 徳島市内を横切り西方面へ向かいます。住宅街にある寺院、駐車場も広く利便性も高いですが境内は趣あり。 お参りした後は面影の井戸や日限大師など見どころも見て回りゆっくりとお参りさせていただくことができました。

  • Byodoji Temple
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    4.0
    27 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Ananshi Aratanochou Akiyama 177
    This is a Koyasan Shingon school temple in Aratano-cho, Anan City, Tokushima Prefecture and is 22nd temple of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. The origin of this temple is said to be that, at this site, Kobo Daishi found a Bhaisajyaguru and carved his own statue of it, building the temple and making it the principal object of worship. The milky water that welled up at this time (it is now clear and colorless) became known as Kobo’s Miracle-working Water effective for all kinds of ailments and many worshippers put it in containers and take it home. The main hall, which was reconstructed in the middle of the Edo period, has a painted ceiling depicting the traditional themes of natural Japanese beauty.

    第22番札所 平等寺 薬王寺からは車で30分ほど、山の谷間にひっそりとあるお寺さん。 落ち着いた雰囲気、本堂へは会談で登りお参りします。 本堂から見た景色、確かにお大師さまがお休みになっているような感じに見えます。 なんだかありがたい気分です。

  • Fujiidera Temple
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    3.5
    35 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Yoshinogawashi Kamojimachouino 1525
    This temple belongs to the Rinzai sect of Myoshinji Temple and is located in Kamojima Town, Yoshinogawa City, Tokushima Prefecture, and it is the 11th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is said that in 815, Kukai, at the unlucky age of 42, sculpted a statue of Bhaisajyaguru and constructed the hall to help stave off bad luck for himself and all living things. The five-colored wisteria that Kukai is said to have planted on the temple grounds are the origin of the temple’s name, and they bloom in late April every year. The principal image has been designated an Important Cultural Properties and is beloved by locals for its evil-warding properties. The unryu (dragon and cloud) painting on the ceiling of the main hall is a must-see. There is a treacherous path called the “henro korogashi (falling pilgrim)” that leads to Shosanji Temple, the 12th temple on the pilgrimage.

    レンタカーで参拝したところ特に苦も無く余裕で到着しました。貸切バスによる団参ツアー客には出会いませんでしたが、貸切タクシーによるグループ参拝はあるようで日常的のそれなりの参拝者があるようでした。

  • Tatsue-ji Temple
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Komatsushimashi Tatsuechou Wakamatsu 13
    Tatsue-ji Temple is a Koyasan Shingon Buddhist temple in Tatsue Town, Komatsushima City, Tokushima Prefecture and is the 19th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. In 747 priest Gyoki carved a small statue of the Enmei Jizo as the principal image and built a pagoda for the Jizo to pray for smooth delivery for Empress Komyo. In 815 Kobo Daishi carved a large Jizo Buddha statue and put the principal image in its womb. Apart from many worshippers praying for an easy birth the temple is also famous as a “General Checkpoint of Shikoku” where wicked people were punished. The pictures on the ceiling in the main hall drawn when the temple was restored in 1977 are a must see. On the grounds there is the Kuro Kami Hall which is said to have remains of the hair pulled from women who were unfaithful to the morality.

    第19番札所 立江寺 山を下りて到着、町の中にあり駐車場は少しわかりづらかったので商店の軒先にあった有料駐車場を利用しました。 境内は老若男女で混み合っておりました。ゆっくりとお参りとはいきませんでしたが本堂得天井などの見どころを拝見、なごみます。

  • Temple No. 7, Jurakuji Temple
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    4.0
    35 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...

  • Kakurinji Temple
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    4.0
    30 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Katsuragunkatsurachou Ikuna Washigao 14
    This is a Koyasan Shingon school temple in Katsuura-cho, Katsuura County in Tokushima Prefecture and is 20th temple of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It is located high on a mountain with a distant view of the mountains of Awaji and Wakayama as well as the Pacific Ocean and the front avenue is difficult to climb with a sharp slope called the Pilgrim Knock-down. The temple was built by Kobo Daishi in 798. It is said that he found a golden jizo bodhisattva protected by two white cranes in the forest which he placed inside a statue of the jizo bodhisattva that he made himself and this became the principal object of worship at the temple.

    第20番札所 鶴林寺 太龍寺から川沿いの細い道を通りさらに山に登ります。駐車場も少し離れているので境内までは少し歩きますが見ごたえは十分。 三重塔のほか境内には見どころたくさん。あまり大きくはありませんのでゆっくりと見て回ることができました。

  • Temple No. 5, Jizoji Temple
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    4.0
    33 Reviews
    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).

    This is probably my favorite among the 12 temples that I visited as part of the 88 Temple pilgrimage. Its not grand or imposing but has a very lived-in feel, not touristy at all. There is a...

  • Horin-ji Temple
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    3.5
    30 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Awashi Donarichoudonari Tanaka 198-2
    The origins of this temple lie in a temple founded by Kobo Daishi after encountering a white snake while on a preaching tour; this “Hakuda-san Horin-ji” was located about 4km north of the present Horin-ji Temple near the Hochi-ga-tani. In 1582 the original temple was burnt down by the armies of the warlord Motochika Chosokabe; the temple was rebuilt on its present site at some point in the Tempo era(1644–1648), and was given the name Horin-ji. The new temple was accidentally burnt down in 1859; the temple buildings that the visitor sees today were built in the Meiji era. The statue of Shaka Nyorai (Gautama Buddha) which is the main object of veneration in the temple depicts Shakyamuni in a reclining posture; the Horin-ji Temple is the only one of the temples on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage to feature this type of statute. Situated amidst peaceful farmland, the Horin-ji Temple is affectionately known as “Horin-san Amidst the Fields.”

    他の寺院に比べるとシンプルとも思える仁王門を潜って境内に進みました。正面が本堂となっており、直ぐ傍の大師堂共々参拝し易いようになっていました。又、本堂内には健脚祈願として大量のわらじが奉納されていました。

  • Temple No. 14, Jorakuji Temple
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    4.0
    27 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Kokufuchou Enmei 606
    The Joraku-ji Temple is a Koya-san Shingon Buddhist temple; its formal name is Seiju-zan Enmei-in. The Joraku-ji Temple is the 14th temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage; it is the only one of the 88 temples that is dedicated to the bodhisattva Maitreya. According to tradition, when Kobo Daishi was meditating in this area, he saw a vision of the Miroku-bosatsu (Bodhisattva Maitreya), accompanied by numerous other bodhisattvas, expounding Buddhist doctrine; Kobo Daishi carved a statue of Maitreya in sacred wood, built a temple, and set up the statue as the main object of veneration in the temple. The temple was subsequently expanded by Kobo Daishi’s disciples Shinzen Sojo and Kishin Shonin. During the Tensho era (1573–1592), the temple was burnt down by the armies of Motochika Chosokabe; it was rebuilt in 1659 on the orders of Hachisuka Mitsutaka, the lord of the Tokushima domain. Within the temple grounds, there is a stone Buddha statue ensconced in the branches of a huge araragi (Japanese Yew) tree, which is venerated as “Araragi-Daishi.”

    Very good temple to visit. Its busy as it is on the pilgrim trail, but had lovely outdoor areas where you can feel how old the place is. Though be careful with the names of temples as there are...

Tokushima 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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