History / Culture / Tour Spots in Tokushima Area

  • Iya-no-Kazurabashi Bridge
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    4.0
    705 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.

    It is definitely worth a visit if you are in the Iya Valley area. You can take a bus from the Oboke station (not so frequent though) or via taxi, if you are not driving. It only takes a few minutes...

  • Awaodorikaikan
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    4.0
    399 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima ken Tokushima-shi Shimomachi Bridge2-20

    There are five performances daily. We were able to dance with them after a short explanation. This is a must if you want to see real awa odors dancing.

  • The Peeing Boy of Iya Gorge
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    3.5
    119 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Miyoshishi Ikedachoumatsuo
    This statue of a peeing boy was based on anecdotes about local children and travelers who tested their bravery here by peeing off the edge of the 200-meter cliff above the Iya River. Created in 1968 by Tokushima sculptor Ryoko Kawasaki, the statue stands on a rock in Nana Magari (seven curves), said to be the hardest part of the Iya Kaido Highway.

    Walking down the windy road of the Iya-valley to this statue from the Iya Onsen is kind of scary after having taken the bus there and having seen the small road and sharp turns. Come to take a nice...

  • Otsuka Museum of Art
    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.
  • Ooasahiko Shrine
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    4.5
    81 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...

  • Unpenji Temple
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    4.0
    39 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...

  • 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...

  • Kakurinji Temple
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    4.0
    31 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.

    萱原から徒歩で鶴林寺を目指し歩き続けましたが、此処でも水戸黄門現象が起きて しまい非常に疲れてしまった。 鶴林寺からの帰りは車道をひたすら歩いて道の駅で昼食、勝浦線のバスで徳島市内 に帰りました。

  • Hiwasa Sea Turtle Museum Caretta
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    4.0
    52 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...

  • Tokushima Prefectural Awa Jurobe Yashiki (Puppet Theater and Museum)
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    4.5
    58 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...

  • Temple No. 13, Dainichiji Temple
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    4.0
    29 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.

    This is a lovely temple to explore, but it is even nice to sleep over. The dinner and breakfasts were wonderful. To make it even more special, the Zen Master Priest, Kim Myoseon, joined us for...

  • Team Lab Tokushima Bunka-no-Mori Universe of Water Particles on Bunka-no-Mori Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Hachimanchou Mukouterayama Cultural forest in the general park
    A permanent outdoor exhibit created by Team Lab, a group gaining much attention in Japan and around the world for its cutting edge digital art. The group created the exhibit by first recreating one of the buildings in the park in a virtual 3D space. They then simulated a waterfall falling over that building and used projection mapping to project this image on the actual building. The waterfall continually changes depending on the movement of people; standing at the top of the piece, the flow changes, and you can experience what it’s like to be a boulder obstructing the movement of water.
  • Joroku-ji Temple
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    4.0
    20 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Jourokuchou Jouryou
    The Joroku-ji Temple is a Soto-school Buddhist temple located in Tokushima City. The temple’s honorific “mountain name” is Zuirin-zan; its full formal name is Zuirin-zan Jiun-in Joroku-ji; it is the 24th temple on the Awa-Chichibu Kannon Temples 34-temple Pilgrimage. According to the temple’s own traditions, the Joroku-ji Temple was founded in 650, making it a very ancient temple. Besides the Hon-do (main hall), there are many National Important Cultural Properties in the temple, including the Sanmon gate, the Kannon-do hall, and the Kyozo (Scripture House), and as a result the Jorouku-ji Temple has become known as the “Awa region’s Horyu-ji Temple” (the Horyu-ji Temple in Nara is famous for its antiquity and its many treasures). The bloodstained floorboards from the treacherous attack on Shingai Sanetsuna by Motochika Chosokabe in the temple in 1582 have been preserved as part of the ceiling of the Tokuun-in hall; dark patches that are believed to be the vestiges of the bloodstains from the victims’ hands and feet can still be seen today.

    ここは、阿波の法隆寺と呼ばれる程のお寺で観音堂には年季の入った像が拝めたりトイレの神様、血天井と見学出来ます。(血天井の注意書きは長い) 境内参拝料金=300円

  • Temple No. 7, Jurakuji Temple
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    4.5
    3 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.

    中国的な鐘楼門(山門)が印象的。 生、老、病、死など避ける事の出来ない苦難を乗り越え、十の光明と輝く楽しみが得られるようにと弘法大師が願ってなづけられた。 周辺はコスモスでいっぱい。

  • Byodoji Temple
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    4.0
    2 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.

    国道55号線を辿って、阿南市の南部で県道35号線に入りJR牟岐線を渡ってほぼ道なりに行くと、平等寺に到着します。22番札所です。この寺は弘法の霊水で有名です。お大師さまが修行されている時に五色の霊雲が現れ雲の中に梵字が見えたそうです。それが薬師如来に姿を変え、供養しようと井戸を掘ったら乳白色の水が湧きあふれたそうです。本尊薬師如来像はこうして彫られたそうです。弘法の霊水は透明でしたが、そういうこと...

  • Idoji Temple
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    4.5
    2 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.

    673年創建の由緒ある寺院。落ち着いた雰囲気のお寺ですが、寺の中で最も存在感があるのはこの門だと思います。

  • Shosanji Temple
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    5.0
    1 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.

    四国八十八ヶ所霊場第十二番札所の焼山寺は標高930mの焼山寺山の山腹700mの地点にあります。山門をくぐると両側に杉の巨木が繁る参道となり奥の石段を上った先に本堂があります。本堂右手に大師堂、そして左手に大黒天堂があります。本堂や大師堂にもひけをとらぬ立派なお堂です。三面大黒天が安置されています。昔、この山には魔性の大蛇が棲んでおり民衆に被害を与えていた。弘法大師が修行で入山しようとした時も大蛇は...

  • Kokugan-zan Henjo-in Dainichi-ji Temple (the 4th Temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage)
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    4.5
    2 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Itanogunitanochou Kurodani Iuchi 28
    The Kokugan-zan Henjo-in Dainichi-ji Temple is the 4th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. According to tradition, Kobo Daishi spent a considerable period meditating on the Temple site, and had a vision of the Dainichi-Nyorai Buddha; this led him to carve a statue of the Dainichi-Nyorai Buddha to serve as the main object of veneration for the Temple which he proceeded to have built. The Dainichi-ji Temple’s Sanmon (Main Gate) was constructed using an unusual design featuring a bell tower with round pillars above a gateway with square pillars. The cloister that links the Main Hall with the Daishi Hall is lined with wooden statues of the bodhisattva Kannon. This is said to be connected to the 33 Kannon Temples Pilgrimage.

    四国88箇所の四番札所の境内にある観音像で、西国33カ所の観音像が安置されている。江戸時代に奉納されたものだそうだが、なかなか見応えがある。

  • Kokubun-ji Temple
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    5.0
    2 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Pref. Tokushimashi Kokufuchou Yano 718-1
    The Kokubun-ji Temple is the 15th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is one of many Kokubun-ji (state-supported provincial temples) founded throughout Japan by Emperor Shomu in the 8th century. As a total of four Kokubun-ji temples were established in Shikoku, and as several of them are included in the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage, this particular temple is known as the Awa Kokubun-ji Temple, to differentiate it from the others. The bodhisattva Gyoki personally carved a statue of the Yakushi Nyorai Buddha (Medicine Buddha) to serve as the main object of veneration at the Temple. The Temple originally belonged to the Hosso school of Buddhism (one of the Southern Schools), but changed allegiance to the Shingon school during the period in which Kobo Daishi was organizing the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage route. The Awa Kokubun-ji Temple Garden has been designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty and also as a Prefectural Historic Site.

    期待以上のすごい迫力でした。大きな石のバランスと配置が建物と非常にあっていてどこにもない創造性を感じさせてくれました。妻が庭が好きなのでとても気に入っていました。

  • Omatsu Daigongen
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    4.5
    13 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tokushima Anan-shi Kamocho
    "This shrine is beloved by the nickname ""Nekogami-sama."" The grounds of the temple, which is known as the patron shrine of competitions and wishes, contain around 10,000 manekineko (lucky cat figures) that have been offered to the temple. A famous legend about a bakeneko (a cat spirit from Japanese folklore) has been passed down at the shrine for more than 330 years since the late 1600s. It is one of the three most famous of such legends in Japan, with the other two being from Arima and Nabeshima."

    If you like cats youll love this shrine. There are cat figures everywhere from the guardians, to the seven lucky gods (as cats). And of course there is a real cat in residence. They have cat ema and...

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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