Tsuwano, the Japan of yesteryear
Tsuwano is a small town in the San'in region that will transport you for the day to an authentic, centuries-old Japan.
Tsuwano, a hidden gem of Japanese culture and history
The first thing that strikes the visitor is its proximity to nature. This town in Shimane Prefecture is nestled in the mountains and seems to have its own microclimate. The passage of the seasons is so pronounced here that daily life must adapt itself to the significant changes in temperature and weather. These are the particularities of the San'in region, on the Sea of Japan side, as opposed to the San'yo region, on the Pacific side, which enjoys a milder climate.
But the drawbacks are more than worth the price. If you go up to the lookout point of the old castle ruins, you can see the frequent seas of clouds that appear over the town below, the mountains that turn red in autumn, snow in winter, and of course the cherry trees in spring.
Still alive with tradition
Tsuwano is an authentic town where the Japan of yesteryear seems to be incorporated into local life in the most natural way. A former samurai town, it has large gates that once separated the town according to caste.
For centuries, the town has been the site of festivals that are famous throughout the Shimane region. Of particular note are the famous heron dance (Sagi-mai), and the Yabusame (Japanese archery competition). The course used for the Tsuwano Yabusame is the oldest in Japan, dating from the 12th century, and is the only one nestled in the mountains.
A condensed version of Japan
What makes a visit to Tsuwano so interesting is the amount of notable places you can visit in such a small area. The Taikodani-Inari temple, one of the five largest Inari Shinto shrines along with Kyoto's famous Fushimi-Inari, with its line of vermilion doors; the Hachimangu shrine and its thousand-year-old cedar tree; the main street of the samurai town, Tonomachi; the tatami church that testifies to the presence of Christians in the 19th century, etc.
Discover Japanese herbal teas
Your host Adrien has been a resident of this city for several years, and knows it like the back of his hand. In the tea shop he owns with his wife, he will organise a break to taste green tea, and especially Japanese infusions. Indeed, Japan has an impressive quantity of infusions of herbs, roots, beans, wheat, seeds, etc. which have been drunk and appreciated for centuries because of their therapeutic virtues (the Japanese can cure everything with a tea or an infusion), and also for their unique flavours. You can discover them and make your own blend according to your taste.
Your English-speaking guide will pick you up at your hotel at 9:00 to start the guided tour, which will last about 8 hours.
Transportation will be by car. You will also have lunch with your guide in a restaurant along the way, recommended by them. Your meal will be on your own.
Please allow about 1,200 yen per person for the paid attractions (cable car, entrance to historical sites, etc.), which will take place depending on the weather and your wishes.
As part of our discovery days, your guide will prepare the best itinerary for you, although we also offer the possibility of contacting your guide beforehand if you have specific requests (dietary restrictions, parts of the programme you would like to discuss, etc.).