Translated by MATCHA-PR
A Treasury Of Beautiful Scenery - 9 Amazing Sights In Tokushima
The whirlpools in the Naruto area, Mount Tsurugi, the Ōboke Gorge, and Iya Valley are sceneries unique to Tokushima. Check out this article for details on these sights and other travel tips regarding Tokushima!
Written by MATCHA-PR
Tokushima prefecture, located in the Shikoku region is close to Osaka prefecture and can be reached by plane from Tokyo's Haneda Airport in one hour and 10 minutes.
Tokushima is famous for Mount Tsurugi, which is the second highest mountain in Western Japan and one of the one hundred famous mountains of the country, as well as for the whirling tides in the Naruto area, one of the three largest tidal currents in the world. In addition, there are impressive settlements and valleys, which add to the unique charm of this region. We will introduce here nine such sightseeing spots in Tokushima.
1. Mount Tsurugi
Mount Tsurugi is the second highest mountain in Western Japan. Around 2000 m high, this mountain is fairly easy to climb, as a lift service is provided along half of the distance to the top. This mountain is a place with beautiful scenery, due to its natural forest and great variety of mountain plants, which change along with the seasons. The mountain itself has been an object of worship from ancient times, and is surrounded by other mountains of around 1800 m altitude.
2. The Tidal Currents of Naruto
The Strait of Naruto, located between Naruto city and the Island of Awaj, where the waters of the Kii Canal fall into the Seto Inland Sea, is one of the world's three largest tidal currents, along with the Strait of Messina in Italy and the Seymour Narrows, located between America and Canada. The speed of the currents can reach up to 15-20km/h. Because of this, a large number of whirlpools of various dimensions get formed in this area, with some of them reaching even 20 m in diameter. The best time to see the whirlpools is an hour before or after the high tide and the low tide. The largest whirlpools emerge during the high tides in spring and autumn.
3. Kazura Bridge in Iya
Kazura Bridgelocated in Iya, one of the hidden gems of Shikoku, is known as one of Japan's three unusual bridges.
This bridge was for a long time the only traffic facility in this deep mountain area. It is made from a vine plant called shirakuchi kazura, and it weighs approximately 5 tonnes. It is 45 m long, 2 m wide and it hangs 14 m above the river. If you look down, through the crevices of the bridge you will be able to see the river surface.
Moreover, as you walk, the bridge is rocking, so be prepared for a thrilling experience! Stepping on this bridge is an attraction in itself. The bridge is built anew every 3 years.
4. Ochiai Village
The Ochiai village, located in the central area of Eastern Iya, is a village spanning over a valley that's almost 390 m deep.
The traditional houses built from the middle to the end of Edo period, as well as the stone walls and the fields bring about the landscape of a mountain village from the old. In this village, there is also the Kayabuki Minka Stay, an accommodation facility established in a reconstructed old house, based on a concept by Asian Cultural Studies researcher Alex Kerr.
5. The Oboke Gorge
Oboke Gorge, located in the center of Shikoku, is a valley created by the water erosion of the crystalline schists of Yoshinogawa river. The surroundings look as if marble statues were rising from the water.
Moreover, with the cherry blossoms in spring and the red leaves in autumn adding color to the clear water of the stream, one of the charms of this place is that you can enjoy a different landscape each season. A part of this less known area and of the sea route, where the steep, beautiful landscape is visible, has been designated as a Japan's natural heritage.
6. The Iya Valley
At the bottom of the deep Iya Valley flows the Iya River, with its emerald green waters. You'll feel dizzy when you look from above because the river is so deep down. In autumn, the whole mountain, from base to the top, gets covered in red foliage. You can enjoy that beautiful sight also from the car and from the train.
On the cliffs along the Iya River, a rock left after the construction of the Iya highway can be seen. On this rock stands "Shōben kozō", a character created based on a legend which tells that children of the nearby village and travelers used to test their courage here. This spot has received 2 stars in the Michelin Guide to Japan.
7. Kōnose Narrows
In Nakacho kito, an area with great temperature variations, the color of the red leaves is intense. For this reason, Konose Narrows is a place well known for its red leaves. The landscape of the red leaves from the second half of October through the middle of November is an amazingly beautiful sight.
8. Big Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival)
The Big Hina Matsuri is an event held each year from the second half of February through the end of March, where people gather the hina dolls that are not used anymore and give them as an offering. The sight of the 8 meter tall hina doll stand rising right in the middle of this place, as well as the sight of almost 30,000 dolls is impressive. You can enjoy watching the traditional puppet theater ningyō jōruri, as well as songs and dances performed on the stage established for this event.
9. The Townscape of Udatsu
Located in the district of Mima, Udatsu is a place where you can encounter the landscape of a traditional town. "Udatsu" is a wall created to prevent the spreading of fire from one house to another.
It is a rare and valuable spot, where you can still see the town landscape from the Edo Period, a time that flourished through the activity of merchants.
Sponsored by Tokushima Prefecture