Photo By: Roberto Maxwell
Region
Shikoku
Island
Shikoku
Largest City
Tokushima
Population
823,997

Nagoro Scarecrow Village

A mysterious village with more scarecrow residents than people.

At first glance, most visitors to Nagoro Village will see a sweet rural community of elderly residents spending their time blissfully tending to their gardens and fishing. Take a closer look, however, and you might be in for a scare. The villagers are actually scarecrows! Get it?

Nagoro Village, aka Kakashi no Sato (Scarecrow Village), is a unique riverside town in Tokushima Prefecture on Japan’s smallest island, Shikoku. Scarecrow residents outnumber humans ten-to-one in this remote Iya Valley hamlet.

Who made all the scarecrows?

Ayano Tsukimi

Photo by: maryammohry Ayano Tsukimi, the mother of scarecrows

More than 200 scarecrows inhabit the town. They’ve become loved by their human neighbors and are often celebrated by the community for bringing back fruitful memories of the past.

The scarecrows are all created single-handedly by longtime resident Ayano Tsukimi. Tired of seeing the number of villagers decline over the years, Ayano chose to create a new community of friendly faces. Stuffing old clothes with newspaper and cotton helped her repopulate the once lively neighborhood.

If you’re lucky, there’s a chance you might bump into Ayano herself. She’s just one of approximately thirty people still living in the village.

In recent years, Ayano has started creating dolls that follow international trends. Play a game of real-life “Where’s Waldo,” and see if you can find the US President Donald Trump scarecrow doppelganger or characters from the Harry Potter series. There are also famous Japanese celebrities and comedians.

Scarecrow Festival

Nagoro Village

Photo by: Roberto Maxwell A happy scarecrow family.

On the first Sunday of October, Nagoro holds a festival that exhibits the scarecrows and Ayano’s other works. Every year’s exhibition has a different theme with photo contests, bazaars, and rice cake throwing.

Tokushima Likes to Dance

Tokushima Awa odori
Just under an hour away from Nagoro village is Iya Valley, home to lush forests, three rare vine bridges, hot springs, and other exciting outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting and canyoning along the Oboke Gorge.

Nagoro  Scarecrow Village is nestled in a more remote area along the Iya River. There are small Buddhist temples and farms to visit nearby, but the main attraction is definitely the scarecrows. If you’re lucky, there’s a chance you might bump into Ayano herself. She’s just one of approximately thirty people still living in the village.

Topics: , , ,

Trivia

Tokushima Awa odori

Tokushima Likes to Dance

Time your visit to Nagoro Scarecrow Village around the Awa Odori Dance Festival in August! Surely, you'll want to interact with some people?

More

Things To Know

Access

Nagoro Village can be quite difficult to access. The best mode of transport is by car as buses are infrequent and the nearest train station is an hour away.

How To Get There

Address

198 Higashiiyasugeoi, Miyoshi, Tokushima 778-0201, Japan

By car

Nagoro Village is about a two-hour drive from Tokushima Station or a five-hour trip from Wakayama via the Tokushima Ferry.

Where To Stay

Experiencing Traditional Life Style Inn Kajiya Iya Romantei
  • Higashiiya Keijou141 Miyoshi-Shi, Tokushima 778-0204
  • 9.4/10
  • 10.8 km
Powered by Booking.com
Kazuraya
  • Nishiiyayamamura Kanjo 78 Miyoshi-Shi, Tokushima 778-0102
  • 8.9/10
  • 16.7 km
Powered by Booking.com
Hotel Kazurabashi
  • Nishi-iyayama-mura Zentoku 33-1 Miyoshi-Shi, Tokushima 778-0102
  • 9/10
  • 18.0 km
Powered by Booking.com
Camp Park Kito
  • Kito oryu azanokubodani 45 Naka-Gun Naka-Cho, Tokushima 771-6511
  • 18.9 km
Powered by Booking.com