Walking or cycling around town, visitors can discover a variety of sightseeing locations and activities.
High-ranking samurai once lived in this district and forbade everyday townspeople to enter without authorization.
Today, anyone can explore historical sites here, such as the Hanko Yorokan–a school run by the feudal domain. In the adjacent honmachi (the former merchant district), shops and cafes sell locally-made products such as sake (rice wine) and genjimaki (rolled cake filled with sweet bean paste).
Tonomachi Street is perhaps most famous for its koi fish-filled canals and the irises that bloom along the sidewalk in summer.
Tsuwano Catholic Church
This church, which mixes Eastern and Western design styles, was founded in 1892 and still serves a local congregation.
Additionally, the church operates a free museum that teaches about the history of Christian persecution in Japan and Tsuwano’s place in that history. Books on this topic written in English and Japanese are for sale in the museum shop.
Tsuwano Japan Heritage Center
This museum’s exhibits introduce the Hyakkeizu–one hundred paintings that depict life in feudal Tsuwano. Going around town to visit sites from Hyakkeizu paintings is a popular sightseeing activity. It is recommended that those who want to try this visit the heritage center first because the center provides guidebooks and maps showing the locations of each painting’s subject.
The center is also excellent for learning about the local culture through the Heron Dance and local crafts. Experiences such as making washi paper dolls are offered for a fee.
Art museums and galleries
One of Tsuwano’s most internationally recognized artists is Anno Mitsumasa (1926-2020). In addition to working as an elementary school teacher, he illustrated award-winning wordless children’s books, and his art is now displayed in the Anno Mitsumasa Art Museum.
Other places, such as the Morijuku Art Museum, house past local artists’ works while displaying the beauty of Tsuwano’s traditional gardens and architecture.
Meanwhile, the galleries of current artists are found throughout central Tsuwano. Artists may display or sell their work here, and sometimes crafting experiences are offered.