Iwate Prefecture

This peaceful temple is dedicated to the deity image of Obinzuru-sama. Behind the temple is the kappa-buchi pool, where Tōno's famous water sprites lurk. It is said that if pregnant women worship at the shrine on the riverbank, they’ll produce plenty of milk, but only if they first produce a breast-shaped offering. The tiny altar is filled with small red or white cloth bags, most complete with nipple.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Iwate Prefecture attractions

1. Tōno Denshōen

0.22 MILES

About 5km east of the town centre is Denshōen, a traditional farmhouse, now housing a small cultural museum. The highlights here are the thousand Oshira…

2. Yamaguchi Waterwheel

2.17 MILES

This delightful thatch-roofed waterwheel, once used for milling crops, has been preserved as a symbol of Tōno's past.

3. Tōno Folktale & Storytelling Center

2.87 MILES

Housed in the restored ryokan where Yanagita Kunio penned his famous work Legends of Tōno, this evocative museum has audiovisuals of some of the tales and…

4. Tōno Municipal Museum

2.92 MILES

With exhibits depicting some of Tōno's famous legends, this museum provides a good measure of background information and context for what's to come in the…

5. Aragami Jinja

3.64 MILES

You may need to ask a local to take or direct you to this photogenic little shrine in the middle of a luminous yellow field of canola. If you're a…

6. Unedori-sama

3.68 MILES

About 2.5km southwest of Tōno Station is Unedori-sama, the matchmaking shrine. According to legend, if you tie a strip of red cloth around one of the…

7. Gohyaku Rakan

3.84 MILES

In the hills above Tōno, these eerie, moss-covered rock carvings of five hundred disciples of Buddha were fashioned by a priest to console the spirits of…

8. Tsuzuki-ishi

6.65 MILES

A curious rock that rests amid aromatic cedars, Tsuzuki-ishi is either a natural formation or a dolmen (primitive tomb). A short, steep hike rewards you…