Top things to do

Cultural in Tōno

Tōno Matsuri

This flamboyant spectacle, involving prayers for a bountiful harvest, is deeply connected with the legends of Tōno. There are yabusame events (horseback archery, in this case a 700-year-old event), traditional dance…
Soba in Tōno

Itō-ke

Among the soba varieties served here, try hitsuko soba (ひつこそば), eaten with chicken, mushrooms, onion and raw egg. Otherwise go for hittsumi (ひっつみ), hand-cut noodles served with chicken-and-vegetable dumplings in a h…
Buddhist Temple in Tōno

Jōken-ji

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 th…
Museum in Tōno

Tōno Folk Village

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 memorabilia pertaining to Yanagita. Several times a day, loc…
Landmark in Tōno

Tsuzuki-ishi

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 with views across the valley, but take heed as hungry ogres (a…
Memorial in Tōno

Gohyaku Rakan

In the hills above Tōno, these eerie, moss-covered rock carvings of 500 disciples of Buddha were fashioned by a priest to console the spirits of those who died in a 1754 famine. It's a truly unique site – approach r…
Shrine in Tōno

Unedori-sama

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 pines, using only your left hand, you'll meet your soul mate.
Shinto Shrine in Tōno

Aragami Jinja

You'll need to ask a local to take you or direct you to this photogenic little shrine in the middle of a luminous yellow field of canola. If you're a shutterbug, it's worth the treasure hunt.
Historic Building in Tōno

Yamaguchi Waterwheel

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

Chiba Family Magariya

In the fields outside Tōno you'll find this grand 200-year-old farmhouse in the traditional L-shaped Tōno style.