Tsuwano’s Old Town is most recognized for its samurai
mansions in the Tonomachi District, showcasing dark red
roof tiles and thick white walls with wooden grated
windows. The unique red roof tiles, which are made from
local clay, are used for protection from snow and fires.
The canals filled with koi located in Tonomachi District
were originally used for interesting means. Its water
source was used to fight fires, and the stocked carp as
emergency food supply in case of a siege. Now, the
waterways serve as one of the atmospheric
characteristics of the town.
Old Town is one of the main reasons Tsuwano is called “Little Kyoto”. To avoid confusion, there are several cities in Japan referred by that name. It is the center of Tsuwano’s tourism, featuring a number of old fashioned buildings and museums. To name, there is the Morijuku Art Museum, Katsushika Hokusai Museum of Art, and Anno Art Museum. There is also the Tsuwano Catholic Church, which was built in 1931 to commemorate the Christians persecuted in Tsuwano during the Meiji Period.