Naruto City

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Naruto City serves as the gateway to the island of Shikoku from the Kansai region. Here many start their pilgrimage around Shikoku at Ryozenji temple, which is no. 1 of the 88 sacred sites part of this route. Naruto is home to a wide array of amazing tourism spots, including activities near the city’s magnificent whirlpools, an art museum that allows visitors to view masterpieces from around the world, and a form of pottery that is continued even today and is essential for indigo dyeing jars, one of Tokushima’s important industries. Visitors can also look forward to the wide array of delicious foods that Naruto has to offer, such as Naruto sea bream, Naruto kintoki sweet potatoes, and Naruto wakame seaweed. Here are three spots we have chosen that we highly recommend you visit.

Stimulate your Senses at the Otsuka Museum of Art

Located within a national park that is rich in nature, the Otsuka Museum of Art exhibits approximately 1,000 full-scale ceramic board reproductions of Western masterpieces from 26 countries around the world. The museum is composed of a “Realistic Environment Exhibition” that reproduces murals of ancient ruins and chapels exactly as they were in their original locations, a “Historical Development Exhibition” that showcases the transition of approximately 3,000 years’ worth of art all the way from ancient times to the present, and a “Thematic Exhibition” for painting themes. The permanent exhibition space is approximately 10,000 square meters, and the viewing route is 4 kilometers long. A museum filled with masterpieces, the Otsuka Museum of Art will prove for a lovely time as you travel through the world’s museums – all in one place! Perhaps you’ll meet a piece that truly moves your heart? There is also a café where you can try dishes and sweets based off these masterpieces, so please take your time and enjoy all that the museum has to offer.

HORIZON: Kayaking Adventure on a Sea of Whirlpools

HORIZON offers kayaking tours primarily in the Naruto area. The Naruto Sea is home to many powerful and unique currents that cause whirlpools to form. However, in contrast, the inner bay “Uchinomi Sea” has no waves and is the perfect spot for leisure activities. The kayaks may look as if they will flip over at any minute, but they are very safe and perfect even for beginners. Together with an experienced instructor, enjoy breaks at beaches and shrines that can’t be accessed via land, and from your kayak you’ll even be able to watch birds flying over the ocean. This sea kayaking adventure is sure to capture your heart with the gentle breeze and ocean smell, the crystal clear water, and the surrounding greenery.

Learn about Traditional Otaniyaki Pottery at Mori Pottery

Many of the indigo dyeing factories in Tokushima are equipped with huge jars for holding indigo dye. These are known as “Otaniyaki”, a traditional craft with a history of approximately 240 years, and are crafted in Naruto City kilns. In order to make these indigo jars, two craftsmen must work together. A traditional technique known as “nerokuro”, where one lies on their back and turns the potter’s wheel by kicking it, is still in use even today. At Mori Pottery in Oasa-cho, Naruto City, visitors can watch nerokuro being performed live in person, as well as use Otaniyaki clay to make pottery by hand, try out an electric potter’s wheel, and do ceramic painting, making for a fun family experience. Visitors can also enjoy listening to the sound of the suikinkutsu (a buried pottery jar that makes a sound when water drips into it), which is actually registered as a National Tangible Cultural Property Kiln. With a rough texture and faint metallic shine, Otaniyaki pottery is an item that can be used for daily life. You can purchase one as a souvenir, or even make your own original piece. When you are in Naruto, make sure not to miss the chance to experience this traditional art firsthand.

The Starting Point of the Shikoku Pilgrimage: Ryozenji Temple (Temple #1)

This ancient temple was founded approximately 1,300 years ago by Gyoki at the order of Emperor Shomu. Kobo Daishi (Kukai), the founder of Shingon Buddhism, visited this temple for ascetic practices and gave it the name “Ryozenji Temple”. The Shikoku Pilgrimage is a pilgrimage to 88 temples scattered across the 4 prefectures of Shikoku that have ties to Kobo Daishi. As Ryozenji Temple is the first of these 88 temples, it is affectionately called “Ichiban-san” in Japanese (lit: “Number One”), and is crowded with pilgrims clad in white throughout the year. With a wide array of pilgrim items for sale, just browsing everything can be quite fun. It is standard temple etiquette to finish the Daishido Hall after visiting the Main Hall.

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Visit the Otsuka Museum of Art

Otsuka Museum of Art: An art museum where visitors can encounter masterpieces from around the world Approximately 1,000 full-size ceramic boards reproducing Western masterpieces from 26 countries are on display. The Otsuka Museum of Art was established in March 1998 in Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture, the birthplace of the Otsuka Group, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of its founding. More than 1,000 masterpieces representing Western art from 26 countries are reproduced in life-size on ceramic boards and exhibited. On a leisurely 4-km-long viewing route, visitors can experience the world of art museums from the comfort of their own home in Japan by viewing Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," Van Gogh's "Sunflowers," Picasso's "Guernica," and other masterpieces they have seen in art books and other publications all under one roof. ■Hours of Operation: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Admission tickets are available until 4:00 PM) ■Closed: Mondays (Or the following day if Monday is a national holiday) Closed on Consecutive Days in January Closed on Special Days in August 【On the Designated Day】 Please present your reservation confirmation (smartphone screen) from the list of reservations on the aiTripper My Page at the ticket booth next to the main entrance. You will then receive an admission ticket. (Tickets are available until 4:00 PM) You can enter only on the date indicated on the reservation confirmation. For entry on days other than those listed, you must purchase a new ticket at the ticket counter. ※Please present the reservation confirmation (smartphone screen) of the person who made the reservation. ※Tickets are one-time use. ≪About the Calendar... Light Blue Dates ・・・・ Days the Museum is Open Gray Dates ・・・・Closed Days ※Please select 9:30 AM for the reservation time. However, arriving at 9:30 AM is not required; please come to the museum at your preferred time before 4:00 PM. ※The museum is closed on Mondays, but if Monday is a national holiday, the museum will be open Monday and then closed the following day. ■Admission (All inclusive of Consumption Tax, etc.) General Admission: 3,300 yen University Students: 2,200 yen Elementary, Junior High, and High School Students: 550 yen Students must present their student ID card at the ticket counter. University students are eligible for national, public, and private schools; independent administrative institutions; and educational corporations. ※Please be sure to check the official website of the Otsuka Museum of Art for information regarding advance ticket purchase, disabled persons, and groups of 20 or more people. ※Only the above day-of-performance tickets will be available for purchase on this website (aiTripper). 【On the day of your visit】 Please inquire at the ticket booth next to the main entrance of the Otsuka Museum of Art with the name of the representative who made the reservation. You will receive an admission ticket. (Tickets will be sold until 4:00 p.m.) ■Otsuka Museum of Art Official Website ※Please be sure to check the official website of the Otsuka Museum of Art for information on consecutive closures, special closures, restrictions on viewing, various services, and restaurant/café closures.

Tokushima (City Center)・Naruto


Art museum

Solo participant

JPY 3,300 ~ (Incl. tax)

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Sea Kayaking in Naruto! [2 Hour Course - Beginners Welcome]

This is a half-day plan that can be enjoyed by first-time kayakers. First, you will practice how to operate a kayak and then paddle out to the sea. An experienced guide will be there to assist you. The kayaks are highly stable, so you can enjoy kayaking even on rough seas. We will take you to the best locations among the Konaruto Strait, the Naruto Strait, or the Horikoshi Strait depending on the weather and sea conditions. At the Konaruto Strait, you will slowly move through the channel and circle around Takashima Island. At the Naruto Strait, you can feel the strong currents of the whirlpools! At the Horikoshi Strait, you can observe everything from gentle waves to raging torrents from a vantage point close to the sea. ★Number of Participants: 1-15 ★Meeting Place: The meeting place is subject to change depending on the weather and other conditions. (Uchinoumi Park or Aboshi Rest Area) Details will be provided after the reservation is made.

Tokushima (City Center)・Naruto



JPY 6,000 ~ (Incl. tax)

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Visit Ryozenji Temple (Temple #1) in Pilgrim's Attire!

Why not commemorate your visit to the first temple of the 1,200-kilometer Shikoku pilgrimage by putting some of the attire used by those who make the entire journey. This arduous route is said to have been created by Kukai/Kobo Daishi (774-835), the founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, and consists of 88 official sacred sites and numerous other historical and religious places. Monzen-ichibangai is a store that is located in front of the main gate of Ryozenji, No. 1 of the 88 temples where many people start. For this program our experienced staff will first give you a brief lecture about the pilgrimage, then help you put on the attire. Our staff will also help to take photographs. ★☆Location★☆ Monzen Ichibangai (In front of Ryozenji Temple) 29-6 Bando Nishiyamada, Oasa-cho, Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture 779-0236 ♢15 minutes by car from Naruto IC. ♢5 minutes by car from Itano IC.

Tokushima (City Center)・Naruto



88 temples of Shikoku

JPY 1,650 ~ (Incl. tax)

5.0 (1 reviews)

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