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Kamaishi, Tono

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Know Tono

Agricultural Wonder: Satoyama in Tono

Mysterious Tohoku: Tono

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The Konjiki-do, Golden Hall, is housed within this building

Get spirited away at this picturesque town rich with dramatic nature

Tono town in Iwate Prefecture is the stuff of fairytales, rich in bucolic scenes such as thatched farmhouses, forests and brooks. Not surprisingly, it inspired the famous Tono Monogatari (The Legends of Tono) by Kunio Yanagita, which is a collection of folklores featuring famous Japanese creatures such as the kappa (Japanese river troll) and zashiki warashi (a prankish spirit that takes the form of a child) that is said to haunt the old village houses.

Exterior of a Magariya, where the farmers and beasts stayed under one roof in an L-shaped house.

One of the must-see attractions at Tono is the Nambu Magariya, or Bent House ? named after how the farm house is built in an L-shape. The people of Tono have a rich tradition of horse rearing, and lived under the same roof with these gentle beasts. Their houses were designed to allow warmth from the house to flow to the horse barn. The Chiba Family Magariya was built nearly 200 years ago and records say that a total of 25 people lived in the house with 20 horses.

The folktales from The Legends of Tono are brought to life using interactive exhibitions at he Tono Monogatari Museum, and attached to this is a museum dedicated to the life of the author, Kunio Yanagita, known as the father of Japanese native folklore, and sometimes called the “Japanese Grimm”.

Discover the folklore of Iwate with interactive exhibitions at the Tono Mongatari Museum.

The natural wonders of Iwate also inspired a popular literary work that has been translated into many languages, “Night on the Galactic Railroad” by Kenji Miyazawa. In fact, a themed SL train called “SL Ginga” (ginga referring to the Galactic Railroad) running between Hanamaki City and Kamaishi City ? and stopping by Tono - of Iwate prefecture is modeled on this famous children’s story.

The themed-train, SL Ginga, passes by Tono town.)

In fact, there is a planetarium inside one of the train compartments where passengers can view a planetarium show depicting the story of the “Night on the Galactic Railroad”.

The themed-train, SL Ginga, passes by Tono town.)

Come and visit this magical town for yourself, and you may find some inspiration for a new novel!

Access:

3 hr 10 mins from Tokyo via Shin-Hanamaki Staition (JR Tohoku Shinkansen Line) to Tono Station by JR Kamaishi Line.

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the Tono Monogatari Museum

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