にし阿波桃源郷

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What is Nishi-Awa?

Nishi-Awa is a region comprising two cities, Mima and Miyoshi, and two towns, Tsurugicho and Higashi Miyoshicho in Western Tokushima Prefecture.
The villages in the mountainous part of Nishi-Awa are built among steep mountains. The scenery of the mountains, fields, stonework, grass stooks and houses together represent one of the unique landscapes of Japan. It’s a kind of Shangri-La.
The traditions and culture unique to this land, replete with wisdom and ingenuity, are the treasure of Nishi-Awa handed down by our predecessors.

The daily life of villagers

The people of Nishi-Awa have survived in a place of steep mountain ranges, with rampaging rivers that often flood.
Worshipping the gods of the mountains and water, we honour nature, and receive the blessings of the rivers and the earth. Both riverside and mountainside often change their appearance after a storm.
The people lead happy, tranquil lives, working together and supporting each other every day.

On the steep slopes, we built stone walls to secure the soil, and established our houses. Stones and soil always roll downwards, so raising the soil is a time-consuming business.
Looking after the local gods is naturally a community effort, and everybody in the village also works together to build the stone walls, houses and paths. We also cooperate in cutting grass, forming it into stooks called “koeguro”, which is used as compost. The unique landscape that was formed in this way is today a nostalgic landscape of old Japan.

Traditional farming on steep slopes (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems)

In Nishi-Awa, the special techniques for farming on steep slopes have been handed down for generations. This form of sustainable agriculture using grass for compost isn’t found in many other regions. Since the land is unsuited to growing rice, native types of soba and millet are cultivated, as well as native mountain tea and vegetables. Traditional cooking styles using the unique ingredients of this place such as the local dish soba-rice porridge, “Dekomawashi” (food cooked on sticks), “Hirarayaki” (trout cooked in miso) and so on have been handed down lovingly.
Villages where you can experience these unique landscapes, traditions and food culture are found throughout Nishi-Awa. The ways of living illuminated by the wisdom and ingenuity of our ancestors, the rustic and tasty food, and encounters with local people, will stay with you forever and give you fresh energy for tomorrow.

Farmstay accommodation where you can experience country living in Nishi-Awa

A sloping village spread across the mountainside. Traditional farming practices and customs have been passed down in this place that’s been called “Sora” (the Sky / high place) since olden times.
Please come and enjoy a farmstay where you can try a variety of activities in the company of the villagers.