Kihoku Town [鬼北町]

Kihoku is a broad town made up of amalgamated villages, primarily the two hubs of Hiyoshi and Hiromi. The population is about 11,600. Kihoku’s local products are pheasant, yuzu, shiitake and rice. Website:

Location / Access / Transport

  • Car: 20 minutes north of Uwajima
  • Train: The main station is Chikanaga (近永) – 35-40 minutes from Uwajima (360 yen)

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights

  • Ushioni Festival – demon cow festival in November
  • Dechikonka – town fair-style festival in October with booths selling local products, large taiko performances and various bands
  • Naganoichi – festival in April
  • Dechikonka Natsunojin, Kawanobri – celebrate summer by running up a river! A very difficult race held in July, but a lot of fun. Not inconsiderable risk of injury
  • Crying baby festival – a rather unusual ceremony in early winter where a man dressed as an oni is handed small children, and they either cry or stare nonplussed
  • Fireflies – common around the town’s rivers in late May and early June. The best place to find them is in Aiji

Dining Out

  • Korean
    • Juju – good Korean BBQ restaurant
    • Toyoken – Korean BBQ and sushi
  • Izakaya and Bars
    • Mama – Japanese-style izakaya
    • Ichi – izakaya
    • Yesterday – café/bar with great atmosphere, often hosts live bands
    • Haruya – izakaya, primarily for large gatherings/enkai
    • Begin – located just around the corner from Chikanaga station. The owner speaks English!
  • Japanese
    • Nagashi somen – river of cold noodles; summer only
    • Hoka Hoka Ben – decent take-out bento
  • Family Restaurants
    • Joyfull – chain restaurant with cheap, fast food


  • Supermarkets – Fuji, Direx, Shinbashi
  • Clothing – Shimamura, across from Fuji
  • Home Improvement – Home Stock
  • Books – Haruya. Chain bookstore with a decent selection (but unfortunately no foreign-language books)
  • Pharmacy – two pharmacies, one located next to Fuji, and one next to Haruya
  • Local Goods – Yumesanchi and Morinosankakuboshi. Locally made products, farmer’s market and souvenirs


  • Narukawa Onsen
  • Narukawa Gorge – a beautiful nature area near the hot spring. There are several hiking trails near the Narukawa lodge area. The lodge is well known for serving pheasant products
  • BG Pool – outdoor covered pool, open from early May to mid-September
  • Community Park – large gym building near the JHS, has a small, inexpensive gym with some weights and treadmills. There is an interesting playground with large slides above the gym
  • Fitness Gym Athlete – a well-equipped gym with a variety of weights and machines. ¥30,000 annual fee, with discount for multiple sign-ups
  • Camping – recreation/camping sites on the far end of town in Hiyoshi and near Mishima
  • Fishing – several freshwater species live in the area, including eel and carp