Top:Yakuo Temple in Okukawachi, 2nd left:Hiwasa Castle, 2nd right:Ohama Beach, Bottom left:Panorama vies of Mount Myojin, from Izari area, Bottom right:Panorama view of Hiwasa area, from Yakuo Temple
Location of Minami in Tokushima Prefecture
|• Mayor||Nobuyoshi Kageji (since August 2009)|
|• Total||140.85 km2 (54.38 sq mi)|
|Population (October 1, 2016)|
|• Density||49/km2 (130/sq mi)|
|• Tree||Cherry blossom|
|• Flower||Quercus phillyraeoldes|
|• Bird||Delichon urbica|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
Located 50 km south of prefecture's capital, Tokushima city, Minami is over 33 km from east to west, and covers an area of approximately 140.8 km². It is bordered on the southwest by the Kaifu mountains and on the east by the Pacific Ocean, making Minami a scenic town surrounded by mountains and sea. As of October 1, 2016, the town has an estimated population of 6,929 and a density of 49 persons per km². The total area is 140.85 km².
In 2009/2010 Minami Town was one of the locations for NHK's TV drama 'Welkame' (ウェルかめ), which featured some of the towns beaches, its Autumn festival, and Minami's sea turtle museum. As a result, the town experienced an increase in domestic tourism.
Minami is a little over one hour from Tokushima city by car, but can also be reached in one hour by express train from Tokushima Station on the JR Mugi Line. It is a one and a half hour drive from Tokushima Airport.
Hiwasa Hachiman Jinja Autumn Festival
A two-day harvest festival held one weekend early October every year. On the first day of the festival, the eight neighborhoods in Hiwasa parade their portable shrine on wheels through the streets of the town while praying for the safety of the townspeople and success in fishing. On the second day about 50 men from each neighborhood carry the portable shrine onto the beach and finally into the ocean, quite literally, proceeding through the waves to the far end of the beach. Each neighborhood vies with the others to put on the most spectacular display and also to prove their strength and bravery by taking their shrine furthest through the ocean waves. The heavy wooden portable shrines, known as chosa, each weigh about a tonne and four children ride atop the shrine drumming taiko drums.
On the first evening of the festival there is a night bazaar with various refreshments and traditional dancing and taiko drumming, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display.
Records of this festival go back to 1795, but the festival in its current form was started in 1957.
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