Photo: Roberto Maxwell
stay at home; plan the future

Nagoro: A mysterious village with more scarecrow residents than people

By GaijinPot Travel

At first glance, most visitors to Nagoro village will see a sweet rural community of elderly residents spending their time blissfully tending to their gardens and fishing. Take a closer look, however, and you might be in for a scare. The villagers are actually scarecrows! Get it?

Nagoro Village, aka Kakashi no Sato (Scarecrow Village), is a unique riverside town in Tokushima Prefecture on Japan’s smallest island, Shikoku. Scarecrow residents outnumber humans ten-to-one in this remote Iya Valley hamlet.

Photo: maryammohry

More than 200 scarecrows inhabit the town. They’ve become loved by their human neighbors and are often celebrated by the community for bringing back fruitful memories of the past.

The scarecrows are all created single-handedly by longtime resident Ayano Tsukimi. Tired of seeing the number of villagers decline over the years, Ayano chose to create a new community of friendly faces. Stuffing old clothes with newspaper and cotton helped her repopulate the once lively neighborhood.

If you’re lucky, there’s a chance you might bump into Ayano herself. She’s just one of approximately thirty people still living in the village.

In recent years, Ayano has started creating dolls that follow international trends. Play a game of real-life “Where’s Waldo,” and see if you can find the U.S. President Donald Trump scarecrow doppelganger or characters from the Harry Potter series. There are also famous Japanese celebrities and comedians.

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

I went here last year. Very authentic in that it isn't some tourist trap. Actually, its not at all touristy or even developed for visitors really. Just a sparse little village along a road that is a bit crumbly, with the scarecrows literally everywhere.

Its pretty deep in the mountains, at the far end of the valley. And there are a pair of beautiful vine bridges hidden in the forest about a 5 minute drive beyond the village. You can see more about going here in English on their local website.

You can even see how to take a class with Ms Ayano to make your own scarecrow.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

James May (Top Gear/Grand Tour) visited Nagoro in his Amazon Video specials.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites