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Awa-Ikeda Tobacco Museum

A charming museum documenting the commodity that enriched the Yoshino River valley.

Awa-Ikeda Tobacco Museum

The rift valley through which the Yoshino River flows was prone to disastrous flooding in the Edo period as the river was unimpeded by levees. Consequently, the area was unsuited to growing rice, and so local people opted instead to grow indigo and tobacco instead. Less intensive to cultivate than rice, these commodities nonetheless fetched high prices, and they generated great wealth for the merchants of Awa-Ikeda, who built themselves elegant homes in the towns beside the river.

One of these homes now houses the Awa-Ikeda Tobacco Museum where you can see exhibits related to all aspects of the tobacco trade, including old advertisements of happy, healthy people stinking up the place with fag smoke. You can even try smoking one of the elegant little pipes of raw tobacco that were popular in Edo times, but be warned, the taste is utterly vile, and it lingers in your mouth for hours afterwards.

The museum is charming in its way, and the building is beautiful. It features udatsu, the ornamental firebreaks that the wealthy used to add to their homes to display their opulence.

Information

Name in Japanese: 阿波池田たばこ資料館

Pronunciation: awa-ikeda tabako shiryōkan

Address: 2465-1 Ikedachō Machi, Miyoshi, Tokushima 778-0002

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