Tokushima 徳島

Tokushima City

Tokushima Prefecture is located on the island of Shikoku. Prefectural capital is Tokushima City with a population of about 263,000 people. The prefecture is best known for the Awa Odori, a dance festival held in August, the whirlpools of Naruto and the remote Iya Valley.

Things to see in Tokushima

Some of the most visited sightseeing spots in Tokushima.

  1. Awa Odori

    Awa Odori dance festival in Tokushima Prefecture

    Tokushima City's Awa Odori is the most famous of many dance festivals held across Japan during the Obon season in mid August. Awa is the former name for Tokushima Prefecture while Odori means dance. Between August 12th and 15th, spectators and dancers come to Tokushima in the thousands to see this "Fool's Dance" whose origins date back 400 years. This nickname comes from the lyrics to a common dance song, which translates as follows: "Fools dance and fools watch, if both are fools, you might as well dance".

    Awa Odori dance festival during evening in Tokushima

    How to get there

    From Tokyo or Osaka, take the Tokaido or Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama. And from Okayama switch to a rapid train to continue onto Takamatsu. From Takamatsu, both local and limited express trains complete the trip to Tokushima.

  2. Naruto Whirlpools

    Whirlpools in Naruto City Tokushima Prefecture

    The Naruto whirlpools occur along the Shikoku coast of the Naruto Strait, and are created by the large volumes of water moving between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean between high and low tide, combined with the unique underwater geography of the narrow strait. According to the change of tides, the whirlpools occur roughly every six hours and can typically be seen once in the morning and once in the afternoon for an hour or two. The whirlpools vary in size, depending on the intensity of the tides. They tend to be larger in summer than in winter, and are largest during spring tides, which occur every two weeks.

    Whirlpool boat tour in Tokushima Prefecture

    How to get there

    1-2 buses per hour run between Naruto Station and Naruto Park. The one way ride takes around 25 minutes. Buses stop near the "Naruto Kosoku" bus stop along the way, where it is possible to transfer to highway buses. Highway buses traveling in the direction of Tokushima (but not in the opposite direction) also stop at "Naruto Koen-guchi" bus stop in Naruto Park along the expressway.