With a population of around 260,000 people, Tokushima is a colorful city and the capital of Tokushima Prefecture. Known throughout Japan for its distinctive Awa dance, the city continues to captivate in the 21st century. The Awa dance is performed by women dressed in summer kimono and wearing folded woven hats. They dance rhythmically as they chant in a spellbinding cadence. The dance is part of the Obon holiday in Japan that celebrates the return of one’s ancestors to the world of the living.
Mt. Bizan is the mountain that symbolizes the natural essence of the city. You do not have to hike it as there is a cable car from the Awa Dance Center that will take you to the top. From there you will be treated to views of the city and the Seto Inland Sea.
Eagle Gate is at the entrance of Tokushima Castle ruins and there is an accompanying garden in which to spend countless hours. The garden boasts a museum containing art and artifacts.
Besides the castle garden, there is a botanical garden and a zoo that is said to be the biggest in Shikoku. Higashi Shinmachi Shopping Street is a traditional Japanese arcade that is full of character. You are sure to find a keepsake or souvenir that will remind you of Tokushima.
For an urban oasis, visit the Shinmachi River and sit on the steps that line the bank. It is the chic spot in the city and one of the best places to snap that picture postcard shot.
Rivers, the sea, beaches, fields and mountains complement one another, making Tokushima City a unique natural experience in an urban setting.