With a population of approximately 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 reed hats. They dance rhythmically as they chant in a spellbinding cadence. The dance is part of the Bon holiday in Japan that celebrates the return of one’s ancestors to the world of the living.
The clothing worn by the performers of the Awa dance is distinct due to its indigo color. This is significant as indigo dyeing is one of Tokushima’s traditional industries.
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; there is an accompanying garden in which to spend countless hours. The garden boasts a museum containing art and artifacts. In addition to the castle garden, there is a botanical garden and a zoo that is the largest 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 ideal “postcard shot”.
Rivers, the sea, beaches, fields, and mountains complement one another, making Tokushima City a unique natural experience in an urban setting.