Built on the delta of the Yoshino-gawa – Shikoku’s longest river – and bisected by the Shinmachi-gawa, TOKUSHIMA (徳島), the capital of Tokushima-ken, is known across Japan for its fantastic summer dance festival, the Awa Odori, which is attended every year by over one million people (see The dancing fools). If you’re not among them then don’t worry, as Tokushima does its best to provide a flavour of the Awa Odori experience year-round at the Awa Odori Kaikan, at the foot of Mount Bizan, a parkland area providing sweeping views of the city.

Home to the first temple of the Shikoku pilgrimage, Tokushima has a long history of welcoming visitors and you’ll find it a noticeably friendly and relaxed place, as well as a good base to explore the rest of the prefecture. North of the city are the whirlpools of Naruto, while heading south there’s the pretty coastal village of Hiwasa, where turtles lay their eggs on the beach each summer, popular surf beaches, and, across the border in Kōchi-ken, the jagged cape at Muroto. Inland, the best place to head is the spectacular Iya Valley, including the river gorge at Ōboke.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Japan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

A taste of Tokyo: the city’s best food experiences

A taste of Tokyo: the city’s best food experiences

If you really want to get to the heart of Tokyo's culinary scene, you'll need to go beyond the city's bustling restaurants and best-loved drinking dens. Rebecc…

21 Jul 2017 • Rebecca Hallett local_activity Special feature
11 tips for backpacking Japan

11 tips for backpacking Japan

With its tech-centric entertainment, ancient temples, lightning fast rail system and traditional art forms, Japan offers a fascinating mix of the new and the o…

07 Jul 2017 • Tamatha Roman insert_drive_file Article
Staying in a Japanese ryokan: a first-timer's guide

Staying in a Japanese ryokan: a first-timer's guide

It’s a cliché to say that Japan is a land of contrasts – but, in terms of accommodation, it really is. There are some weird and many wonderful places to s…

12 Jun 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right