Awa-Odori Folk Dance Festival in Tokushima-SUM

Tokushima City

A vibrant city of dancing

Tokushima City, the capital of Tokushima Prefecture, is located on the northeast corner of Shikoku Island. This bustling port city is known for its lively Awa Odori Festival, which takes place every summer and transforms the city into a vibrant explosion of color. The festival attracts dancers and spectators from all over japan and the world, making it a must-see event for anyone visiting Tokushima.

Situated at the mouth of several major rivers, Tokushima City is a hub of activity. Its busy port serves as a gateway to the rest of Shikoku Island and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The city itself is a blend of traditional and modern architecture, with skyscrapers towering over historic buildings.

One of the highlights of Tokushima City is the view from the top of Mt. Bizan. This mountain offers panoramic views of the city and its surrounding natural beauty. Visitors can take a cable car to the summit and enjoy breathtaking vistas of the cityscape below.

Another must-visit attraction in Tokushima City is the Awa Odori Kaikan Hall. This interactive museum is dedicated to the city’s famous Awa Odori dance. Visitors can learn about the history and significance of this traditional dance form and even participate in performances themselves. The museum also hosts daily shows by local dance groups, showcasing the vibrant energy and spirit of the Awa Odori Festival.

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For a unique perspective of the city, visitors can take a free boat cruise around Tokushima. This leisurely tour takes you along the city’s rivers and canals, allowing you to see the city from a different angle. It’s a relaxing way to take in the sights and sounds of Tokushima and get a glimpse of daily life in this vibrant city.

Tokushima City is easily accessible from major cities in Japan. Travelers can reach the city by Shinkansen (bullet train) or airplane from Osaka and Tokyo. From Tokyo, there are direct flights to Tokushima Airport, which take approximately one hour and 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Okayama and then transfer to the JR Seto-Ohashi Kotoku Line, which will take you to Tokushima Station in just under two hours.

If you’re coming from Osaka, you can take the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Okayama, which takes about 40 minutes. Another option is to take a highway bus from Osaka Station to Tokushima Station, which takes approximately two hours. Whichever route you choose, you’ll find that getting to Tokushima City is convenient and hassle-free.

Once you arrive in Tokushima City, you’ll be greeted by a city of rivers. The city is known for its numerous rivers and canals, which add to its charm and beauty. One of the best ways to experience the city’s waterways is by taking the Hyotanjima Boat Tour. This 30-minute tour takes you around the city center, allowing you to see the city’s landmarks and attractions from a unique perspective.

One of the most popular attractions in Tokushima City is the site of Tokushima Castle. Located just behind Tokushima Station, Chuo Park is home to the ruins of the castle. The park itself is a peaceful and picturesque area, perfect for a leisurely stroll. From the hilltop, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings. Don’t forget to visit the Tokushima Castle Museum, where you can learn about the history of the castle and explore its beautiful Japanese garden.

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For nature lovers, a visit to Mt. Bizan is a must. This mountain is easily accessible from Tokushima City and offers a variety of outdoor activities. In the spring, the mountain is adorned with cherry blossoms, creating a picturesque setting. In the autumn, the leaves change color, painting the mountain in vibrant hues. The night view from Mt. Bizan is particularly stunning, with the city lights reflecting in the rivers below.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Awa Odori Festival and its significance, be sure to visit the Awa Odori Kaikan at the base of Mt. Bizan. This interactive museum showcases the history and cultural significance of the festival. You can explore exhibits with photos and videos of the festival, and even watch daily performances by local dance groups. The museum encourages audience participation, allowing visitors to learn the steps of the Awa Odori dance and join in the fun.

The Awa Odori Festival is the highlight of the year in Tokushima City. Held from August 12 to 15, the festival attracts nearly 1.2 million people, including dancers and spectators from all over Japan and the world. The festival has a history of more than 400 years and is known for its energetic and lively atmosphere. During the festival, the downtown area of Tokushima City is transformed into a lively outdoor festival, with major thoroughfares closed off for dance competitions. street food stalls, known as yatai, line the riverside, offering a wide variety of delicious Japanese cuisine. The festival culminates in a grand parade, where dancers and musicians fill the streets, creating a spectacle of color, music, and dance. It’s a truly unforgettable experience that immerses you in the rich cultural heritage of Tokushima City.

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In conclusion, Tokushima City is a vibrant and lively destination that offers a unique blend of traditional and modern attractions. From its bustling port to its historic sites and cultural festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city. Whether you’re exploring the city’s rivers, taking in the view from Mt. Bizan, or immersing yourself in the energy of the Awa Odori Festival, Tokushima City promises an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags, put on your dancing shoes, and get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Tokushima City.

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