Famed for its Awa Odori dance festival, Tokushima Prefecture encompasses the eastern tip of Shikoku Island. It’s the starting point for the Shikoku Pilgrimage, which visits 88 temples associated with the Buddhist monk Kūkai across its 1,400-kilometre route. In addition to its religious sites, Tokushima Prefecture is home to lively cities, majestic landscapes and legendary whirlpools in the narrow strait that separates Shikoku from Awaji Island.
Things to do in Tokushima Prefecture
Whether you want to experience the hustle and bustle of Tokushima City or escape to the breathtakingly beautiful gorges of the Iya Valley, Tokushima Prefecture will appeal to all travellers.
Explore Tokushima City. Serving as the prefectural capital, Tokushima City is positioned at the mouth of several rivers and has long been known as a hub for indigo dyeing. Delve into the city’s past at the Tokushima Castle Museum and soak up the sweeping views from Mount Bizan before learning about the famous Awa Odori festival at the interactive Awa Odori Kaikan.
Hike the Iya Valley. Characterised by rocky gorges, steeply-sloped mountains and ancient vine bridges, Iya Valley is a magnificent natural destination that forms part of Tsurugisan Quasi-National Park. Walk across the Oku-Iya Kazurabashi suspension bridges and photograph the turquoise waters of the Oboke Gorge before climbing to the top of Mount Tsurugi, which is the second-highest peak on Shikoku Island.
Experience the whirlpools of the Strait of Naruto. In the northeastern-most corner of Shikoku Island is the city of Naruto, which is famed for the whirlpools that occur in its narrow strait. Jump aboard a sightseeing cruise to experience this natural phenomenon up close. You can learn how the whirlpools are created by the large volumes of water moving between the Pacific Ocean and the Seto Inland Sea.
Getting around Tokushima Prefecture
Tokushima Awaodori Airport is the main aviation gateway to the prefecture and has regular flights to Tokyo and Fukuoka. Kansai International Airport is just under three hours’ drive from Tokushima. Both trains and buses travel throughout Tokushima Prefecture while ferries connect from the Tokushima Port to Wakayama, Tokyo and Kitakyushu.