Tokushima, a small city in Japan, located on Shikoku, one of the four principal islands of Japan. This prefecture has a small airport of its own, which makes it an easy entry or exit point to travel from Shikoku. Let us put the record straight, Tokushima might not be the first place a tourist would think to drop by while in Japan. But this city is a gateway to the whirlpool of Naruto, ample numbers of pilgrimage, castles, and museums and most notably scenic spots with steep gorges and bushy suburbs. This place splendidly captures natural landscapes, cultural assets and the traditional festivals of Japan, with the facility to gobble tons of delightful Japanese dishes. Now, without any further ado let us look at the 10 top things to do in Tokushima!
If you want to stop at Naruto first, check out 10 Best Things To Do There !!!
10 Best Things to Do in Tokushima | Japan
1. Take the Bizan Ropeway for a Ride
If you were to name one place that embodies Tokushima and the Japanese culture at the same time, it would be Mountain Bizan. If you want to experience the sweeping vistas of this mountain to the fullest, take a ropeway. By hopping on the Bizan ropeway you will get to witness a hint of Awaji Island and the blooming cherry trees from the top of the mountain. To observe the after-dark sights of Tokushima with dazzling lights, make sure to take a ride at night too. Although the ride lasts no more than twenty minutes, the memory of this relaxing hike will last for a lifetime.
2. Attend Awa Odori
Tokushima is home to Awa Odori, an annual dance festival held in August. This is the reason why Tokushima puts on a festive mood and greets most of its tourists in August. This is the largest dance festival in Japan which has been held here in Tokushima for more than 400 years. The lively music and complicated dance moves create a surreal experience for the audiences. Amid the performances, dancers will come to invite you to give it a try and join them. The echoes of instruments and rhymes of music make it irresistible to participate in this dancing madness. It leaves you with an exhilarating feeling.
3. Visit Awa Jurobe Yashiki Puppet Theater
The Awa Jurobe Yashiki theatre located above the Yoshino river arranges puppet shows on the weekends to preserve the tradition and culture of Tokushima. This is not a regular puppet show as it is an intangible cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO. The life-sized puppets portray a type of drama called “ningyo joruri” and depict the folklores and classical tales, and historical stories with full range emotion. If you want a peek into Tokushima history and culture and content your heart at the same time, attending this show is a must.
4. Temple Hop
If you are a person who loves temple-hopping no matter wherever you go, then there is good news for you! Shikoku is referred to as 88 Temple Pilgrimage and luckily the first 23 of them are located here in Tokushima. While all of the temples are equally stunning, make sure that you visit Ryozenji, Tairyuji, and Yakuozi. You can pick wishes from the box, feed the fish, ring the bell and enjoy the scenic beauty of the city from the top of the temples.
5. See the Naruto Whirlpools
The Naruto Whirlpools occur under the staggering Onaruto Bridge. So, if you want to witness the most out of the whirlpools then catch a boat at a nearby pier. As there is a slight possibility of you missing this natural phenomenon, have patience and do not be frustrated. But either you hit it or miss it pay a visit to Naruto Ohashi Museum and get a second-hand experience from the illusion of whirlpool there.
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6. Try Tokushima Ramen
Tokushima ramen is one of the most popular and mouth watering dishes you can have at Tokushima. Charred brown pork bone stew with soy sauce and sukiyaki style pork belly on top makes this dish delectable. It is a tradition here to eat this with rice and raw egg but you are all good without these too.
7. Visit Tokushima Modern Art Museum
This small art museum in Tokushima is worth stopping by if you want to know more about the city and history. It exhibits arts from both the local artists and western artists. The great variety of arts and crafts makes it the best modern art museum in Tokushima. So, if you are an art enthusiast, a visit to this art museum should be on top of your list.
8. Cross the Vine Bridges of Iya Valley
If you are seeking a bit of adventure with fun then head to Iva Valley. The vine bridges of Iva Valley are the embodiment of beauty and mystery. The swinging bridges that sway side to side will give you chills down the spine while the lush greenery of the valley will marvel you. This valley will leave you feeling all sorts of excitement.
9. Try Some Local Food
On your visit to Tokushima make sure to have some local foods. Tokushima is home to some unique fruits including sudachi and naruto kintoki. You should also have the local staple, Sugata sushi which is sushi made with stuffed rice and small fish. Besides a visit abroad without tasting their local food is always bland.
10. Spot Sea Turtle at Ohama Beach
The Ohama Beach in Tokushima is known for its powdery sand that helps thousands of turtles lay their eggs. If you come here during summer you can spot adorable baby turtles making their way to the sea.
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To sum it up, Tokushima is a city that is worth paying a visit. So, make sure to visit here if you happen to be in Japan and do the things mentioned above to make your trip memorable.