Tokushima Travel Guide

The gateway to Shikoku Island boasts fantastic festivals, lovely coastline, and some of the most adventurous pockets of the Japanese countryside.

Tokushima Featured Food Experiences

Tokushima Featured Restaurants



Lunch: ¥5,000-14,999
Dinner: ¥5,000-9,999

Toraya Kochuan

Lunch: ¥15,000-20,000
Dinner: ¥15,000-20,000

Tokushima Prefecture makes up the southeast portion of Shikoku Island, and enjoys both a well-developed urban coast, and some of the most genuinely wild mountains and forests of Japan. While the prefecture has well less than a million inhabitants, it’s not short on activity!

Here you can choose to relax on the beaches, join in with some wild and historic dancing, set off on the Shikoku Pilgrimage Route, or get your head stuck into some fantastic locally-grown food.

Tokushima City is the capital, which plays host to Japan’s biggest dance festival every summer. Further up the coast, by the bridge which links Shikoku all the way to the mainland, is the city of Naruto. Its main claim to fame is a series of majestic and terrifying whirlpools off its coast.

Heading westward, it really doesn’t get more remote than in the Iya Valley, deep in the center of the island. Visitors can brave a pair of Indiana Jones-esque vine bridges — the Oku-Iya Kazurabashi bridges — which used to provide vital transportation routes for the forest villages in the area.

As the entry point for most visitors’ Shikoku journey, Tokushima is under pressure to impress — and it does so in style. Whether you just make a brief sojourn on your way further west, or explore the prefecture in all its depth, you’re sure to find plenty of surprises.

Local Weather
Frequently Asked Questions

What to eat in Tokushima?

The sudachi citrus fruit grown in Tokushima is particularly good, particularly when served sliced over a cooling bowl of chilled Japanese soba. The prefecture is also famed for its excellent sugar crop, which makes it a fantastic place to enjoy wagashi sweets, while the Naruto area in particular produces excellent sweet potatoes.

What are the best things to do in Tokushima?

If you arrive in spring or fall, you should definitely consider heading inland to discover the mysterious and ancient forested valleys. Heading to the town of Miyoshi will give you a great access point to the best wild spots.

Where is the start of the Shikoku Pilgrimage Route?

If you’re looking for real adventure, the Shikoku Pilgrimage Route, a circuitous 1200-kilometer route which runs around the whole of the island, offers it in droves. The first temple out of a total eighty-eight is Ryōzen-ji in the city of Naruto.

What is Tokushima famous for?

The prefecture is most well-known for the Awa Dori dance festival, which runs from the 12th to the 15th of August each year. Well over a million visitors come to see the 600-year-old Fool’s Dance performed by huge troupes of competitors.

What to buy in Tokushima?

Tokushima is famous for a style of three-tiered Japanese bento box known as a yusan-bako. They started off as presents for children to hold their lunch in, but now these beautifully decorated containers are used by all ages for a wide range of functions.
Stay in the Loop!
Be the first to know about the latest foodie trends.
Sign up for insider tips & sneak peeks into the diverse world of dining in Japan