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.