Awaodori Kaikan Museum Travel Guide

Awaodori Kaikan Museum
Learn about the 400-year-old festival which put this city on the map, watch live dance performances, and add some traditional folk dances to your dance repertoire!

Tokushima City’s biggest national claim to fame is its annual dance festival — the biggest in all of Japan! It takes place in mid-August, during the Obon festival which celebrates the spirits of the dead, and invites them to visit the world of the living. Unfortunately this only lasts for 3 days of the year, but if you’re visiting during any of the other 362, this museum gives a fantastic chance to see the dances and learn about the festival.

Located at the base of Mt. Bizan, the museum has five levels. The first floor houses a shop with local goods and produce of Tokushima — a great place to grab some souvenirs or snacks. The second has a library of history books, and a stage where you can watch performances of the local dances throughout the afternoon, with each show lasting about 40 minutes and starting on the hour.

The museum is housed on the third floor, and covers the 400 years of history behind the festival through videos, costumes, and other Awaodori paraphernalia. You can even learn the steps to the dances for yourself using their interactive displays!

On the fifth floor, you’ll find a cafe, and the ropeway station leading up to the top of Mt. Bizan, which has some fantastic views. If you’re visiting on a pleasant day, then heading up there after a visit to the museum is highly recommended.

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