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Largest City


Raiders of the lost park

Bordered by rugged mountain cliffs and dangerous whirlpools, traveling through Tokushima feels like an Indiana Jones adventure.

South of Hiroshima, on a secluded eastern corner of Shikoku, lies Tokushima Prefecture, the starting point of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage. In the past, its high valleys and deep gorges were a haven to those brave enough to cross the sea from Honshu.

Today, visitors to Tokushima can cross winding vine suspension bridges and ride a modern cable car to a hot spring in the mountains. There’s rafting, ropeways, and even surfing. It’s also home to one of the largest traditional dance festivals in Japan.

Awa Odori Festival

Ren dancers at the Tokushima Awa Odori.

Photo by: Laura Tomàs Avellana Dancers of all ages descend on Tokushima for the Awa Odori Festival.

Tokushima City is Tokushima’s capital. It’s spread out across the mountains and down to the Anan Coast. From the city’s center, Mount Bizan stretches far into the sky. You can take a ropeway to its summit from the 5th floor of the Awa Odori Kaikan, a museum dedicated to Tokushima’s famous Awa Odori dance festival. The event is held annually over four days in August.

The Anan Coast in southern Shikoku is known for sea turtles. Surfers covet it for having some of Japan’s best waves around Kainan, Kaifu, and Shishikui. Quiet beaches and quaint villages provide just the right balance of privacy and community.

Iya Valley

Tokushima Naruto Straits whirlpools.

Photo by: panpanzupan The Naruto Whirlpools.

From Tokushima City, take a bus or train to see the Naruto Whirlpools—huge swirling currents moving up to 20 kilometers per hour! Visitors can view the whirlpools up close via an exciting boat cruise, or from directly above the water through the Uzu no Michi glass panel walkway.

What to eat in Tokushima

Naruto Kintoki Sweet Potato Tokushima
Tokushikma’s hidden highlight is the secret Iya Valley. Sometimes called the “Tibet of Japan,” it’s part of Mount Tsuguri Quasi-National Park. Here you can explore the kazura-bashi or cross one of the famous vine suspension bridges. Iya no Kazurabashi is the easiest to access, but if you venture further upstream, you can see Oku Iya Kazurabashi. This beautiful pair of suspension bridges represent a husband and wife. 

Next to the “wife” bridge is the Wild Monkey Bridge, where you can ride a suspended wooden cart attached to the vines. To cross the river, you must pull yourself across using a rope just like people did in feudal Japan. 

Best spots for autumn leaves in Shikoku Hotel Iya Onsen

You’ll have to take a cable car to reach Iya Valley Onsen. It’s absolutely stunning during autumn!

Of course, you’ll need somewhere to rest your weary head after all those outdoor adventures. Sitting atop a steep slope, the Iya Onsen Hotel has glorious views overlooking the valley from traditional tatami rooms.

To get to their hot spring baths, you’ll need to take a daring cable car down into the riverside baths. Just next to the hotel is the famous Peeing Boy of Iya Gorge. The small statue represents “innocent courage” and stands on the edge of a 200m precipice.

Plan your trip to Tokushima with the links below!


Naruto Kintoki Sweet Potato Tokushima

What to eat in Tokushima

Pirate food, ramen, and godly sweet potatoes, of course!


Places to visit

Ryozenji Temple

Tokushima Prefecture’s Ryozenji Temple is the important starting point of the Shikoku Pilgrimage

Naruto Kintoki Sweet Potato Tokushima

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Tokushima

Pirate food, ramen, and godly sweet potatoes.

Nagoro Village

Nagoro Scarecrow Village

A mysterious village with more scarecrow residents than people.

Tokushima Awa odori

Awa Odori Dance Festival

Join the party at Japan’s most famous dance festival.

Iya valley and Kazurabashi vine bridge, Tokushima Prefecture

Iya Valley

Where bountiful hiking meets thrill-seeking.


Where thrills and tradition get real.

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