Tokushima Prefecture, which is located on the eastern side of Shikoku Island, has many famous sites which represent Japan. It has whirlpools which are one of the three major tides in the world, one of the nation’s three great bridges Kazura Bridge, one of Japan’s three great remote onsen Iya Onsen and the Awa Odori which is the 400-year-old dance known to be one of the nation’s three major Bon dances. The nature-rich Tokushima is also known for Mt. Tsurugi which is the 2nd-highest peak in western Japan and as the breeding habitat for the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle.
The whirling tides can be enjoyed from various angles such as from excursion boats which approach very close to them or looking straight down at them from the glass floor at a height of 45m from Onaruto Bridge or from a distance away from the observation point of Eska Hill Naruto. Kazura Bridge which is made from vines is truly thrilling. There are also many other sights to see in the vicinity such as the Okuiya Double Kazura Bridge and the Yaen Ropeway which is pulled manually and the Iya Valley which has earned 2 stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japon. The Otsuka Museum of Art that has Japan’s largest permanent display space and the Awa Odori Kaikan where you can enjoy the famous dance all throughout the year are also popular. Ryozen-ji Temple is known as Temple No. 1 of the Shikoku 88-Temple Pilgrimage which covers all 4 prefectures of Shikoku associated with the legendary Buddhist monk Kukai and is the starting point of the 1,460km journey.
Specialties of Tokushima include the 3 brands of Awa beef, Awa pork and Awa chicken, sea bream, lobster, and takechikuwa fish cake. The prefecture also has many regional dishes including Tokushima ramen, Tokushima-don, Tokushima burgers, fish katsu, naruchuru udon, tarai udon, handa somen and mametentama omelets. Uzuimo potatoes which won the Gold Prize at the Monde Selection 6 years in a row are also popular as souvenirs.
It’s common to head for Tokushima by air from Tokyo. From Haneda Airport, it takes 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach Tokushima Awa Odori Airport. Close to the downtown area, it takes only 30 minutes by bus from the airport to Tokushima Station. Getting around by rental car is handy since commercial facilities are within driving distance.
Accommodations are mainly found around Tokushima and Naruto Stations and in the vicinity of Tokushima Airport.