• Locations in Japan

Things to Do in Tokushima – City Guide

Tokushima prefecture is in Shikoku, one of the four major Japanese islands. The capital is Tokushima City
and it has Kagawa Prefecture to the north, Ehime Prefecture to the west, and Kochi Prefecture to the south. There is a rich history and vast nature in Tokushima, making it an unrecognized gem among prefectures in Japan.

What is Tokushima Prefecture famous for?

There are a number of things that are very famous in Tokushima. Here are some of the most widely recognized.

awa dance tokushima

Awa Dance (Awaodori)

This is a popular dance which dates back to the 16th century. Every august nearly 1 million people visit the Awa Odori festival, which lasts for 3 days. In the evenings, the entire downtown area is closed off and filled with dance groups, turning the whole city into a giant dance stage. Visitors from all over Japan and even other countries flock to Tokushima from August 12-15 for the festival.

naruto whirlpools tokushima

Naruto City Whirlpools

Naruto City is a city of about 55,000 people, located in the north of Shikoku Island, across from Hyogo
Prefecture. One of its attractions are large natural whirlpools that form in the passage between Shikoku
Island and and Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture. At certain times of the day, the flow of the tide creates vortices up to 20m in diameter.

otsuka museum tokushima

Otsuka Museum of Art

The museum founded by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, a large Japanese drug company. Originally it was a museum for ceramic art plates, and later developed into an international art collection. All of the 1000+ pieces are reproductions of famous western art done in ceramic plates, making it a unique collection.

Tokushima ciity

Tokushima City

With a population of about 255,000, Tokushima City is a regular sized city with plenty of activities year-round. Cherry blossom viewing in Spring, Obon festivals in Summer, outdoor activities in nature during fall with the changing of leaves, and emerald green gorges at Oboke and Koboke.

Life in Tokushima

What does Tokushima mean?

徳 (toku) means “virtue, benevolence” and 島 (shima) means “island.”

How to get to Tokushima?
Tokushima is about 500 kilometers as the crow flies from Tokyo, or 630 kilometers by driving. There are many ways to get to Tokushima, by air, train, car, bus, or ferry. JR trains are serviced by 5 lines, the Kotoku, Dosan, Tokushima, Mugi, and Naruto lines.

How do you get to Tokushima from Osaka?The Kobe Awaji Naruto Jidoshado connects with Osaka, and it is about a two and a half hour drive.

How do you get to Tokushima from Tokyo?Flights from Tokyo take about 1 hour 10 minutes. Flights are also available from Fukuoka.

Ferries are available from Wakayama, Tokyo, and Kitakyushu. A ferry from Wakayama to Tokushima City
takes about 2 hours.

What is the climate in Tokushima?
Weather is generally mild in Tokushima. It rains pretty frequently, with about 213cm of rain annually. The
average temperature is about 16 degrees Celsius..

What is the cost of living in Tokushima?

The cost of living overall is cheap, at about 30% less than Tokyo. In particular, rent prices are low, with the
average 1K at about 36,000 yen and the 1DK-2DK sizes ranging around 47,500 yen. These prices are less thanhalf  of the average cost of apartments in Tokyo.


What are some famous local dishes in Tokushima?

Naruto Kintoki: a local sweet potato used for sweet deserts and snacks.
Wasanbon: a type of traditional Japanese wagashi sweets made with local-grown sugar cane.
Sudachi: a citrus fruit similar to a lime crossed with a grapefruit, often added to 􀂦sh and hot pot dishes.
Handa somen: thick wheat noodles that are slightly salty.

What are the major industries in Tokushima?
The major industries are agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. Rice, vegetables, and flowers are grown in many places, and Tokushima is the largest producer of cauliflower and lotus roots in Japan. It is also 4th in carrot production.


In recent years, Tokushima has become a more popular business location, and in 2020, one of the largest HR company in Japan, Pasona Holdings, moved their head office to Awajishima.


The Otsuka Pharmaceutical Tokushima Research Institute is famous for the development of a rat strain called the “Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty Rat” that quickly develops diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and metabolic disease, allowing it to be used to research medications for human use easily.

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