Tokushima prefecture is located on one of the 4 main islands of Japan, east of Shikoku Island. It is characterized by having charming, exotic natural landscapes and, also, by its artistic expressions that range from dance to theater.
Despite being far from the capital, Tokyo, it is a fantastic place that deserves to be visited and thus discover its wonders.
Some of its main attractions are:
• Vine bridges in the Iya Valley: In Tokushima there are two surprising bridges woven from the Actinidia arguta vines, harvested from the mountains during the harsh winter. These are the bridge called “The Vine of Iya” located in the village of Nishiiyayama in the west, and the “Double Bridge of the Vine of Oku-Iya” in the east of Iya. The mountain, the river and the bridges are in total harmony, creating a beautiful spectacle.
• Iya Valley: Known for its vine bridges, surrounded by imposing mountains and its traditional country houses, the Iya Valley has become a tourist destination because its nature is fully preserved and reminiscent of ancient Japan. It is said that many years ago, defeated warriors hid there due to the difficult access and its incredible scenery.
• Oboke Canyon: It is a quiet emerald green stretch of the Yoshino River, with white rock cliffs that jut out into the sky. Visitors can enjoy the colorful foliage by taking a boat ride across the river.
• Awa Odori: The Awa Odori festival, translated as “Awa’s dance”, is one of the most famous and popular in all of Japan. It attracts more than 1,300,000 visitors. It is made up of about 100,000 dancers. The Awa Odori is characterized as a festival where groups of dancers and choreographed musicians known as “ren” dance through the streets, generally accompanied by the shamisen, taiko drums, the shinobue flute and the kane bell. The artists wear traditional costumes related to Obon-dori (a festival celebrated throughout Japan in August, in honor of the deceased). They sing as they parade down the tracks. The beginning of this festival dates back more than 430 years.
• Awa Odori Festival Hall (Awa Odori Kaikan in Japanese): Although the Awa Odori festival is celebrated in summer, the Awa Odori Kaikan can be enjoyed all year round thanks to the daily performances that take place there. They also allow visitors to get started in this art with authentic authentic dancers. The building also has a museum that reflects the history of this dance.
• Ningyo Joruri: Literally meaning “puppet” and “narrative”, it is one of the representative traditional theaters along with kabuki, which has been popular among the Japanese people for more than 400 years. It is a puppet show created by the fusion of Dayu (a storyteller using Gidayu-bushi, dramatic ballad music), Shamisen (three-stringed instrument), and Sannin-zukai (three puppeteers for each puppet). These entertaining shows are held at the “Awa Jurobe Yashiki (Puppet Theater and Museum)” and in rural community theaters in various areas of Tokushima Prefecture.
• Swirls in Naruto: Large eddies of water form in the Naruto Strait located between the island of Awaji and Magosaki in the city of Naruto, caused by the ebb and flow of the tides. It is a natural-type experience that attracts thousands of tourists who want to see this phenomenon. The Naruto Strait is known as one of the 3 largest tides in the world. Very close to the eddies is the Tokushima prefectural building dedicated to them, and has a viewpoint located 45 meters above the sea, where, through a glass floor, visitors can observe this phenomenon in a way clearest. For those people who love adventure, they can take a boat that leaves them very close to the eddies and thus experience this natural force.
These are just some of the attractions that represent this charming prefecture, full of culture and abundant nature.
When traveling to Japan try visiting Tokushima Prefecture and delight in the wonders it has to offer.