What to See in Tokushima: A Travel Guide for Exploring the City and its Surroundings

What to See in Tokushima: A Travel Guide for Exploring the City and its Surroundings


Welcome to Tokushima, a charming city located on the picturesque island of Shikoku in Japan. Known for its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant festivals, Tokushima offers an unforgettable experience for travelers. Whether you are an avid nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique cultural experience, Tokushima has something to offer for everyone. In this travel guide, we will take you through some of the city's top attractions and hidden gems.

1. Naruto Whirlpools

One of Tokushima's most famous natural wonders is the Naruto Whirlpools. Located in the Naruto Strait, the whirlpools are formed by tidal currents between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Take a boat tour to witness the impressive whirlpools, which can reach up to 20 meters in diameter. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.

2. Awa Odori Festival

If you happen to visit Tokushima in summer (August 12-15), make sure to experience the Awa Odori Festival, one of Japan's largest and most famous traditional dance festivals. Join the locals as they gather to dance through the streets in colorful traditional attire, accompanied by lively music. Get ready to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and witness the captivating performances.

3. Tokushima Castle

Explore the history of Tokushima at Tokushima Castle, a reconstructed castle that offers stunning panoramic views of the city. Learn about the region's feudal history as you wander through the castle grounds, visit the museum, and admire the traditional architecture. Don't miss the chance to walk along the castle's walls for a bird's-eye view of the surrounding area.

4. Oboke Gorge

Nature enthusiasts shouldn't miss a visit to Oboke Gorge, a picturesque natural attraction located in the western part of Tokushima. Take a boat ride along the Yoshino River to admire the steep cliffs, lush greenery, and crystal-clear water. Marvel at the unique rock formations, such as the "Kazura" bridge, made of vines, and the iconic "Heart Rock." Hiking trails are also available for those who want to explore the area on foot.

5. Ryozenji Temple

Visit Ryozenji Temple, the first of the 88 temples on the famous Shikoku Pilgrimage. This temple holds deep religious significance and is a place of tranquility and spiritual reflection. Admire the beautiful architecture, serene gardens, and take part in a Buddhist ceremony if you wish. Whether you are on a spiritual journey or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Ryozenji Temple offers a serene atmosphere.

6. Aizumi Ponds

Located in the remote countryside, Aizumi Ponds are a hidden gem for nature lovers. Explore the peaceful surroundings and take a leisurely stroll along the walking trails that connect the ponds. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, spot wildlife, and take in the serene beauty of the area. Don't forget to bring a picnic lunch and relax by the water's edge.

7. Bike along Yoshino River

Rent a bicycle and explore the scenic Yoshino River cycling route. Take in the breathtaking views of the river, lush countryside, and charming villages along the way. The well-maintained cycling path offers a leisurely ride suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Stop by local cafes and shops to experience the warm hospitality and indulge in delicious regional cuisine.


Tokushima is a city that seamlessly blends natural beauty, rich traditions, and warm hospitality. From witnessing the Naruto Whirlpools to immersing yourself in the lively Awa Odori Festival, there is no shortage of experiences to explore. Whether you are seeking adventure, cultural immersion, or a peaceful escape, Tokushima has it all. Plan your trip to this captivating city and create memories that will last a lifetime.