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
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.
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