Tokushima Prefecture is located on the eastern central side of Shikoku, facing Okayama Prefecture across the Kii Channel. It can be reached from Honshu by road via the Akashi Channel Bridge, by ferry from Wakayama and by air.
As part of the Ohenro Shikoku Pilgrimage, Tokushima is the first prefecture that pilgrims visit. Each of the prefectures has been assigned a symbolic phase — Tokushima represents the idea of Awakening.
The Seto Inland Sea is connected to the Pacific by the Kii Channel, home to the world’s largest tidal whirlpools. These are best seen from the Tokushima side of the Naruto Strait.
Japan’s largest festival of traditional dance, the Awa Odori, is held in Tokushima city and other parts of the prefecture during Obon (12 to 15 August). The characteristic dances of the men and women are known as the “fools’ dance”.
The interior of Tokushima is mountainous. The Iya Valley with its vine bridges was the refuge of the defeated rulers of Japan after their overthrow some 900 years ago. Mt. Tsurugi is a pristine wilderness, perfect for hiking. The dynamic Yoshino River offer Japan’s best whitewater rafting. As of 2012, nine percent of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks.
Indigo dye used to be a mainstay of Tokushima’s industry, and you can try your hand at dying gift items at the various local craft museums.
Besides its seafood and Tokushima ramen, the prefecture is known for its Naruto sweet potatoes, lotus roots and strawberries. The citrus fruit sudachi is used to garnish fish, and as a flavouring in shochu mixes.