Dancer figures at the Awa Odori Kaikan

Tokushima (徳島) is the main transport hub of eastern Shikoku. It has only a few worthwhile attractions, but its palm-lined boulevards are pleasant enough to pass through on your way to more interesting places.

Get in

By plane

Pint-sized Tokushima Airport, to the north of the city, has daily services to Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo. Buses to JR Tokushima Station take 25 minutes and cost ¥430. The schedules are synchronized to flight departures/arrivals.

Buses run to the station from Kobe Airport every hour at 55 minutes past (2 1/2 hours, ¥3200). Airport Limousine buses operate from the nearest international gateway, Kansai International Airport in Osaka (2 3/4 hours, ¥4000 cheaper if you purchase a round trip ticket).

By train

From Okayama, take a Marine Liner rapid train to Takamatsu, then transfer to the Uzushio limited express for the run to Tokushima (2 hours, ¥4420). Two daily Uzushio trains run directly from Okayama, with no change of trains required (¥5050). If you are coming from Kansai or the east (i.e. Nagoya or Tokyo) then changing to a bus at Shin-Kobe will result in an easier trip to Tokushima - a wise investment for Japan Rail Pass holders, even if the pass doesn't cover the bus. (See By Bus below)

The JR Tokushima Line runs toward Ikeda (2 hours), for connections south towards the Iya Valley.

By bus

If arriving from Kansai via Awaji Island, you're pretty much guaranteed to end up in Tokushima. JR Bus operates many services to Tokushima: Awa Express bus service leaves from Kobe and Kobe Airport (2 hours from Shin-Kobe station, ¥3200, 15 daily round-trips), Osaka (2 3/4 hours, ¥3600, 23 daily round-trips), Kyoto (3 hours, ¥4100, 7 daily round-trips), and on weekends and holidays, Nara (4 hours, ¥3900, 2 round-trips). Keihan Railways has its own highway bus that travels to and from Kyoto and Hirakata.

The overnight Dream Tokushima bus runs from Tokyo and Shinjuku (10 hours, ¥10000 each way).

By ferry

Ocean East (tel. 03-5148-0109) operates a ferry service between Tokyo, Tokushima and Kitakyushu. Both the Tokyo and Kitakyushu runs are overnight; passengers can book Western-style bedrooms, bunks, or sleep on the floor. If you're sleeping on the floor, this is one of the cheapest ways to get to Tokushima: Tokyo fares are ¥9310 each way, and Kitakyushu fares are ¥6790 each way. First-class tickets are ¥25,480 on the Tokyo run and ¥17,920 on the Kitakyushu run.

Nankai Ferry (tel. 073-422-2156) operates another ferry to Wakayama, which is easily accessible from the Osaka/Kyoto/Nara area. The ferry takes just two hours, costs ¥2000, and runs every 2 hours or so, even in the middle of the night.

Get around

The city center is small enough to cover on foot, but bikes can be rented next to JR Tokushima Station (tel +081 088-652-6661, 9AM-5PM) at ¥500 per day.

Tourist information

Map of central Tokushima


Statue at Tokushima Castle

The 88 Temple Pilgrimage passes through Tokushima, with temples 14 through 17 Jōrakuji (常楽寺), Kokubunji (国分寺), Kan'onji (観音寺) and Idoji (井戸寺) all located within city limits. Ryōzenji (霊山寺), the starting point of the pilgrimage, is just north of Tokushima in the city of Naruto.

Bridge to Tokushima Castle


Awa Dance Memorial Hall


Tokushima became a major city in part because of indigo, which is used locally to dye beautiful patterns in products from handkerchiefs and scarves to cushions and large door-curtains. Otani-yaki pottery, with its natural muted colors and rustic-looking shapes, is another popular souvenir, as is handmade paper.


Tokushima is famous for its wonderful strawberries and sudachi, a small round green citrus fruit with a lime-like flavour. In the summer, sugata sushi is available, wherein a whole small fish is stuffed with sushi rice. Another popular local treat is narutokintoki, a kind of sweet potato.

There are some nice places to eat on the 5th floor of Clement Plaza, which is above the train station, and also in the department stores nearby.


The aforementioned sudachi fruit is used to flavor local shochu and sake. Most of the bars are clustered around the ACTY 21 building.


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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, December 10, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.