Discovering the Best of Tokushima

Tokushima Things to Do

Tokushima, Japan Apr. 13 Sat 8:52PM

19.2 / 66.5

Discovering the Best of Tokushima:
A 3-Day Adventure from Osaka

If you're craving an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Japan, Tokushima is the hidden gem you've been seeking. Far from the crowds and tourist traps, this charming city offers a wealth of unique and authentic experiences that are sure to delight and surprise you. From exploring misty mountain trails to immersing yourself in ancient crafts and traditions, Tokushima is a destination that promises to captivate your senses and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

We've put together a sample of a recommended route to explore the best of Tokushima in just three days and two nights. Here is a breakdown of each day and what you can expect to see and do:



Day 1

The first day of the tour starts with a morning departure from Osaka to Tokushima. Our first stop will be right at the entrance to Tokushima Prefecture to see the Naruto Whirlpools.

Naruto Whirlpool
Naruto Whirlpool in Tokushima

The Naruto Whirlpool, located in the Naruto Strait between the island of Shikoku and Awaji Island, is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the tides of the Pacific Ocean meet the Seto Inland Sea. The water flowing through the narrow strait creates massive whirlpools, some of which can reach up to 20 meters in diameter. The sight of these powerful whirlpools is truly mesmerizing and draws in visitors from all over the world. In addition to its natural beauty, the Naruto Whirlpool has also played an important role in Japanese mythology and history, serving as a symbol of power and resilience. You can witness the whirlpools from various viewpoints, including the Naruto Whirlpool Observation Deck, the Uzu no Michi promenade, and by taking a thrilling boat tour.

After lunch, we will head to Tokushima City to see Awaodori, or Awa dance, which is one of the most famous things that Tokushima is known for.

Awaodori KaikanAwa Dance, or Awaodori is famous throughout the country

The Awaodori Kaikan in Tokushima is a museum and performance hall dedicated to the history and culture of the Awaodori dance festival, which is known for its energetic and colorful performances. Visitors can experience the charm of the Awaodori by watching daily performances accompanied by live music, and learn about the history and significance of the dance through exhibits and interactive displays. The museum also offers workshops where visitors can try traditional dance and music. The Awaodori festival is held annually in mid-August, but visitors to the Awaodori Kaikan can enjoy the excitement and energy of the Awaodori year-round. It's a must-see destination for anyone interested in traditional Japanese culture and performance art.

After watching the performances (and maybe even taking part in them yourself), we will head out to our next location, Tairyuji Temple.

Tairyuji Temple
Tairyuji Temple in Tokushima Prefecture

Tairyuji Temple in Tokushima is a serene and picturesque temple nestled at the top of Mount Tairyuji. Enjoy a ropeway ride to the top of the mountain, which is about 10 minutes, while taking in the view of the spectacular mountains! Once you get to the top, you can explore the temple's many buildings and shrines, including the main hall, which houses a towering wooden statue of the temple's namesake dragon deity. Tairyuji is also famous for its unique pagoda, which features a distinctive three-story octagonal design that is rarely seen in Japan. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the temple's grounds and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere in the forest.

Details of the architecture in Tairyuji Temple
Tairyuji Temple in Tokushima Prefecture

Tairyuji Temple is a must-see destination for anyone interested in Japanese Buddhism and traditional and intricate architecture and offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

After exploring the temple, you will head to Tsukigatani Onsen and stay at Tsuki no Yado, where you can relax and bathe in a private onsen in your room. 



Day 2

The second day of the tour begins with a morning hike at Yamainudake. 

A hike at Yamainudake

Yamainudake in Tokushima is a beautiful mountain known for its lush, vibrant moss forest. The forest is a natural wonderland of vibrant greens and textures and offers a unique and peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Yamainudake hiking trails

Visitors can take a guided hike through the forest to discover the many different varieties of moss, including rare species that are found only in this area. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and visitors may even be able to catch a glimpse of local wildlife such as deer and monkeys. Depending on the season, visitors can also enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the mountain.

Hiking in Yamainudake

Overall, a visit to Yamainudake and its moss forest is an unforgettable experience that highlights the natural beauty and diversity of Japan's landscape.

After the hike, you will head to Wakimachi to see the townscape of Udatsu, which is known for its distinctive architectural style and well-preserved historic buildings.


Udatsu Townscape
Udatsu Townscape

Wakimachi is a charming town known for its beautifully preserved traditional Japanese architecture, and specifically, its unique Udatsu townhouses. These historic houses built by successful Indigo merchants have unique raised eaves and intricate wooden latticework, providing both beauty and practical protection from natural disasters like storms and fires. You can stroll through the town's charming streets and take in the unique atmosphere of a bygone era, admiring the beautiful old homes and the intricate details of their design.

Townscape of Udatsu

There are also a variety of shops and restaurants in the town, offering visitors the chance to sample local specialties and unique souvenirs. 
Overall, a visit to Wakimachi is a chance to step back in time and experience the charm and beauty of traditional Japanese architecture and culture.

Next, you will experience a traditional indigo dyeing class, where you can learn how to dye fabric using natural indigo dye.

Indigo Dying in TokushimaIndigo dying is an ancient traditional craft in Japan that has been practiced for centuries. In Mima city, Tokushima, you can experience this unique and fascinating craft by taking an indigo dyeing class. During the class, you can learn about the history and significance of indigo dyeing in Japanese culture. The deep blue color of indigo is stunning, and you will be able to create your own unique designs using a variety of techniques. The indigo dyeing class is a wonderful opportunity to learn about this important aspect of Japanese culture and to create a beautiful and unique souvenir to take home.

After the class, you will go shopping at a local grocery store to buy food and drinks for the night, and then head to Tougenkyo Iya no Yamazato, a traditional Japanese house where you can stay overnight.



Day 3

The final day of the tour starts with a walk through the Ochiai Village.

Ochiai Village
Ochiai Village

Ochiai Village in Tokushima Prefecture is a charming and historic village nestled in a lush mountain valley. In the 80-acre area that the village covers, the elevation difference is a whopping 1279 feet! You can take a guided tour of the village with a knowledgeable local guide to discover the many cultural and historical treasures hidden within. The village is famous for its unique architecture, including traditional thatched-roof houses and stone walls. You can also explore the village's many shrines and temples, including the historic Sansho Shrine.

Sansho Shrine

The natural beauty of the surrounding mountain landscape adds to the peaceful and serene atmosphere of the village. Overall, a visit to Ochiai Village offers a glimpse into Japan's rich cultural heritage and provides a unique and authentic travel experience.

After the walk, you will have lunch and then head to the Kazura Bridge of the Iya Valley, a suspension bridge made of vine ropes that is a popular tourist attraction in the area.


Kazura Bridge
Kazura Bridge of Iya Valley

The Kazura Bridge in Tokushima Prefecture is a unique and iconic suspension bridge that spans the Iya Valley. You can walk across the bridge and take in stunning views of the valley below, including the crystal-clear waters of the Iya River and the lush green mountainside.

The crystal clear river under the Kazura Bridge

The bridge is made entirely of vines and is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the local people, who have been using natural materials to build bridges in the area for centuries.

Kazura Bridge

The gaps between the planks are fairly big and you could see the river 14m (45 ft) beneath and also sways slightly when people are passing by for the distance of 45m (147 ft) that you'll be walking through. It will be quite a thrilling and unforgettable experience, so please give it a try to test your courage!

After crossing the bridge, visitors can take a short hike to the nearby Biwa Waterfall, which cascades down a steep rock face into a tranquil pool below.

Kazura Bridge

The waterfall is a popular spot for swimming and relaxing, and visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch or simply soak in the peaceful surroundings. A visit to the Kazura Bridge and Biwa Waterfall offers a unique and unforgettable experience in the heart of Japan's natural beauty.

Next, you will walk through nature to see the Biwa Waterfall and then ride the Oboke Gorge Sightseeing Pleasure Cruise, where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Oboke Gorge from the water.


Oboke Gorge Sightseeing Pleasure Cruise
Oboke Gorge Sightseeing Pleasure Cruise at Yoshino River

The Oboke Gorge Sightseeing Pleasure Cruise in Tokushima Prefecture is a breathtaking experience that takes visitors on a scenic tour of the Oboke Gorge, one of Japan's most picturesque natural wonders. The cruise offers stunning views of the towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters of the Yoshino River, and visitors can take in the beautiful scenery from the comfort of a comfortable and modern sightseeing boat.

Oboke Gorge

Along the way, visitors can learn about the unique geology and ecology of the area from knowledgeable guides, and may even spot local wildlife such as eagles, kingfishers, and turtles. The cruise also offers a unique perspective on the gorge, allowing visitors to see the landscape from a different angle and gain a deeper appreciation for its natural beauty. Overall, visiting the Oboke Gorge Sightseeing Pleasure Cruise is a must for anyone looking to experience the stunning natural beauty of Japan's countryside.

In the evening after the cruise, you will head back to Osaka to end your excursion in Tokushima.



In conclusion, this 3-day 2-night excursion to Tokushima from Osaka will be an excellent addition to your Japan trip to experience the best of Tokushima's natural beauty and unique cultural experiences. You will have the opportunity to see the whirlpools of Naruto, witness the Awa Dance, explore traditional temples and villages, and enjoy the natural wonders of the Iya Valley. With comfortable accommodations and local guides to show you the way, this tour is sure to be a memorable experience for anyone who loves adventure and culture.

Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity to discover the real Japan - come and experience the magic of Tokushima today!

If you feel inspired by this itinerary, send us an inquiry by clicking here to get a quote!

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