Aug 12
Aug 15

Tokushima Awa Odori Festival

6:00pm – 11:00pm

Tokushima Awa Odori is rated by many as Japan’s top summer festival. It takes place in Tokushima — a prefecture on the island of Shikoku.

What does awa odori mean?

The dance festival (odori means dance) has its origins as a summer obon festival. Awa was the pre-Meiji name for the area in which Tokushima city is located. The festival was renowned as a raucous and drunken event, and over the years a distinctive dance style emerged. There are a variety of styles of dress for men and women, and they typically dance separately or together in large choreographed groups. Many of the female dancers wear distinctive hats resembling folded tacos which are made from tatami.

What happens?

The streets of central Tokushima City are closed to traffic each evening of the festival. Dancing takes place in the street (which can be viewed for free — such as at Ryogoku Honmachi Shopping Street) and at several stages and arenas with reserved seating. The main dances are performed from the 12th to 15th, but the Evening Selection is held on the night of the 11th.

Tickets and tours

Tickets for the reserved seats range from about ¥2,000 to ¥6,000 in price and can be purchased in advance at the Information Center in front of Tokushima Station, at local convenience stores, or on the official website. There are also some handy tours departing from Osaka that include tickets to the event.

Where should I stay?

The festival is said to attract 1.3 million visitors, so if you intend to stay nearby, you should book well in advance. Another option is to do a day trip from Kōbe or Osaka on the mainland.

How to get there

The quickest way from Kōbe to Tokushima is by bus From Shin-Kōbe Station, the journey takes approximately 2 hours and 8 minutes. Tickets are ¥3,400 one way.

Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.

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