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Ikeda Awa Odori Dance Festival

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Ikeda Awa Odori Dance Festival


Tokushima Prefecture explodes with life during this high-energy event―one of the largest dance festivals in Japan

Nishi-Awa Tourism Association Sora-no-sato



Ikeda Town, in Miyoshi City, is the place to see Tokushima Prefecture’s world-famous Awa Odori festival on a more intimate scale. Held every August, it offers everything from grand street and stage performances to plenty of food stalls and activities for visitors to enjoy.

The Awa Odori festival centers around local dance groups called ren that prepare and perfect their dances all year round. The groups work hard to preserve the traditional soul of Awa Odori, which has endured for over 400 years. Millions of people visit Tokushima Prefecture each year to see the ren groups line up and dance through the streets.

Awa Odori is among the various Bon Odori dances performed in August throughout Japan to honor one’s ancestors. The event, which has become a part of Japanese culture, is rooted in the Buddhist belief that the spirits of deceased loved ones return to the world of the living for an annual visit. Bon dances serve to welcome these spirits, as well as to uplift the spirits of the living. Historically, it’s said that even samurai participated in Awa Odori as equals alongside commoners, with everyone dancing like “fools” and simply enjoying themselves.

No matter where you experience it, the atmosphere and energy of Awa Odori will sweep you away.


How to get there


From Shin-Osaka Station, take the JR Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama Station (about 50 minutes). From there, take the JR Limited Express to Awa-Ikeda Station (about 1 hour).


1840 Sarada, Ikeda-cho, Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima-ken (Awa-Ikeda Station)


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