Tokushima prefecture is considered the home “Awa Odori”, one of the three major Bon festival dances in Japan that originated 400 years ago. Today the festival can be experienced all over the prefecture in summer.
A large number of costumed dancers gather all over Tokushima prefecture, starting from Naruto City, and culminating at Tokushima City. During this time the entire city comes alive with dancers in traditional costumes – women in yukata with woven pointed hats and men in a happi (shorter yukata over pants) – parading through the city to the accompaniment of shamisen (three-stringed instrument), shinobue (flute), and drums.
This centuries-old dance party sees over a million participants each year, but if you’ve missed this summer festival, you can visit Awa Odori Kaikan, a museum where you can experience Awa Odori dance demonstrations throughout the year. It’s a great place to experience one of Japan’s most revered ancient cultures.
JR Tokushima Station
1 Terashimahonchonishi, Tokushima City, Tokushima Prefecture
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