Tokushima prefecture (徳島県 Tokushima-ken; ) is on the eastern side of the Japanese island of Shikoku.
Map of Tokushima prefecture
Tokushima was formerly known as the province of Awa (阿波). The nearby island of Awaji, now a part of Hyogo prefecture, literally means "road to Awa".
- Ikeda — jumping-off point for Iya Valley and the gorges of Oboke and Koboke
- Tokushima — the prefectural capital, known for its yearly Awa Odori festival
- Naruto — the gateway to/from Awaji-shima, the home of the whirlpools (Uzushio), the seat of Tokushima's Shikoku League baseball team (the Indigo Socks), and the starting point of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage.
- Iya Valley — one of Japan's Three Hidden Valleys, known for its vine bridges
- Oboke and Koboke — aptly named ravines meaning Dangerous with Big Steps and Dangerous with Small Steps
The nearest major international airport is Kansai.
Pint-sized Tokushima Airport, to the north of Tokushima City, has daily services to Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo. Buses to Tokushima station take 25 minutes and cost ¥430, the schedules are synchronized to flight departures and arrivals. Kobe Airport is also a viable alternative for domestic connections.
The JR Kōtoku Line (高徳線) line connects Tokushima to Takamatsu, the capitol of Kagawa Prefecture to the north, and a gateway to the mainland via Okayama.
Direct buses from Kobe (2h) and other points in Kansai connect to Tokushima via Awaji Island.
Ferries run several times a day between Wakayama and Tokushima City (2h), and there is one boat per day to both Kitakyushu (14.5h) and Tokyo (17.5h)
The JR Tokushima Line (徳島線) crosses the length of Tokushima from Tokushima to Ikeda, where it meets the JR Dosan Line between Takamatsu and Kochi.
Tokushima's best scenery can be found in the rugged and mountainous western end. Best known are the treacherous ravines of Oboke and Koboke, but nearby Iya Valley's vine bridges are also famous.
Tokushima's biggest yearly event is the Awa Odori dance, held in yearly in August in Tokushima City.
- Iya Valley, one of Japan's Top 3 Hidden Valleys, offers many hiking opportunities including Mt. Tsurugi, the second-highest peak in Shikoku.
- Naruto Kintoki - Some of the world's finest sweet potatoes. They are unique thanks to the special sandy soil in which they are grown. Unlike regular sweet potato fields, the sandy soil in Naruto forms a thin crust at the surface which allows the potatoes to grow undisturbed and develop their superb flavor and texture. Naruto Kintoki can be prepared in numerous ways and are also used for brewing Shochu (Japanese Liquor). For those eating it for the first time, try it plain in order to sense its qualities with no distractions. One way to do so is by wrapping the potato tightly in foil and letting it bake in the oven till it softens. The aroma alone is worth experiencing, and the taste will make you melt.
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