Vacation before Awa-Odori Festival!
Fun leading up to the Festival
For those of you unaware of what
Awa-Odori is, let us give you a brief history. Awa-Odori is a dance from the Tokushima region (formerly known as
Awa), that has been performed for the last 400 years. The dance is known throughout Japan, and performers have been asked to put on shows in other parts of the world. The Awa-Odori festival is one of the largest events in the region, drawing in massive crowds to watch the hundreds of thousands of dancers. During this time in August (August 12th-15th), Tokushima is filled with fun and adventure. If you plan on visiting Tokushima for the Awa-Odori festival, here are a couple of spots to check out while you're there!
1) See the Naruto Whirlpools!
Possibly one of the most nature focused spots on this list, the Naruto Whirlpools are an awesome way to appreciate reaching Shikoku. If you plan on coming for the Awa Odori Festival, chances are you will be flying into Kansai Airport, and using a bus or train to reach Tokushima. If you opt for a bus, you can possibly see the famous Naruto Whirlpools below the bridge. Of course, this isn't a guaranteed occurrence, but it makes for a great sight. If you're lucky enough to see them at the rest area, enjoy sipping on some coffee or munching on some donuts as you take the perfect picture.
Click For more information about the Naruto Whirlpools
2) Visit a temple on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage
Japan is full of temples, that's something I feel is universally agreed on. However, one of the best thing about the temples in Shikoku is that they're all connected on the 88 Shikoku Temple Pilgrimage. While you probably won't have time to visit all 88, you're probably going to find time to visit one or two. If you can, be sure to treat yourself. Lacking the larger crowds at other temples and sitting in the quiet, nature filled island of Shikoku, time spent at one of these temples is sure to be more zen and calming than you'd expect at Asakusa Sensoji.
Click For more information about the 88 Temple Pilgrimage
3) Visit the Awa-Odori Kaikan
It seems to me if you're going to Tokushima to watch the Awa-Odori Festival, you should go prepared. What's the best way to do that? Visiting the Awa-Odori Kaikan of course! The Awa-Odori Kaikan is a museum dedicated to the prefecture's famous dance. The museum has five floors dedicated to the dance, including a gift shop, information center, library, and performances of the dance. There is also a soba-restaurant, perfect for enjoying the local specialties while sampling Japan's famous noodles. Before you join the fun at the festival, get a quick crash course so you can jump right in with the dancers and fun!
Click For more information about the Awaodori Kaikan
There ya go!
These are our top choices with what to do before or after the fun at the Awa-Odori Festival!