主な撮影地紹介Introduction of MAIN Filming Sites
Awa Dance Festival
The Awa Dance Festival is one of the most well known summer festivals in Japan.
Every year from August 12–15, the four-day festival is held with Tokushima City's theater at its center. Although Tokushima City's resident population is only 260,000, the turnout during the festival is 1.2 million.
Many festival-goers are from Japan, but many more visitors come from other countries. The dancers practice long and hard for this day to thrill the hearts and bodies of onlookers with their dynamic yet elegant dance and the accompaniment of their musical instruments. During the festival the entire town is filled with dance.
The Awa Dance Festival is said to have originated 400 years ago. After the subjugation of Shikoku by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, he gave the country to Hachimasu Iemasa. The new daimyo built Tokushima Castle, and the people living around the castle popularized the dance.
The Hachimasu clan also promoted the trade of indigo dye. This allowed the dye merchants to amass great wealth, which they then used to develop the dance into an extravagant festival. Today, Awa Dance has spread throughout Japan and is known worldwide as a part of Japan's traditional culture.
Every day, the Awaodori Kaikan puts on five Awa Dance performances—four during the day and one at night. At certain points during these public performances, visitors are allowed to take part and experience the dance together with the performers.
This is a popular tourist destination as it allows anyone to enjoy real Awa Dance every day.
Indigo dying is one of the traditional industries of Tokushima.
During the Edo Period, Tokushima flourished as a producer of the indigo plant.
Each year, the Yoshino River would repeatedly overflow its banks, and the fertile soil it brought would produce high quality indigo plants. It came to be that people far and wide knew that the Awa region was synonymous with indigo.
Today the profound color produced by the indigo plant is still loved by many as Japan Blue.。
Ningyo-joruri is a performing art from the Edo Period in which a gidayu dramatic ballad is narrated in the joruri style with shamisen accompaniment while ningyo (puppets) are manipulated on stage.
One characteristic of ningyo-joruri in Tokushima is that it was mostly performed outside on stages in farming villages as entertainment for the farmers. As a result, the puppets were made very large so as to be easily visible.
At the Tokushima Prefectural Jurobe Yashiki (Puppet Theater and Museum) in Kawauchi-cho, Awa ningyo-joruri programs are performed every day.
Shikoku Eighty-eight Sacred Sites Pilgrimage
The Shikoku eighty-eight sacred sites are the eighty-eight temples said to have been opened by Kobo-Daishi (Kukai) when he went on pilgrimage around Shikoku during his younger days, about 1200 years ago. Five of these sacred sites (temples) are located close together in Tokushima City, which has been a gathering place for faithful pilgrims since long ago.
The path to these places is only about eight kilometers long and can followed on foot.
Hyotan Island Excursion Cruises
The best way to view Tokushima, the City of Water, is from the river.
Local volunteer groups run boat cruises around Hyotan Island, allowing visitors to enjoy the sights of Tokushima City from the water.
Cruises are free (a payment of 200 yen is required for insurance), and every year more than 60,000 people join these popular excursions.
Tokushima Zoo is a spacious zoo located on the outskirts of Tokushima City and surrounded by nature.
The zoo houses animals from all over the world in four climate zones: temperate, tropical, savanna, and polar. At the children's petting zoo, visitors can enjoy interacting with sheep and guinea pigs.
The zoo holds many seasonal events, with the Night Zoo in the fall being particularly popular.
Rising to an altitude of 290 meters, Mt. Bizan is a green landmark in Tokushima City. The gondola will take you from the foot to the summit in about six minutes.
The summit offers a beautiful view of Tokushima City, and on a clear day you can see as far as Awaji Island or Kii Peninsula.
The beautiful view of the nightscape has even been selected as one of the top 20 in Japan.
Taki no Yaki-mochi
These sweet treats are made using Kinryosui water from the springs at the foot of Mt. Bizan—said to have been drunk by the Tokushima daimyo long ago—mixed with rice flour. This water is also used to boil red beans into a dried paste, which is then folded into the dough and baked flat in a chrysanthemum pattern.
Inside the simple yet delicious savory mochi rice lies the refreshing and elegant taste of sweet red beans.
In the temple neighborhood at the foot of Mt. Bizan many traditional yaki-mochi shops still do business. When people come to admire the cherry blossoms or visit the shrines and temples around Bizan, they often stop by for a tasty snack.
This is Tokushima's local ramen.
Our "brown (black)" ramen uses dark soy sauce to make a burnt umber colored soup topped with pork belly and raw egg. Other varieties of soup include "white" and "yellow". Each shop will have its own special flavors for you to enjoy.
Tokushima City has more than 100 different ramen shops. On holidays, popular shops will have many cars from other prefectures parked in their parking lots, and visitors can be seen taking commemorative photos in front of the restaurants.
The largest river in Shikoku, Yoshino River is also one of the Three Raging Rivers of Japan, and goes by the nickname of Shikokusaburo.
Often mistaken for the ocean when seen for the first time, this enormous river functions as the main artery of Tokushima, the City of Water. You can enjoy various marine sports on the river, such as standup paddleboarding and surfing.
Okonomiyaki and Mametentamayaki
When it comes to okonomiyaki, Hiroshima is famous for grilling it with toppings on top while Kansai is known for mixing its ingredients together before grilling. But Tokushima has its own unique way of eating this dish.
As with Kansai style okonomiyaki, first flour is mixed with water, shredded cabbage, and egg. Next dark red beans are stewed until sweet and added to the mixture. Finally a small number of crisply fried baby shrimp tempura are placed on top, completing the mametentamayaki.
The combination of the sweet and spicy flavor of the sauce with the strong sweetness of the beans is unique to this style of okonomiyaki, found only in Tokushima.
Yusanbako are three-tiered boxes used by children as lunch boxes on outings into nature or during the Hinamatsuri. The boxes are made using a woodworking technique called "mokuhari" and finished with a beautiful coat of paint.
As the local culture has become more simplified, yusanbako have fallen out of use. In recent years, however, the appeal of these creations has been re-evaluated and a movement has been started to revive them.
Front Palace Garden of the former Tokushima Castle
Around the year 1600, this garden was built in the Momoyama style for the sitting room and front study in the home of the Hachisuka clan, the lords of Tokushima Domain.
Green schist, which has an elegant color and feel and is also known as "Awa greenstone", was used extensively, and a small inlet was built to allow the ebb and flow of the tides to be read. The garden was designated as a national Place of Beauty in 1941.
Located in the northern part of Tokushima City, Komatsu Kaigan is the home beach of local residents. In recent years, as more people come to visit from the Kansai region, the beach has become a popular surfing spot.
Along the beach, surf shops rent out equipment and teach surfing lessons, making this a welcome spot for beginner surfers to enjoy themselves with peace of mind.