#4183

Awa Odori (阿波おどり) – Summer Festival in Tokushima Prefecture

Tokushima Prefecture is located on Shikoku island and they hold one of the most famous dance festivals across Japan once a year in summer. Awa Odori has a very long history whose origins date back 400 years and everybody knows this traditional arts in Japan. The festival attracts large numbers of domestic and international tourists. In total, around 1.3 million people flock to Tokushima prefecture for the Awa Odori (ref. The population of Tokushima City is only around 263,000). You can imagine it’s a full of energetic and lively activity of the year.

“ODORU AHOU NI, MIRU AHOU. ONAJI AHOU NARA ODORA-NYA SON, SON” which translates like "Fools dance and fools watch, if both are fools, you might as well dance". This is the lyrics to a common dance song. Based on this lyrics, all dancers and spectators will dance on the streets of downtown Tokushima.

I have a photographer friend who is a big fan of this dance festival. He describes how the entire Tokushima city is resounding with energetic festival music and dance during the festival. With this up-tempo rhythm festival music, people will be transported with joy.

Excited by the music filling the streets, people young and old are waving their hands in the air and dancing their hearts away. There's a saying that if you raise your hands and move your legs forward you're doing the Awa odori. That is to say, it's easy for anyone to join in and look like they're doing the dance. That’s Awa odori and its attraction. Even if you don’t know how to dance, don’t worry. Anyone from the world is welcome so long as they smile and enjoy the festival.

If you have a chance to visit Tokushima, I would recommend you to buy Sudachi flavored products (such as ice cream, vodka coolers, ice pops, and soft drinks) as souvenirs. It’s a type of citrus popular in Japan and they are mostly produced in Tokushima.

Photo by Shigeru ALakawa (Photographer)

ACCCESS
3 hours from Osaka or 2 hours from Kobe by highway bus. Tokushima is also famous for Naruto Whirlpools (please see my post about Naruto at http://www.deepjapan.org/a/4173) and Naruto Kintoki sweet potatoes. It is also known as an origin of the Shikoku pilgrimage route.

OKAKI-sun image

OKAKI-sun

Japan

OKAKI-sun's other advice

The Largest Whirlpools in the world – Naruto Whirlpools images

The Largest Whirlpools in the world – Naruto Whirlpools

The Naruto whirlpools (鳴門の渦潮 Naruto no Uzushio) are tidal whirlpools in the Naruto Strait, which is one of the largest in the world. I have visited the Naruto Strait many times and it’s been alw…

The world-famous Nara Daibutsu (Big Buddha of Nara), images

The world-famous Nara Daibutsu (Big Buddha of Nara),

Recently I had a chance to visit Nara with my family. In Nara, we have the largest wooden building in the world, called Todai-ji and you can view the Great Buddha housed inside Todai-ji temple comple…

Skipjack Tuna (Katsuo) in Japanese cuisine images

Skipjack Tuna (Katsuo) in Japanese cuisine

Skipjack tuna is used extensively in Japanese cuisine, where it is known as katsuo. It is smoked and dried to make katsuobushi, the central ingredient in dashi(=a common Japanese fish stock).Beside…

Japanese Fish Markets images

Japanese Fish Markets

As Japan is surrounded by ocean, we have a lot of famous fish markets with fresh fish. Usually such markets have a couple of restaurants inside the market and they serve great fish dishes. I recommen…

Japanese Omelette, “Dashimaki tamago” images

Japanese Omelette, “Dashimaki tamago”

Dashi-maki tamago is basically a Japanese-style omelette made by rolling up the egg as you cook it. Very popular recipe in Japanese restaurant. It is made with dashi broth so it's packed with extra f…

Japanese sweets : “Habutae-mochi” images

Japanese sweets : “Habutae-mochi”

When you visit Fukui prefecture, I would like to recommend its famous sweets “Habutae-mochi” for souvenir. They are made of glutinous rice and have a very smooth texture. The name comes from how it l…

You might also like

Enjoy bath, Japanese style images

Enjoy bath, Japanese style

Enjoy taking bath with Babu(Bub), a popular Japanese bath tablet to Relax after Exploring Japan on Foot.All travelers know how sight seeing can be exhausting. Especially walking around on foot, t…

mimichan image

mimichan

Horseback riding on the beach images

Horseback riding on the beach

Summer is around the corner and the temperature is rising day by day.Time for us to plan our summer vacation. (maybe already done?)Japan is a mountain country surrounded by sea...so we can reac…

Zara image

Zara

Shopping Seasonal Japan - Limited Edition Products images

Shopping Seasonal Japan - Limited Edition Products

“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.Winter passes and one remembers one's persevera…

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Tatami in the summer time images

Tatami in the summer time

Although not all houses have tatami flooring these days (many apartments and homes will just have one or two "tatami rooms", usually bedrooms), you generally do not have a bed with legs on the tatami…

KurtisW image

KurtisW

How to be Polite in a Restaurant in Japan? images

How to be Polite in a Restaurant in Japan?

These are not just little finger towels placed neatly next to your plate for conveniently wiping stray food off of hands and fingers...these Oshibori are almost like an appetizer to the meal itself. …

 image

Toshima Swimming Pool in Japan images

Toshima Swimming Pool in Japan

Living in Yokohama, I rarely go to swimming pools in Tokyo. However, I have ben to Toshima swimming pool once and having quite a fun time. Toshima pool is more than just an ordinary pool. It is a wat…

GenS image

GenS