THE SHIKOKU SHOWCASE
TOKUSHIMA Awa Odori Hall
The dance show here is both informative and entertaining. Amid short demonstrations of the beautiful Awa dance, historical facts are explained in Japanese with translations projected onto the wall. Organisers get the audience on their feet, so it’s a fun affair.
NARUTO (30 minutes from Tokushima) Hotel Ridge
Naruto boasts natural whirlpools in its seas and a huge art museum of nothing but reproductions of world-famous art printed on ceramic slabs. But the town’s top highlight is this minimalist ryokan hotel, where the set dinner is innovative and the onsen faces the sea.
TAKAMATSU (one hour from Tokushima) Sanuki udon
Kagawa prefecture, population about one million, has 800 udon joints. The area specialises in the famed Sanuki udon, and the prefectural capital, Takamatsu, is a sure bet to find this dish. This is also the port city to get to Naoshima and other ‘art islands’.
IYA VALLEY (1.5 hours from Tokushima) Iya Onsen
Sitting on a lookout over Iya Valley, Iya Onsen Hotel is notable for its hot spring bath right by the river. Visitors take a funicular cable car from the main property to the onsen 170 metres below.
OBOKE (1.5 hours from Tokushima) Oboke Gorge
Meaning ‘gorge of big danger’, Oboke Gorge features a scenic and fast-moving river. You can simply gaze at it or hike on its rocky shores and go whitewater rafting. Thirty-minute sightseeing boat rides are popular.
KAIFU POINT (two hours from Tokushima) Surfing
When wave conditions are good, surfers rush to Kaifu Point. It’s also not far from Takegashima Marine Park, where kayaking, snorkelling and diving are available.
KOCHI (2.5 hours from Tokushima) Katsurahama Beach
Edged by a pine forest, Katsurahama Beach is a seaside escape that’s not for swimming (it’s prohibited) or sports, but simply taking in the scenery. Since ancient times, this site has been known as a great place for moon gazing.
MATSUYAMA (four hours from Tokushima) Matsuyama Castle
Located high on a hill, this large castle complex dating to the 1600s is impeccably maintained and offers panoramic views of the city. The best time to visit is early spring, when the 200 cherry trees on the grounds are in bloom.