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Tokushima City徳島市

Tokushima徳島県

Home of the mid-summer Awa-odori Dance. Fun tour in the aqua-metropolis of Tokushima.

Located in the northeastern part of Tokushima Prefecture and spreading out to the mouth of the Yoshino-gawa River, Tokushima City is the center of the government and economy in eastern Shikoku. Full of nature with Mt. Bi-zan and Tokushima Central Park, the city is an aqua-metropolis listed in the selection of "100 homes by the water" by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The Hyotan-jima Cruising Boat, which is available for 30-minute tours of this aqua-metropolis, attracts a number of tourists.

Tokushima is known throughout Japan for its Awa-odori Dance. The 400-year-old dance is currently also performed outside the prefecture, and the dancers have been invited to perform at overseas events. The Awa-dori Dance is considered to be as passionate and international as Rio's Carnival.
There are three different beliefs about the origin of the dance: The first is the Bon-odori Dance, which can be seen everywhere throughout the country. The second is a dance performed at the completion of Tokushima Castle, built by Hachisuka Iemasa in 1587. People in the castle town danced freely, regardless of their rank or seniority, to celebrate the new castle. The third is the Furyu-odori Dance. Furyu is what is said to be the source of Japanese Noh plays, and is believed to have influenced the style of Awa-odori to dance in a group called "Ren." In "Miyoshi-ki," a military epic written in 1663, a description that says Sogo Masayasu (a member of the Miyoshi family) organized the Furyu-odori Dance at Shozui Castle in 1578.
The city began performances of the dance as a tourist attraction during the early Showa Era (1926-1989), and it was named "Awa-odori" at that time. The Awa-odori Dance is performed throughout the prefecture around the time of the Bon holiday of the old calendar as the main event of summer festivals. The dance performed in Tokushima City is the most major one among them, and is held for four days from 12 to 15 August. During this period, the streets in the central area of the city and dancing stages set up in the parks become a place full of excitement with dancers and more than 1.3 million visitors.
If you wish to join the Awa-odori Dance without making a reservation, it is recommended that you join "Niwaka-ren." There is no dress requirement, and you can go on the dancing stage after taking lessons offered by Yumei-ren, registered dancing groups.

There are three different beliefs about the origin of the dance: The first is the Bon-odori Dance, which can be seen everywhere throughout the country. The second is a dance performed at the completion of Tokushima Castle, built by Hachisuka Iemasa in 1587. People in the castle town danced freely, regardless of their rank or seniority, to celebrate the new castle. The third is the Furyu-odori Dance. Furyu is what is said to be the source of Japanese Noh plays, and is believed to have influenced the style of Awa-odori to dance in a group called "Ren." In "Miyoshi-ki," a military epic written in 1663, a description that says Sogo Masayasu (a member of the Miyoshi family) organized the Furyu-odori Dance at Shozui Castle in 1578.
The city began performances of the dance as a tourist attraction during the early Showa Era (1926-1989), and it was named "Awa-odori" at that time. The Awa-odori Dance is performed throughout the prefecture around the time of the Bon holiday of the old calendar as the main event of summer festivals. The dance performed in Tokushima City is the most major one among them, and is held for four days from 12 to 15 August. During this period, the streets in the central area of the city and dancing stages set up in the parks become a place full of excitement with dancers and more than 1.3 million visitors.

If you wish to join the Awa-odori Dance without making a reservation, it is recommended that you join "Niwaka-ren." There is no dress requirement, and you can go on the dancing stage after taking lessons offered by Yumei-ren, registered dancing groups.

If you miss the event, the Awa-odori Kaikan Hall in the center of the city is open for you to experience the Awa-odori at any time of year. On the second floor, you can watch a performance of "Awa-no-kaze (Wind of Awa)" during the day and performances by Yumei-ren at night. If you wish, you can join them to dance together.

Directions

From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 15 min from Haneda to Tokushima Airport.
[Rail] 3h 20 min to Okayama Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line, and 1h 56 min from Okayama to Tokushima Station by JR Seto-ohashi Takatoku Line.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 40 min from Shin-Osaka to Okayama by Shinkansen.
[Bus] 2h 30 min from Osaka Station to Tokushima Station by express bus.

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