Head to Tokushima to see the most famous and bustling summer dance festivals in Shikoku.
In August, the island of Shikoku comes alive with dance festivals, the most famous of which takes place in Tokushima. Here the festival that lasts three days is called Awa Odori; Awa is an old name for Tokushima prefecture, while odori means dance.
The highlight of the festival is an evening parade of thousands of dancers divided into groups, each dancing their own repeated movements through the streets of the city. Some groups also play traditional instruments and each team has a different uniform of colorful yukata (light cotton kimono) and happi jackets and shorts.
Can’t get to Tokushima in August? Fear not, dances are performed daily for Awa Odori Kaikan museum visitors along with information about the festival. A cable car runs from the museum to the top of Mount Bizan for great views of the city of Tokushima.
When to go: August 12-15