With Mt Bizan looming in the southwest, and the Shinmachi-gawa cutting a gentle swath through the middle, bustling Tokushima city (徳島) is its prefecture's pleasant capital. With a number of nearby temples, the city makes a solid starting point for 88-Temple pilgrims. It's a modern, regional city with plenty going on between JR Tokushima Station in the city centre and the Bizan ropeway station.
In the southern part of the city, Bunka-no-mori-kōen is a great option for rainy days, as the complex houses several museums, including the Tokushima Modern Art Museum, the Tokushima Prefectural Museum and the prefectural library.
Every August, the Awa-odori Matsuri, a traditional dance festival, attracts thousands of Japanese visitors from across the country. Book accommodation well ahead and expect to pay a premium if you're visiting during this time.