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Tokushima & the Anan Coast

The starting point for pilgrims over the past 1200 years, Tokushima Prefecture (徳島県), formerly known as Awa, is home to the first 23 of Shikoku's 88 Sacred Temples. Ryōzen-ji is Temple One as it is the first temple pilgrims came to after visiting Kōya-san in Wakayama Prefecture and asking for Kōbō Daishi's support on their journey. To henro (pilgrims), Tokushima is known as Hosshin-no-dōjō, the 'place to determine to achieve enlightenment'. If you haven't got time to walk the 88, the first five temples sit in an east–west line spanning about 15km to the north of the Yoshino River and make a worthy mini-pilgrimage.

These days, notable attractions of the prefecture include the lively Awa-odori Matsuri, which takes place in Tokushima in August; the mighty whirlpools of the Naruto Channel between Shikoku and Awaji-shima; and the surf beaches of the Anan Coast (阿南海岸; Anan-kaigan) to the south.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Tokushima & the Anan Coast.