Awa Odori


There are three different theories about the origins of Awa Odori. One is that it is a version of the Bon Odori, a dance performed in summer throughout Japan. Another is that it began from a celebration of the completion of Tokushima Castle when Hachisuka Iemasa provided sake for the townspeople who got drunk and began to dance with abandon. Awa Odori features organized teams of dancers, which is suggested to have been influenced by "Furyu" - a performance art from the Heian Era that later became Noh Theatre.

The third theory is from the Miyoshi district records. In 1663 there was a furyu dance at Shozui Castle, which is considered to be the origin of Awa Odori. In the 1920s, the dance festival became organized to attract tourism and was named "Awa Odori". Every August 12 – 15, the streets of Tokushima teem with high-spirited folks enjoying a festival atmosphere.

Awa Odori
Awa Odori in Tokushima City uses the main downtown streets as a stage. Starts in the evening at around 6:00pm, the dancing lasts until 10:30pm, and main performances are held on outdoor dance stages or strips built in the downtown parks and streets. Seven are on stages, and four in plazas in which the audience can also participate.

The dance is also held in regional areas as well, such as Naruto, Miyoshi, Ikeda, Kamojima, Sadamitsu, and many more. All of Tokushima Prefecture catches summer fever when it comes to Awa Odori.

When: August 12-15, 6:00pm - 10:30pm
Inquiries: Call the Tokushima City Tourism Association at 088-622-4010.
The Best of Awa Odori
Enjoy an exquisite performance by leading dance groups. The particularly gorgeous performance on August 11 is not to be missed.

When: August 11-15, 11:30am - 8:20pm
* There are 2-3 displays a day at each stage.
* Each performance lasts 70-80 minutes.
Inquiries: Call the Tokushima City Tourism Association at 088-622-4010.

As the song goes, dancing fools and watching fools are fools both the same, so why not dance? No reservations are required. Come as you are, and jump right in! Get a quick lesson from dancers in famous dancing troupes and then take your turn in the spotlight.

When: August 12-15 (daily for 4 days), 6:30pm and 8:30pm (two sessions)
Where: Tokushima City Hall, Shimin Hiroba, Higashi Shinmachi shopping arcade entrance
Inquiries: 088-653-9670

Awa Odori Kaikan
This museum is dedicated to the world-famous Awa Dance, and opened in July 1999. Learn about the history of the dance, and even learn the dance itself! There is a lot to enjoy here.

Address: Tokushima-shi Shinmachi Bashi 2 Chome
Inquiries: 088-611-1611