Tokushima and Awa Odori - The Fool's Dance

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Tokushima may be most famous for its traditional 400 year-old Awa Odori (Awa Dance). Thousands of spectators and dancers come here every year to participate and to watch this festival during the Obon season in the middle of August. This would absolutely be a great reason for planning a trip to Tokushima.

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STEP1■ Tokushima Castle

The castle is located a short uphill walk from Chuo Park behind the station. Here you will also get a good view over the city. The castle museum is set in a beautiful and sophisticated traditional Japanese garden. It would be a good idea to come early in the morning for a misty, meditative, and crowd-free experience.

Admission to the garden and museum is \300 adults, \200 students.

■ Awa Odori Kaikan
A museum made for and devoted to the Awa Odori Festival. The exhibition contains video and images from the festival. You can even find a dancing Odobotto robot who will teach you have to dance. There are also several scheduled Awa Odori dances every day.

Admission fees are \500 for adults and \300 for students.

■ House of Indigo
At this spot it is possible to learn about the creation of traditional fabric patterns and you can even dye your own piece of fabric with real indigo (?500-3000). The place can be found in an old house which used to belong to an indigo merchant. The house is located close to the Higashi Nakatomi bus stop.

Admission fees are \300 for adults and \150 for children.

STEP2■ Awa Wasanbon Toh Sugar

Syrup is extracted from sugar canes. It is then boiled and refined sugar solidifies and takes form. The syrup is then worked on until it reaches the surface and then put in a pressurized bag. This is later repeated several times in order to make the Awa Wasanbon Toh Sugar. This method of making high quality sugar, dates back to the Edo period (1603~1868) and is used as luxury confectionery.

■ Sudachi Citron
Some of the local specialties made from this fruit are Sudachi juice, sudachi shochu (distilled alcohol) and sudachi vinegar. It is also used to add flavor to many different dishes.

STEP3Weather conditions

Average temperatures during it's warmest month, August, stays around 27 degrees in Tokushima city, but can be lower in other areas. During its winter period it goes down to around 6 degrees but can be as low as -7 on Mount Tsurugi.


■ Awa Odori
Every year between August 12 and 15 thousands of people flood to Tokushima to see the "Dance of Fools". At some point in the dance the dancers stop and sing the song which explains the expression previously mentioned.

踊る阿呆に----Odoru ahou ni---------The dancers are fools
見る阿呆------Miru ahou-------------The watchers are fools
同じ阿呆なら--Onaji ahou nara-------Both are fools alike so
踊らな損、損--Odorana son, son------Why not dance?

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