Tokushima Weekend Event Calendar – February 4-5

Not a lot happening on this first weekend of February, but there is a nice variety. Guitar concert, traditional archery, family fair… and of course, Setsubun on February 3. There are several ongoing events like Shogo Kariyazaki’s flower arrangements in the Yoshida Residence along the Udatsu Historical Street, and the numerous Awakoi workshops being held around Nishi Awa.

Have a Wander-ful weekend!

Photo from:  www.city.tokushima.tokushima.jp/johaku

Tarrega Guitar Quartet タレガ・ギターカルテット 徳島公演

2/04 (Sat.) Doors open 13:30, starts 14:00.   Place: Aizumi Town Culture Hall  藍住町総合文化ホール (Aizumi-cho).   Admission: General 3000 yen, under-25 1000 yen.

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

The Tarrega Guitar Quartet is a group of young talented guitarists (one of whom is from Tokushima) will be making their Shikoku debut on Sunday.  With eight hands and twenty-four strings, the quartet will play pieces from Rossini, Bizet, Leo Brouwer, and more.

You can buy advance tickets through the Awagin Hall ticket office or website (088-622-8121 or www.kyoubun.or.jp/index.html) for reserved seats. Same-day tickets are the same price, but will not be reserved seats.

Tokushima Castle New Year Archery  徳島城射初め演武

2/05 (Sat.) 10:30 and 13:00. Place: Tokushima Castle Museum 徳島城博物館 (Tokushima-shi). Admission: Museum admission required (300 yen adults, 200 yen high school/university students).

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

An old ceremony from feudal Tokushima will be re-enacted.  Before receiving the new year’s greetings from the daimyo (lord), warriors would pray for continued fortune in battle and shoot the first arrows of the year.  The 10:30 demonstration will be a chance to see this custom and to watch a rare of display of Japanese-style archery in traditional garb.  The afternoon event will have archery by new adults (just became 20 years old) and by students from junior high and high schools.

Wara-ai Fair わらあい市

2/05 (Sun.) 10:00-14:00.  Place: Waza no Yakata 技の館 (Kamiita-cho). Admission: Free.

Waza no Yakata event info (in Japanese)

As monthly events are making a comeback throughout the prefecture, the first Sunday of every month is small-town, family-friendly Wara-ai Fair time at Waza no Yakata in Kamiita Town

In celebration of Setsubun, a “nice” ogre will be passing out candy (no need to throw beans at him).  In honor of the Sapporo Snow Festival starting this weekend, kids can go on a hunt for mini snow igloos through the inner courtyard.  There will also be a Doll Festival flower arrangement workshop (tickets for the igloo hunt and flower arrangement are limited and on sale from 10:00 am). 

You can get your back straightened out at the chiropractor booth, listen to live music at 10:00 am, play carnival games (ring toss and shooting gallery), and grab food like udon, oven-fired pizza, soba-gome soup, and miso-slathered gohei mochi.

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Tokushima Weekend Event Calendar – January 28-29

Aloha everyone! Sorry there was no event calendar last week, and this week’s one was a little late. I’ve been dealing with medical issues all month, and that is taking priority over event information (basically doing fine now, so don’t worry).

This weekend’s events are all on Sunday, and I have some scoops on smaller neighborhood markets that are piggybacking off the monthly Tokushima Marche, so show them some love and check them out.

Even though there weren’t a lot of events this weekend, the cold weather makes it the perfect time to take in a museum. Bunka no Mori Complex in Tokushima City has the Prefectural Museum, Modern Art Museum, and Prefectural Library. Asutamuland in Itano-cho has a great science museum, planetarium, and the new Wooden Toy Museum.

Anyway, stay warm and have a Wander-ful weekend!

Motomachi Market

Awa Ningyo Joruri puppet drama performance 阿波人形浄瑠璃芝居公演

1/29 (Sun.) Doors open 12:30, starts 13:00. Place: Yume Hall 阿南市文化会館夢ホール (Anan-shi). Admission: 200 yen (free for students, high school and younger).

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

Usually you have to go to the Awa Jurobei Yashiki to see live performances of Awa Ningyo Joruri puppet drama, but there will be a performance in Anan by a local puppet troupe for those of you living in the southern part of the prefecture (and a good reason to make a trip down south on Sunday). Nakamura-en Tayu-za has been performing since the end of the Edo Period, and they will be performing two pieces, Awa Henro Koi Uta and Ichinotani Futaba Gunki (Kumagai Jinya no Dan). In between, Aratano Junior High School students will be performing the classic Keisei Awa no Naruto (Junrei-uta no Dan). Puppet drama in Tokushima has always been a local tradition, and this is a chance to see the tradition live on in Anan.

Tokushima Marche とくしまマルシェ

1/29 (Sun.) 9:00-14:00. Place: Shinmachi Boardwalk, Mizugiwa Park しんまちボードウォーク、水際公園 (Tokushima-shi). Admission: Free.

Marche event page (in Japanese)

Shop Map (in Japanese)

Brave the cold on Sunday, because a trio of markets are open within walking distance of Tokushima Station. (See event info below for Motomachi Market and Renove Kurashi-ichi)

The monthly Tokushima Marche’s theme is “Meat,” appropriate because this is on the 29th (ni-ku, which sounds like “meat” in Japanese). Stop by the Shinmachi bridge stage area for Awa Odori chicken couscous, chunky wagyu meat sauce pasta, Sudachi chicken karaage, Boar/venison hot dogs, Kintoki pork, and Niku Udon. Locally-grown winter produce will be in abundant supply, like strawberries, broccoli, turnips, and mikan, but look out of early spring crops like lettuce and alfalfa sprouts. And get a cup of hot cocoa, coffee, or jam tea to take the edge off the chill.

Motomachi Market元町マーケット, Renove Kurashi-Ichiリノベなくらしいち

1/29 (Sun.) Market 10:00-16:00, Ichi 9:00-15:00. Place: Market – catch gallery, Ichi – Bata House (Tokushima-shi). Admission: Free.

Motomachi Market IG page (in Japanese)

Renove Kurashi-ichi Awawa event page (in Japanese)

In addition to the Tokushima Marche (see event info above), there will be two smaller events nearby.

The Motomachi Market is an eclectic gathering of booths in the red brick building on the corner diagonally opposite of Amico on Route 192. MOKHAK is selling hand-dyed beach ponchos and organic kiwi fruits, Hanairoaiki will have a colorful selection of flower earrings, Tumugi features a whimsical line-up of clothing for children and adults, and Taloni offers a great selection of vintage Scandinavian interior goods. You can also get carrot cake, Victoria sandwich cake, fresh lunch bowls, Anzac biscuits, Awa Bancha tea chocolates, and fresh-brewed coffee.

The Renobe Kurashi-ichi is a small pop-up market in the parking garage of a renovation company. From sweets to fortunetelling, relaxation therapy to home interior, each member of the family will find something to do. To find it, go to Fureai Bridge (the pedestrian bridge between Ryogoku and Shinmachi bridges) and go down the wheelchair/bike ramp on the station side. Cross to the side street and it’s on the left.

Great side trip from the Tokushima Marche.

Tokushima Weekend Event Calendar – Jan. 14-15

Happy New Year and welcome to the Year of the Rabbit! May everything happen in leaps and bounds for you.

We have a handful of events, many of which are regular events. It’s good to see events returning to a consistent schedule, and hope to keep you updated in the future. Have a Wander-ful weekend!

Photo from Aeruwa.jp

Aeruwa Hall Lobby Concert

1/14 (Sat.) 14:30-16:00. Place: Aeruwa Hall アエルワホール (Awa-shi). Admission: Free.

Aeruwa Hall event post (in Japanese)

The monthly lobby concert series continues with a traditional Japanese instrument trio gracing the stage. Listen to the sounds of a koto (horizontal harp), sangen (banjo-like instrument similar to a shamisen), and shakuhachi (flute). This month, the concert will take place in the hall rather than the lobby.

Taisan-ji Temple Mochi Lifting Contest

1/15 (Sun.) Ceremonies at 10:30, Contest starts at 12:30. Place: Taisan-ji Temple 大山寺(Kamiita-cho). Admission: free to watch.

Taisanji Temple event post (in Japanese)

This is one of the more unusual and exciting festivals in Tokushima, where contestants try lifting a massive block of mochi (rice cakes) and walking as far as they can. At 10:30, the ceremonies begin with a blessing, walking over fire, and a rice cake throw. At 12:30, the main contest begins. There will be no kids division this year, but the men will lift a 142kg tray of rice cakes, and the women will lift 69kg. After the contest, the awards ceremony and a second rice cake throw will take place. Don’t miss this exciting traditional strength challenge!

Gokuro Marche and Yoshinogawa Marche

1/15 (Sun.) 9:00-14:00. Place: Road leading from JR Kamijima Station 鴨島駅の近辺 (Yoshinogawa-shi). Admission: free.

Gokuro Marche event page on Awawa (in Japanese)

Yoshinogawa Marche event page on Awawa (in Japanese)

This monthly set of local-friendly markets is becoming a regular event in Yoshinogawa City. The Gokuro Marche will feature a kids play area, with a traditional candy shop, classic playthings and games, and make-and-take workshops. Adults can shop and eat along Inari Street and enjoy the retro feeling. At the same time, the Yoshinogawa Marche brings 30 local vendors along the Main Street leading from the station down to the Pocket Park and Shimin Plaza. And the Machikado Concert event also piggybacks onto this day with live entertainment starting at 11:00. If you live near Kamojima, definitely check this out. For others, why not combine this is with a visit to Shogo Kariyazaki’s amazing floral displays in the Udatsu Historical Street’s Yoshida Residence?

SunSun Market

1/15 (Sun.) 10:00-15:00. Place: Mizugiwa Park 水際公園 (Tokushima-shi). Admission: Free.

Event page (in Japanese)

Twenty booths and a food truck will be lined up along the Shinmachi River, selling food, crafts, and more. Every third Sunday of the month is SunSun Market Sunday, so be sure to mark your calendars for future dates.

2022-23 New Year (O-Shogatsu) Event Calendar

Goodbye to the Year of the Tiger, and Hello to the Year of the Rabbit! I hope 2023 brings growth and prosperity in leaps and bounds for everyone. Here is a list of events to see out the old year (don’t forget Ingrid’s Countdown party on Dec. 31) and bring in the new one (see the first sunrise from a beach, windmill hill, or bridge). Be aware that many attractions are closed during the New Year Holidays (Dec. 29 – Dec. 3), so double-check their websites before heading out.

Have a Wander-ful New Year Holidays! Yoi o-toshi wo! 良いお年を!

Year-end Night Marche  年末ナイトマルシェ

12/31 (Sat.) 17:00-21:00. Place: Komatsushima Port Exchange Center ”Kocolo” 小松島みなと交流センターkocolo  (Komatsushima-shi).  Admission: FREE!

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

Komatsushima is having a New Year’s Eve event by the port, including fireworks!

It’s a family-friendly event with craft booths, food trucks, live music, and fortunetellers.  At 9:00 pm, there will be a fireworks show (1000 bursts), and then the event will wrap up early enough for everyone to head home and cook toshikoshi soba, watch the last of the Red and White Song Festival, or line up at the shrines for Hatsumode.

Year-end Beer Festival  年越し酒祭り

12/31 (Sat.) 17:00-25:00. Place: In front of Sakaneko (Tokushima-shi). Admission: free, but beer costs money.

FB event page (in Japanese)

For the past several years, Smoke & Beer Bar CHEERZ has been selling craft beer on tap outside of Sakaneko restaurant on New Year’s Eve. This year, choose from 8 great beers served by the cup (or bring a growler or carbonation-friendly PET bottle to take some home) as you head into Akitamachi for NYE festivities. Beer outside is cash only.  You can also order beer inside Sakaneko (seat charge applies), and get food and sake from their menu. Sakaneko is located on Ryogoku Street just down the road from S.B. Diner Burger Shop.

The 8 beers this year are: Vertere’s Christmas Blonde Ale, Beer Herun’s Weizen, Ise Kadoya/Black Tide Brewing’s Rias Coast IPA (American IPA), Derailleur Brew Works’ UMINEKO When They Cry (Smoky Pineapple Saison), Uchu Brewing’s Uchu Daigaku (DDH Oat Cream IPA), Y. Market Brewing’s Shin Momo no Wakusei4 (Hazy WIPA with Peach), Kujukuri Ocean’s Sakekasu Smoothie Ichigo (basically a beer than looks and tastes like a thick strawberry smoothie!), and Hideji Beer’s Kurikuro (Dark Chestnut Ale).

Uzu no Michi First Sunrise Viewing  初日の出in渦の道

1/01 (Sun.) Open from 6:30. Place: Uzu no Michi 渦の道  (Naruto-cho). Admission: \510 adults, \410 Jr. high/high school students,.\260 elementary school students.

Uzu no Michi event page (in Japanese)

The promenade under the O-Naruto Bridge will be opening early on New Year’s Day for people to watch the first sunrise of 2023 rise out of the ocean (weather permitting, of course).

**Most of Tokushima’s coastline faces east, so your favorite nearby beach is probably going to give you a great sunrise view.

AsutamuLand First Sunrise Viewing  あすたむらんど初日の出

1/01 (Sun.) 6:30-8:00. Place: Asutamuland (Itano-cho). Admission: sunrise viewing is free, but other facilities may have admission fees.

Asutamuland event page (in Japanese)

See the first sunrise of the year from the top of Windmill Hill above AsutamuLand!  This annual tradition is back (weather permitting).

AsutamuLand has plenty of parking, but be prepared for a line of cars getting in.  From 6:30-7:00, the first 777 people will get a lucky number, which will be used in a lucky prize drawing after the sunrise.  (If the sunrise viewing is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances, the lucky number/drawing will also be cancelled.)

Hiwasa Winter Festival ひわさ冬まつり

1/01 (Sun.) 5:00-8:00.   Place: Hiwasa Hachiman Shrine and Ohama Beach  日和佐八幡神社、大浜海岸 (Minami-cho).   Admission: FREE.

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

One way to ring in the new year…is with a drum at the beach!

Hiwasa Hachiman Shrine’s annual New Year sunrise festivities are happening this year, with entertainment, food, and taiko drums on the beach at sunrise.

Food stalls open at 5:00 am to warm the freezing onlookers.  At 5:30, local entertainers Matsuyama Koharu and Kametaro will entertain people at the shrine.  At 6:40, the shrine priest will do a new year blessing at Ohama Beach, and with the sunrise at 6:50, the taiko drummers of Hiwasa-Daiko will greet the first day of 2023 with thunderous booms. At 7:20, there will be another show with Matsuyama Koharu and Kametaro, and the food booths will continue to sell hot foods.

Combine this with a Hatsumode visit to Yakuo-ji Temple, and 2023 will start off on a traditionally Japanese footing!

Hatsumode (First Shrine/Temple Visit)  初詣の神社・寺

It’s tradition to make the first shrine or temple visit of the new year either at midnight, or on the first day.  Most neighborhood shrines/temples will open for a couple of hours at midnight, and then reopen in the morning on January 1.

Some of the more popular spots will have long lines and crowds.  These include Oasa Hiko Shrine 大麻比古神社 (Naruto-shi) , Naritasan Korin-ji Temple 成田山徳島分院光輪寺 (Naruto-shi), Tatsue-ji Temple 立江寺 (Komatsushima-shi), Tsunomine Shrine津峰神社 (Anan-shi), and Yakuo-ji Temple 薬王寺 (Minami-cho).  For students, they often pray for exam and study success at Mt. Bizan Tenjin Shrine 徳島眉山天神社 (Tokushima-shi) and Omatsu Daigongen Shrine お松大権現 (Anan-shi).

Most people will come, pray, and buy new omamori (protective charms for traffic safety, study success, finding love, business prosperity, good health, etc.).  Many of the larger or central shrines/temples will have food booths lined up along the entrance for hungry and cold worshippers.

You can usually do Hatsumode until the January 3 (the crowds thin down considerably by then), but the rules are not 100% strict so feel free to get your prayers and amulets sometime in the first week if your local spot is open.

Tokushima Awa Odori Assoc. New Year Performance “Utage” 徳島県阿波踊り協会新春公演 『宴』

1/02 (Mon.) doors open 13:00, starts 14:00.  Place: ASTY Tokushima アスティとくしま (Tokushima-shi). Admission: Advance tickets \3000 (S seats) and \2500 (A seats), at the door +\500.

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

Start off the New Year with a big stage performance of Awa Odori!

The Tokushima Awa Odori Association will bring their 19 ren (dance groups) to the large hall at ASTY Tokushima and bless the new year 2023 with a colorful pageant of energetic dance.  There will also be a special performance by the Mikage Project, an ensemble of young musicians using traditional instruments for a modern arrangement of the Awa Yoshikono song, one of the most common songs used in Awa Odori.

 Call 088-655-7331 (in Japanese) for information about advance tickets.

Tokushima Castle Museum New Year events  徳島城博物館の新春イベント

1/03 (Tue.) 11:00-14:00 (depending on the event). Place: Tokushima Castle Museum 徳島城博物館  (Tokushima-shi). Admission: FREE!

Castle Museum event page (in Japanese)

Tokushima Castle Museum starts the new year with their annual array of cultural events over the next few weeks.  For the New Year, watch a lion dance in the museum lobby at 11:00 am (first 50 people, no standing room).  From 11:30 to 14:00, there will be periodic performances of Nankin Tamasudare, a storytelling street entertainment that uses a bundle of sticks bound by string to create trees, animals, and props.

(There will be other events next weekend, with a karuta card game and fan throwing event.  More details in the next weekend calendar.)

Tokushima Weekend Event Calendar – December 24-25

This year, Christmas Eve and Day fall on the weekend, and half of the events here are holiday-related. Some of the others are looking ahead to the New Year, and one celebrates the 1st anniversary of a very unique mode of transportation. Don’t forget the Holiday Lights Calendar on this blog as well, as many of the light displays will be finishing on Sunday.

For those celebrating, Merry Christmas, Mele Kalikimaka, Joyeux Noel, Felix Navidad, God Jul, Sheng Dan Jie Kuai Le, etc.! Have a Wander-ful Holiday Weekend!

Photo from Protect Shinmachi River Assoc. (新町川を守る会) blog

Pocket Park Mini-Marche 

12/24 (Sat.) 10:30-14:00.   Place: Yoshinogawa City Pocket Park  吉野川市ポケットパーク (Yoshinogawa-shi).   Admission: FREE.

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

Get something to eat or cook at this Christmas Eve mini-market with a half-dozen vendors near JR Kamojima Station.

KIKI FARM and Natural Farm Okada will be selling organic vegetables.  You can also get Christmas bento from Issho Daikichi, roasted sweet potatoes and pizza from HONEYSUCKLE, gluten-free snacks from Tsunagari Farm, and coffee and bread with no additives from COFFEE ARUDENAIDE.

Fureai Flea Market  ふれあいフリーマーケット

12/24 (Sat.) 9:00-15:00. Place: Fureai Kenkokan ふれあい健康館 (Tokushima-shi). Admission: free.

Awa Navi event page (in Japanese, flea market info towards the bottom with photo)

Looking for gently used baby and children’s clothes, toys, household goods, and crafts?  Browse this indoor flea market just before Christmas.  You’ll stay warm and finds great deals on everyday items.  They will also hold this flea market on Saturday, January 7 and 14.

DMV 1st Anniversary Event  DMV 1周年記念イベント

12/24 (Sat.) 16:00-19:15, and 12/25 (Sun.) 10:00-16:00.  Place: Shishikui Station, Awa Kainan Bunkamura, etc. 宍喰駅、阿波海南文化村など (Kaiyo-cho). Admission: Free.

Event page from Lower Right Shikoku DMO (in Japanese)

Southern Tokushima and Eastern Kochi are connected by a DMV (dual mode vehicle) system, a hybrid bus/train that travels on both roads and rails.  This unique transportation will be celebrating its first year of operation this weekend, and you’re invited to join in.

On Saturday, magicians (who are also employees of JR Shikoku) will perform at 16:00 at the Shishikui Town Center.  The lighting ceremony at Shishikui Station happens at 17:10, where the flick of a switch will illuminate bamboo lantern art and lights throughout the station.  The DMV will also make an appearance at 17:23. Children can get a present (limited supplies). And the nights ends with fireworks at 19:00.

Sunday is the main event, centering around the Awa Kainan Bunka Mura complex.  In the parking lot, booths from major transportation companies in Shikoku and “third sector” railways from across the country will have merchandise and pamphlets for railroad fans. You can also get an up-close look at the DMV itself, and ride a hydrogen fuel cell bus (10:40, 12:40, 14:40, tickets available 30 minutes before).  At the entrance area, go fishing for lobsters (\500), shop for local produce and seafood at the “Lower Right Shikoku” Marche (10:00-15:00), and get free curry chicken wings at 9:30 and 12:30 (200 servings each time).  Entertainment happens on the lawn 11:30-13:00 (DMV Dance, Kaiyo Jr. High Brass Band, and a special concert), and at the Culture Hall (local taiko at 10:00, DMV kids dance at 10:25, Kochi’s Yosakoi dance at 11:00 and 13:00, and Awa Odori at 11:35 and 13:35).  End the day with a prize drawing at 15:10 and a rice cake toss at 15:40.

The DMV has really put the spotlight on southern Tokushima, and after celebrating its first anniversary, be sure to come back and ride it again!

Santa Claus is Coming to the River Stations  川の駅にサンタがやってくる!

12/24 and 12/25 (Sat. and Sun.) 18:00-20:00. Place: “River Stations” around Tokushima City 徳島市の「川の駅」  (Tokushima-shi). Admission: FREE!

Awa Navi event page (in Japanese)

Santa comes by boat in Tokushima City, and the annual tradition continues this year!

The big difference is that presents (for children) will be given out at the “River Stations” (Kawa no Eki), so make sure you locate the station closest to you, and get there early (100 gifts will be handed out at each station).  The general schedule:  18:00 depart Ryogoku Bridge Dock, 18:10 Shinmachi Bridge, 18:30 Awa-gin Hall, 18:50 Jakucho Dock (behind Tokushima Castle Park, on the Suketo side), 19:10 Bandai River Wharf, 19:30 Minami Suehiro (near Aeon Mall), 19:50 Marine Pier (Okinosu), and 20:10 finish at Kencho.

And if you aren’t a child, you can still enjoy the flashing lights and blaring music from the boat as runs along your neighborhood, so be sure to wave to the hard-working (and cold) volunteers in Santa suits who bring Christmas cheer by river. (and thanks to the captains from the Hyotanjima Cruise and NPO Protect Shinmachi River Assoc. for volunteering their time!)

Tokushima Marche  とくしまマルシェ

12/25 (Sun.) 9:00-14:00. Place: Shinmachi Boardwalk and Mizugiwa Park 新町ボードウォーク、水際公園  (Tokushima-shi). Admission: FREE!

FB Post (in Japanese)

This month’s Marche theme is Miso and New Year’s Fair.  Many booths will be selling a variety of miso.  You can also buy mochi (rice cakes), amazake (sweet sake), and soba noodles for your New Year meal preparations.  Lots of other locally-grown vegetables, fruits, seafood, and products.
(Shop map was not available and the time of writing, so check their website for the latest info.)

Marimba Christmas Concert  気軽にマリンバvol. 9クリスマスコンサート

12/25 (Sun.) Starts 13:30. Place: Fureai Kenkokan ふれあい健康館  (Tokushima-shi). Admission: FREE!

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

Enjoy a free concert of Christmas songs on Christmas Day!  The melodic rhythms of a marimba ensemble will play “Sleigh Ride,” “Jingle Bells,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Rudolph the red Nosed Reindeer,” “Silent Night,” and more.  Great way to celebrate Christmas for the whole family!

2022 Tokushima Holiday Lights Calendar

Here’s your guide to the twinkling lights brightening our nights during this holiday season. From abandoned schools to frozen rice fields, and in all kinds of parks all over the prefecture, there should be an “illumination” near you. Some of them will continue until January, so you can enjoy glowing evenings into the new year.

Dress warmly, enjoy the lights, and have a happy holiday season!

Miraiasu Naruto ミライアス鳴門

WhenOct. 22, 2022 – Dec. 25, 2022  18:00-21:00
WhereBoat Race Naruto ボートレース鳴門 (Naruto-shi)

Go through a maze of lights at this Naruto holiday spot.  Aratae-no-Yu public bath is next door to warm up after a chilly run through the lighted tunnels.

Shimada Elementary School Lights  島田小学校イルミネーション

WhenNov. 1, 2022 – Jan. 9, 2023  17:00-21:00
WhereFormer Shimada Elementary School 旧島田小学校 (Naruto-shi)

A drive on the Naruto Sky Line will lead you to the closed campus of Shimada Elementary School on Shimada Island, where you’ll find lights in the shape of the whirlpools, ocean waves, and Naruto’s bridges.

Bunri-narie 文理ナリエ

WhenDec. 6, 2022 – Feb. 3, 2023  17:00-21:00
WhereTokushima Bunri University 徳島文理大学 (Tokushima-shi)

The central courtyard of the university glows with LED lights on the surrounding trees.  Parking available through the South Gate. Great stop on the way to a dinner date, or if you need a little cheer-up on a dark weekday.

Mt. Bizan Summit Lights  眉山山頂イルミネーション

WhenDec. 1, 2022 – Dec. 25, 2022  17:00-21:30
WhereSummit of Mt. Bizan 眉山山頂 (Tokushima-shi)

The Summit Lookout Area will have extra lights around the LED Kaleidoscope until Christmas Day.  The Ropeway is open every day until 17:30, but is open on Saturdays in December until 21:00.

Kenchopia Light-up  ケンチョピア ライトアップ

WhenDec. 11, 2022 – Dec. 25, 2022  From sundown to late night
WhereKenchopia (in front of Prefectural Govt. Bldg.)  県庁前ケンチョピア (Tokushima-shi)

Tokushima has the only prefectural govt. building with a yacht harbor, and many of the boat owners string a triangle of lights on their masts, creating a forest of riverside “trees.”

Happy X’mas in AsutamuLand

WhenDec. 12, 2022 – Dec. 30, 2022  17:00-21:00
WhereAsutamuLand あすたむらんど (Tokushima-shi)

One of the biggest outdoor light displays in Tokushima with over 350,000 lights!  SINGING TREE will put on a show of music and lights every 30 minutes.

Ishii Winter Lights 石井ウインターイルミネーション

WhenDec. 12, 2022 – Jan. 3, 2023  17:00-22:00
WhereOK Ishii Park  OKいしいパーク (Ishii-cho)

300,000 lights fill the park with large geometric sculptures, a light tunnel, and illuminated bushes. Enjoy this community-based lights display into the New Year!

Matsushigate Take-Akari Christmas Illumination マツシゲート竹灯りクリスマスイルミネーション

WhenDec. 16, 2022 – Dec. 25, 2022  17:00-20:00
WhereMatsushigate マツシゲート (Matsushige-cho)

The newest light display, this one features bamboo tubes with holes that let light stream in beautiful patterns.  Many of the lanterns were created by local junior high school students in conjunction with the main artists.

Orono Lights 鬼籠野 灯りのオブジェ

WhenDec. 24 and Dec. 25, 2022, and Jan. 2, 2023  17:00-20:00
WhereNear the Orono Community Center 鬼籠野公民館周辺 (Kamiyama-cho)

Candle-lit lanterns bathe the surrounding rice fields in a warm glow. A simple but atmospheric annual light display.

Winter Illumination in Wakimachi あいはこぶねin脇町

WhenDec. 18, 2022 – Jan. 20, 2023  18:00-21:00
WhereRoadside Station Ai-Land Udatsu 道の駅 藍ランドうだつ (Mima-shi)

Wakimachi’s Junior Chamber of Commerce sponsors this large pyramid of light in front of the roadside station. Worth a quick stop if you’re driving out west.

Ikeda Winter Lights “Yumeraito” 池田冬のオブジェ 夢来人イルミネーション

WhenDec. 3, 2022 – Jan. 10, 2023  17:00-22:00 (Dec. 24 and 25, the lights stay on all night)
WhereHesokko Park (in front of JR Awa Ikeda Stn.) へそっこ公園周辺 (Miyoshi-shi)

The plaza next to Awa Ikeda Station becomes a sparkling world of light arches, sculptures, and illuminated trees.  Make a stop if you’re passing through by train in the evening.

Awa Kainan Bunkamura 阿波海南文化村イルミネーション

WhenDec. 24, 2022 – Jan. 9, 2023  17:00-21:00
WhereAwa Kainan Bunkamura 阿波海南文化村 (Kaiyo-cho)

As part of the 1st anniversary events for the DMV (dual mode vehicle, a hybrid train/bus), there will be lights decorating Kaiyo Town’s cultural complex of museums and facilities.

Tokushima Weekend Event Calendar – December 17-18

It’s the last weekend before Christmas… is everything ready for your holiday festivities? Here are some events to get you into the mood, from lights to classical music, and a handful of shopping chances (especially around Kamojima Station). Stay warm and take care.

Have a Wander-ful weekend!

Anan Luminous Town Project  

12/17-18 (Sat.-Sun.) 16:30-21:00.   Place: Ushiki Castle Ruins Park 牛岐城跡公園  (Anan-shi).   Admission: FREE.

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

Anan City’s annual LED holiday lights event is on this weekend near JR Anan Station.

With the city being the home to Nichia Corp., a world leader in LED light technology, Anan is the perfect place to have energy-efficient sparkling lights for the holidays.  The Galaxy Dome will be shining every night until January 20, and the lighting ceremony happens on Saturday at 16:20.  The plaza in front of JR Anan Station will also have a shining Christmas tree light display. 

There will be continuous entertainment on Saturday and Sunday under the dome, including local schools, dance studios, hula, musicians, and more. Food trucks and a mini Christmas craft fair will also bring holiday cheer.  A balloon artist will also be roaming around with his air-filled creations.

Although the Galaxy Dome is lit until January 20, don’t miss this weekend of homegrown entertainment and fun

Umaimon Championships in Tokushima  うまいもん決定戦in徳島大会

12/17-18 (Sat.-Sun.) 10:00-21:00. Place: Aibahama Park 藍場浜公園  (Tokushima-shi). Admission: free.

Instagram page for Kitchen Car Union

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

The Kitchen Car Union is inviting its member food trucks to this event, and you’ll be voting for your favorite eats.  31 food trucks will be selling all sorts of food and drink, but don’t forget to cast for ballot for the best one.

Loaded hot dogs from Ohana Truck? Chicken skin gyoza from Hyottoko? Nasi goreng from Santai?  Nikuman croquettes from 568 in Kagawa?  Or maybe you’ll discover a new favorite… try as many things as your stomach (and wallet) can handle.

There’ll be entertainment on both days, inflatable bounce houses for the kids, and a janken contest with prizes.  This is the last big food event of the year at Aibahama Park, so let’s end 2022 on a full stomach!

20th Yume Hall Concert 第20回夢ホールコンサート

12/18 (Sun.) Doors Open 13:30, Start 14:00.  Place: Yume Hall – Anan City Cultural Hall 夢ホール 阿南市文化会館 (Anan-shi). Admission: \500, free for elementary, Jr. high, and high school students..

Event page (in Japanese)

Enjoy an afternoon of live classical music in Anan.  Small ensembles and soloists will perform a variety of pieces in the intimate setting of Yume Hall.

Solo pianists will play Schubert, Chopin, and Brahms.  There will also be violin/piano duos, a flute/piano duo, and a euphonium/oboe/piano trio performing a piece by Hisaishi Jo.

Help support these musicians and cultural endeavors in Anan while enjoying live music.

Gokuro Marche  五九郎マルシェ

12/18 (Sun.) 9:00-14:00. Place: Inari Street 稲荷通り  (Yoshinogawa-shi). Admission: FREE!

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

The monthly event at this retro shopping street continues in December with a Christmas-filled array of shops and classes.

The most popular items may be the delightful icing-decorated Xmas cookies, which sold out in 2 hours last time.  Atrie Futaba will teach you how to create tree art using alcohol ink, or you can make some sweet crafts from felt and resin clay at a workshop by Petit Bonheur.  And buy some gluten free sweets for your holiday party from Sukham.  There will be spicy Korean rice soup and loaded rice balls for your lunchtime hunger.  And lots of free Christmas presents for kids at the various booths.

Stop at JR Kamojima Station for this friendly neighborhood Christmas market.  Also check out the Yoshinogawa Marche happening on the same day on the same street! (see event info below)

Yoshinogawa Marche 吉野川マルシェ

12/18 (Sun.) 9:00-14:00.  Place: From JR Kamojima Stn. to Nihon Funen Shimin Plaza 鴨島駅周辺から日本フネン市民プラザ (Yoshinogawa-shi). Admission: Free.

Awawa event page (in Japanese)

Pdf flier (with shop map)

Yoshinogawa City’s collaboration with the Tokushima Marche is bringing a Christmas-themed local market to the front of Kamojima Station this Sunday!

Starting from the station, the main street will have vegetables from Yoshinogawa High School, umeboshi from Misato, tomatoes, cookies, roasted sweet potatoes, the first strawberries of the season, and more.

The Pocket Park and Shimin Plaza will have the bulk of the booths, with vegetables, food, crafts, and lots of local products.  There will also be hot food to have for lunch, like bento, Korean rolled sushi, meat-wrapped rice balls, beef bowls, karaage burgers, cheesy hattok, and butter chicken curry.

Check out the Gokuro Marche that’s happening on the same street at the same time! (see event info above)

SunSun Market

12/18 (Sun.) 10:00-15:00.  Place: Mizugiwa Park 水際公園 (Tokushima-shi). Admission: Free.

Event page (in Japanese)

The monthly riverside market is back with 25 booths selling local seafood, veggies, fruits, and baked goods.  The ever-popular World Marche is also back with American, Indonesian, Cuban, Filipino, Taiwanese, Chinese, and Turkish food (as well as New Caledonian honey).

While you’re shopping, enjoy entertainment from DJs, rappers, hula dancers, and shamisen players. 

Get ready for your holiday parties or just enjoy a great ethnic lunch before the big Christmas weekend.

Tokushima Weekend Event Calendar – Dec. 3-4

December (and the holiday season) is here! Get a head start on the Christmas shopping with this quartet of food and craft festivals. Tea, Coffee, Beer, and… Mikan? Two are along the Bandai Riverside Wharf in Tokushima City, and two are in the mountain towns of Katsuura and Kamiyama. Take your pick, and enjoy! Have a Wander-ful weekend, everyone!

Mima Coffee’s eclectic warehouse location
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Tokushima Weekend Event Calendar – November 26-27

We’re ending November with another busy weekend! My favorite Misato Umeshu Festival is coming back after 3 years, and you’ll want to check out the 4K/VR Film Festival’s virtual cycling and dome theater. Tokushima Marche is spotlighting seafood, or you can watch traditional puppet drama all weekend long. This is also the final weekend for a lot of exhibits at Bunka no Mori. I’m sure you’ll find something to do. Have a Wander-ful Weekend!

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