If you want to go somewhere in Tokushima, you have quite a few options. Here we’ll go over how to get around. While experienced travelers might be aware of how to travel within Japan or arrange trips abroad, if this is your first trip to Japan, please relax. Here is a list of different locations, services, and tools you should be aware of to make things easier. Given that Japan is an island, going abroad will require planes, with few exceptions, and a bus or train to your airport of choice. As many/most international flights are booked out of Osaka or Tokyo, you will need to plan for travel to that city domestically before you fly.
This site contains information about events and attractions throughout Tokushima. It is in both Japanese & English but the Japanese version has more info and is frequently updated.
Travel by Train
The Tokushima train line connects to our neighboring prefectures and provides you a simple option to get around without a car. The train line is single rail, meaning one train can be traveling on a stretch at a time, limiting the number of trains we have on Shikoku in a day. It’s also closed past approximately midnight in our prefecture, with the last train out of Tokushima City leaving around 11pm. So you will have to consult the train tables to know when your next ride is.
For timetables on:
To buy Shinkansen Tickets- You can buy shinkansen tickets at the Green Window(緑窓口） inside of Tokushima Station near the stairs on the first floor.
Travel by Car
If you are visiting or living here, consider renting a car. Traveling by car in Japan is pleasant, but expect tolls for highways and bridges. The tolls vary based on whether you’re taking a ferry, or bridge, and which crossing it is. Within Shikoku, we have an expressway that charges you based on distance traveled. The rate is per kilometer, but for a moderate 1-2 hour trip you can expect to spend about ￥1200-1500 one way. Expressways are not essential to life here but can save you time, especially if you have a full-size car or are on a long trip. Generally, driving to Honshu to visit Osaka or Kobe is quite reasonable as well at around ￥4400 there and back (￥2200 one way), but the costs of parking your car have made it a distant second choice for to traveling by Bus for many travelers.
Travel by Bus
Kaifu Bus(Kaifu Kanko)- http://www.kaifu-kanko.co.jp/
On home page, hover over “Tour Bus” and then choose between the following bus routes: Tokyo-Kansai, Tokushima-Tokyo and Tokushima-Kansai. Kansai is the western region of Japan, including Osaka & Kobe. You can order tickets on-line and pay at your nearest convenience store.
JR Bus Shikoku
JR lines have more departure times and goes to more locations compared to Kaifu Kanko but they are pricier. You can buy tickets on-line or at the ticket office near the new 7-11 at Tokushima Station. If you buy on-line you can pay at the convenience store, no registration required.
You can take a nightbus for Fukuoka from Takamatsu. Order on-line and pay at the convenience store. Registration is required for this. Flying is probably cheaper than this option if you buy your tickets early enough but this is another option. Site is both in Japanese & English.
Your best option for traveling from Shikoku to the rest of Japan, besides Hokkaido, will usually be by bus. Use the Tokushima JETs Google Maps to find the nearest bus station. If you don’t see one on the map, ask your supervisor, JTEs, or other JETs where the nearest one may be. Most convenience stores can also help you with buying bus tickets. If you can name your destination, and point to dates you’d like to leave and return, the people at the ticket counter are very happy to help make it happen. There are buses that run at night as well, which are highly recommended if you can fall asleep while riding.
Travel by Plane
Tokushima has a small airport with flights to Tokyo Haneda Airport and Fukuoka. There is a limousine bus from Tokushima Station (noriba #2) to the airport that costs ￥440.
General travel concerns still apply. Always carry your ID, and your passport if leaving the country. Traveling out of Japan to a neighboring country can be surprisingly cheap if you take the time to plan well. From Tokushima you will have to car/train/bus to your departing airport, but after a few trips on the bus domestically this won’t be difficult to arrange. Traveling internationally also no longer requires you to apply for a re-entry permit to Japan, so you are free to enter and leave as you please if you have a valid visa. However please be aware of whatever travel regulations and requirements might be required to visit the country you’re traveling to.
Travel by Ferry
Those planning on traveling to the Kansai area may also find the Nankai Ferry to be useful. Buses into Osaka often do not run early enough for you to catch some of the earliest flights out of KIX which means you would have to stay over the night before OR take the ferry. The first boat leaves at 2:55 AM and with trains in the Kansai area running more frequently, you can arrive at KIX by around 6:30 AM. The ferry costs ￥2000 one way but you can also buy a ticket that includes a slightly discounted rate all the way to KIX or Namba. Round trip tickets will also save you about ￥200. To get to the ferry you need a car so for those of you without cars, your only option is to ask a friend to drop you off or to take a taxi there and back.
There’s also a less-known ferry from Tokushima to Tokyo or Tokushima to Kitakyushu. For pricing and times click here.
For the locations of these two ferries, check out the Tokushima JETs Google Map.
There are many other ferries throughout the country, both domestic and international. For more information on those, check out Japan Guide.
Other things to consider while traveling are:
Hotels, Net Cafes, and Capsule Hotels: