If you want to go somewhere in Tokushima, you have quite a few options. Here we’ll go over how to get around. 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 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. There are a few ways to check timetables.
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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
Traveling by car in Japan is pleasant, but expect tolls for highways and bridges. Shikoku has a toll road that charges you based on distance traveled. For a moderate 1 to 2 hour trip, you can expect to spend about ￥1200 to ￥1500 one way. You don’t have to take toll roads, but it can save you time. Keep in mind that you may need to pay for parking at your destination.
ETC is an abbreviation for Electronic Toll Collection System. Having an ETC card will allow you to pay tolls on toll roads without stopping your car. You can also get a 30% or 50% discount on your toll depending on the type of car you drive, the time of day you are driving, and area you are traveling in. If you are planning a trip to go to Osaka by car on the weekend, for example, you should consider getting an ETC card. NEXCO-West’s website shows how much tolls will cost for both ETC and non-ETC users.
You can get an ETC card through credit card companies which sometimes issue ETC cards for free, but you can also get one without getting a credit card. However, there may be a yearly fee. In order to use an ETC card, you must get an ETC in-vehicle device installed in your car. These can be found at car dealerships and auto supply stores.
Travel by Bus
Japan Expressway Bus (ENG/JPN)
This option allows you to sit back and relax as the expressway bus takes you to your destination. You can only travel to the Kanto, Chubu, and Kinki regions from Tokushima. You can make a reservation through the Japan Expressway Bus homepage and purchase your ticket online, at a convenience store, or a bus ticket center.
Tokushima Bus (JPN only)
Tokushima Bus offers expressway, airport, local, and rental buses. If you only want to get from place to place within Tokushima, taking the local bus is an option. You can check the locations of bus stops and timetables by clicking here.
Travel by Plane
Tokushima has a small airport with flights to Tokyo Haneda Airport and Fukuoka Airport. If you want to travel abroad, you will need to fly to either of these airports first or go to another international airport.
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. Please be aware of travel regulations and requirements that might be required to visit the country you’re traveling to.
Travel by Ferry
Nankai Ferry (JPN only)
Those planning on traveling to the Kansai area or flying out of KIX may find the Nankai Ferry to be useful. It takes you from Tokushima Terminal to Wakayama Terminal. From there, you can take the Nankai Electric Railway to KIX. As of March 29th, 2022, the first ferry leaves at 2:40AM. The ferry terminal is not easily acessible by bus or train, but they offer free parking. They offer an option to ride the ferry with your vehicle.
Ocean Tokyu Ferry (ENG/JPN)
This is a less-known ferry from Tokushima to Tokyo and Tokushima to Kitakyushu.
There are many other ferries throughout the country, both domestic and international. For more information on those, check out Japan Guide.