Note the mountainous terrain in the background? (Photo: Image by 徳島 ロ-カル線てくてく紀行)

Tokushima Yokai Festival

Scaring the pants off everyone every year

Note the mountainous terrain in the background? (Photo: Image by 徳島 ロ-カル線てくてく紀行)
Venue: Kyu Kamimyosho School When: Mid Nov 2022

Yokai have been scaring the pants of the Japanese since day one. Often thought of as ghosts by overseas visitors, yokai are more akin to supernatural creatures who go about their work helping people or, for the nastier ones, bringing misfortune to them.

While yokai stories can be found all throughout Japan, in Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku Island, the locals have decided to take full advantage of their yokai folklore by turning it into a fun day. First held in 2000, this local celebration sees the people of Miyoshi City hold a yokai festival each November. During the festival, participants parade in handmade costumes as traditional yokai characters.

The festival parade begins about an hour or so after midday and is held on the third Sunday of November. It is open to anyone interested and willing to participate with a creature costume. The somewhat remote nature of the location - an old elementary school surrounded by mountains and valleys - clearly adds to the communal charm of the festival so a visit to the Tokushima Yokai Festival could be just the thing to satisfy that local travel urge.

For more details on times and dates, please check out the official website.

Getting there

Close to the centre of Shikoku Island, the festival is about a 15 to 20 minute trip by bus or taxi from Oboke Station. To get to Oboke Station, take the JR Dosan Line from Kagawa Prefecture in the north or from Kochi Prefecture in the south.

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Sleiman Azizi

Sleiman Azizi @sleiman.azizi

I'm a Japanese Permanent Resident with over 650 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books inspired by traditional Japanese literature.I'm also the Regional Partner for Tokyo, so if you've anything to say about Japan's never ending capital - or just Japan in general - don't be shy and contact with me via

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Elizabeth S 3 months ago
It's a spooky time of year for yokai. And Shikoku is full of stories of supernatural creatues. I met some there...
Elizabeth S 3 months ago
Oh, too many to recount here. Maybe during Obon, the ghost season, I'll write a blog post about mysterious experiences I've had there.
Kim a year ago
This looks fun! I want to revisit Tokushima someday, and this would be a cool thing to see.
Kim a year ago
Yes, before I'd lived near mountains I never really understood the appeal. Totally get it now! :)