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Japan’s Best Secret Night Out

Bar hopping just got elevated in Tokushima!  Japan’s new epicenter of underground chic in the Setouchi region is now the top place to explore when the sun goes down. A new wave of bar hopping experiences are popping up all over the city and it’s no wonder…it’s labyrinth-like alleyways replete with hidden bars and eateries is as intriguing to discover as it is fun (and rewarding!). The journey begins at the rail station and if you don’t speak Japanese, don’t worry- designated guides speak English and they’ve trained hard to be able to deliver to you the best of the best of the hidden haunts as well as info on Japanese culture.

Sip sake at Taro Saketen, watch bartenders share their stories on creations of signature cocktails, try local craft beers brewed locally paired with a bowl of Tokushima ramen to slurp alongside, or consider the Hot Pot and Cool Jazz experience if you love music! You’ll be treated to a jazz or rock session after a sizzling hot pot, topped with a bit of karaoke. Or, get your guide to grab you some Oden, a little known local dish that goes well with seasonal sake.

Here, it goes beyond the food and drink, as the town is just like an open air living museum with charming winding streets, traditional touches and a river running right through the center of it all.

Setouchi is the soothing side of Japan, an interconnected rainbow of seven unique prefectures that sit peacefully along the Seto Inland Sea which is dotted with over 700 islands.  For more information, visit


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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