As of May 1, 2011, the city had an estimated population of 263,372, with 114,325 households, and a population density of 1,377.25 persons per km2. Its total area is 191.23 km2.
The city is situated in the north-eastern part of Tokushima prefecture at the mouth of the Yoshino River. In terms of layout and organization, Tokushima displays the typical characteristics of a Japanese castle town.
Tokushima was developed under the Hachisuka clan. Its prosperity was built on a strong indigo dye industry.
Every August, during the Obon Festival, Tokushima holds a three-day cultural dance festival, the Awa Odori. Awa Odori literally translates as "Awa Dance" (Awa being Tokushima prefecture's ancient name). During the festival, residents ranging from young children to professional dance troupes perform a distinctive style of Japanese traditional dance in regional costumes, accompanied by strings, drums, and singing (usually by the dancers themselves).
The modern city of Tokushima was founded on October 1, 1889. At the time, it was the 10th largest city in Japan.
The city is served by Tokushima Airport (recently renamed to Awa Odori Airport), in nearby Matsushige.