Massive whirlpools and the world's longest suspension bridge
Awaji Island is located in the Seto Inland Sea, or Setonaikai, between Japan's largest island of Honshu and the large island of Shikoku. Throughout its history, Awaji Island has acted as a vital connection between mainland Honshu and Shikoku. There is much history to be found here, including the world's longest suspension bridge and several wonderful beaches.
- Located on the east coast of Awaji Island, Sumoto City is the island's largest city
- At almost four kilometers in length, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is the world's longest suspension bridge and connects Awaji with Kobe
- Goshiki Beach's name refers to the five colors of the beach's shimmering pebbles
How to Get There
Buses run between Kobe City, Kobe Airport and Sumoto City on the island of Awaji. There are no trains on the island, and aside from bus services, there is limited public transport on the island. It is possible to take the ferry between Akashi and Iwaya on the north of the island. To the south, the island is connected by suspension bridge to Naruto, Shikoku.
Located on the east coast of Awaji Island, Sumoto City is the island's largest city. The city is home to a number of historic sites that pre-date modern Japanese history.
In 1526, the head of the Kumano Suigun marine troops constructed Sumoto Castle on Mt. Mikuma. Sumoto Castle maintained its strategic importance, through several regime changes. The castle was abandoned in 1642 after it was decided the placement was unnecessary. Despite this, the remains of the castle and a reconstructed keep can still be found on the mountain today.
The world's longest suspension bridge
At almost four kilometers in length, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is the world's longest suspension bridge. The bridge links the city of Kobe with Awaji Island and as part of the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway, onwards to Shikoku . The bridge has around 1800 lights that are used for illuminations during times of national celebration or during certain holidays, creating a spectacular light show.
A beach of colored pebbles
Goshiki Beach is on the western coast of Awaji Island and offers fantastic views towards the blue waters of the Seto Inland Sea. The name Goshiki refers to the five colors of the beach's pebbles, which shine like gems at sunset. The western orientation of the Beach offers fantastic views of the sunset. Numerous other popular beaches are located along the northern and western coasts of Awaji Island.
The Naruto whirlpools
One of the island's most famous attractions is the Naruto Whirlpools , which form in the strait between Awaji Island and Shikoku . The pools form as the tides force water in and out of the strait and are observable from Naruto Bridge which crosses the strait. For a more up-close look, you can book a cruise from the port in Minami-Awaji.
Two buildings designed by the iconic Japanese architect Tadao Ando can be found on Awaji Island—the Water Temple and Yumebutai. The Water Temple is the residence of Ninnaji Shingon, the oldest sect of Tantric Buddhism in Japan, founded in 815. Yumebutai is a conference center and is famous for its group of 100 stepped gardens that are found in the conference center complex.