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Kanmon Tunnel


Kanmon Straits  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Kanmon Tunnel


Explore an undersea tunnel and cross the Kanmon Straits on foot

Shimonoseki City


Kanmon Tunnel pedestrian entrance


The Kanmon Straits is a stretch of water that separates the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. At its narrowest point, the strait is only about 500 meters wide, and the tidal currents are very fast, making it a difficult place to navigate. Currently, there are six routes to cross the strait, including railroad tunnels, highway bridges, and ferries, but the most unique way to travel between both sides is to walk the undersea pedestrian Kanmon Tunnel.
A two-story structure, with the upper level being for cars and the lower level being for people and bikes, the Kanmon Tunnel was completed in March 1958. The pedestrian tunnel is 780m long and takes about 15 to 20 minutes to walk. Pedestrians are free to use it, but bicycles and motorbikes need to pay a toll of 20 yen and must be pushed across. 


Border between Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures


Especially popular with tourists is the border between Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures, which is at the middle of the tunnel 58 meters below sea level, and there is no end to the sight of people taking commemorative photos of it. Walking under the sea across two prefectures and two of the main islands of Japan is not something you can do just anywhere!


Elevator to the pedestrian tunnel on the Shimonoseki side


If you affix the commemorative stamps installed at both entrances of the tunnel onto the special sightseeing map and bring them to a tourist information center or other designated places, you will receive a certificate commemorating the crossing of the tunnel. “Kanmon” literally means “high hurdle” in Japanese, but once you come here, it's very easy to break through!



How to get there


From Shin-Shimonoseki Station on the San'yo Shinkansen, take a bus to "Mimosusogawa" bus stop (about 30 minutes), which is adjacent to the Kanmon Tunnel pedestrian entrance.


22 Mimosusogawa-cho, Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi-ken



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