Awaji Island 淡路島

Awaji island (Awaji-shima) in Japan's Inland Sea is linked to Honshu island via the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi Bridge, and to Shikoku island via the Naruto Ohashi Bridge. Referenced in ancient Japanese lore, its 393km² area contains all the country has to offer for visitors to enjoy: hot springs, temples and shrines, impressive landscapes, sandy beaches, artistic traditions, pop culture attractions, and culinary delights.

Awaji has changed significantly since the opening of the Akashi Straits Suspension Bridge (Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi) which connects Hyogo Prefecture to Awaji Island. The Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi, which opened in 1998, has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world, at 1,991m (6,532 ft).

For those visitors interested in the building of the bridge, the Bridge Exhibition Center (Hashinokakagakukan) near Maiko Station on Honshu, southwest of Kobe, has information on its construction. There are also tours of the bridge available for those who book online in advance. Nearby is also the Sun Yat-Sen Museum in Maiko Park, housed in an early 20th-century residence moved here when the bridge was constructed.

Over on Awaji Island itself on the north-west coast in the village of Hokudan is the Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park, which was the epicenter of the 1995 earthquake that devastated Kobe. Part of the 10 km fault line can still be seen.

Akashi Strait Bridge

The Akashi suspension bridge linking Hyogo prefecture on the main island with Owaji island.


Sumoto Castle

There is an onsen (hot spring) in Sumoto with both indoor and outdoor baths. A number of resort-style hotels are located here, along with Sumoto Castle which was rebuilt in 1928 after the original Edo Period building had been demolished in the 1630's. The Awajishima Museum, at the base of the castle, is dedicated to the history and culture of the island. It has displays on local festivals, puppet theater, and the art of local painter Tamao Naohara.

Matsuho-no-yu is a hot spring in the north of the island with views of the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi from its outdoor baths.

The Awaji World Park Onokoro is an amusement park just south of Awaji City with a number of world sights such as the Taj Mahal, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Wat Arun, the Colosseum, and the Parthenon, all built at 4% of their original size.

Sumoto Castle in Awaji Island

Sumoto Castle in Awaji Island


Travel around the West area with a Regional JR Pass

Our tours in Kobe

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