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Awaji

A day trip to Awaji Island and the National Park - Exploring Awaji

Awaji Island (淡 路 島 Awaji-shima) is a relatively large island with its scale equal to the size of Singapore, located in Hyogo Prefecture, which marks the eastern boundary of the Seto Inland Sea and lies between the largest island (Honshu) and the smallest island-Shikoku in the system of 4 main islands in Japan (Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku). As a transit point between the two main islands, Awaji originally means ¨The way to Awa¨. Since April 5, 1998, with the longest suspension bridge in the world Akashi Kaikyou, Awaji has been connected to Kobe City (the capital of Hyogo prefecture). Since then, the Naruto Kobe Awaji highway section on the island has linked the two main islands, making transportation much more convenient. Previously travel could only be done by waterway. Although the main island of Honshu is just passing through a bridge and not too far from downtown Kobe, public transportation is quite sparse, and people mainly take a bus, even having to change buses a few times to get to the destinations. Therefore, to come here by public transport within a day, visitors must look for the schedule in advance. If you stay on the island for a few days, it will be much simpler.

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, a symbol of Awaji Island, is the world's LONGEST suspension bridge with a bridge length of 3,911m and a central span length of 1,991m. It was built after a terrible accident on the sea. It is illuminated at night regardless of the season, the night view is beautiful. Various events are held throughout the year, and there are many tourist facilities in the surrounding area, so it is a perfect place for sightseeing.

►Location: Iwaya, Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture

►Opening hours: All year, No regular holiday

►Toll: 2,370 yen (Awaji IC-Tarumi IC, regular car, one way)

Evening vibes at the harbour area with the bridge in the background

Evening vibes at the harbour area with the bridge in the background

The bridge illuminated. A beautiful sight

The bridge illuminated. A beautiful sight

Exploring the harbour area. 

Exploring the harbour is a fun thing to do, and you can often observe the fishermen at work. Here you can get access to extremely fresh seafood, and epic photos for your instagram! 

From here, you can get a ferry back to Kobe/Osaka. 

Eshima

As you explore around the area, you may come across a small mini little sandstone island. This is called Eshima, and is considered to be the first island of the archipelago created by the Gods who created Japan, and as such, it has a miniature shrine on the top of the island. 

A great thing to do is just walk around this area, and you’ll discover little restaurants, viewpoints and locals going about their business.

►Tap here for google maps for Eshima and the surrounding harbour area

A local lady sells freshly caught fish

A local lady sells freshly caught fish

Exploring around the fishing boats in the harbour

Exploring around the fishing boats in the harbour

A local fisherman

A local fisherman

The squad!

The squad!

Epic sunsets at the Awaji harbour area

Epic sunsets at the Awaji harbour area

Eshima island

Eshima island

Booking.com

National Akashi Kaikyou Park

Next, we would like to introduce the state-owned Akashi Kaikyo Park, which is about 10 times larger than the Koshien Stadium. It is surrounded by the rich nature of Awaji Island. This is one of the most beautiful parks in Hyogo Prefecture because it is located close to the windy coast and there are many types of flowers planted here. The park is a combination of Japanese decorative art and the world-famous Keukenhof flower garden in the Netherlands, where we can see giant clogs, windmills and how flowers are planted into wavy strips just like in the Netherlands.

In spring, besides the cherry blossoms, the tulips fields are covered with vibrant colours. The viewing period for tulips will start from April until early June. We have never seen such a big garden like this one with plentiful of kinds of tulips. If you are a fan of flower, do not miss this part in your Japan trip.

Not only watching the tulip fields but at the end of March, you can also watch the cherry blossoms and bright yellow canola here as well as participate in outdoor sports activities. You can see colorful seasonal flowers against the blue sky and blue sea. There is more than 150 playground equipment for children, and there is an open space, so it is recommended to relax and having lunch there. There are also barbecue facilities in the park. 

If travelling by car, Awaji IC is the nearest interchange. The park is equipped with parking so it is very convenient to travel by car. If travelling by high-speed bus, the Yumebutai-mae or Seirei Awaji Byoin-mae stops are the closest stops.

►Tap here for google maps

►Opening hours:

[April 1-August 31] 9:30-18:00

[September 1-October 31] 9:30-17:00

[November 1-end of February] 9 : 30-16: 30

[March 1st-March 31st] 9: 30-17: 00

Regular holiday: New Year's holiday (December 31-January 1) The first Monday of February and the following day

Fee: Elderly people (65 years old and over): 210 yen 

       Adult (15 years old and over): 410 yen 

       Child (elementary and junior high school students): 80 yen

Booking.com

Awaji Volunteer trash pick up 

In May 2018, we organised a trash pick up on Awaji island with some local fishermen and a Non-profit organisation. We managed to pick up almost 150kg of trash in a couple of hours. And That was just on one random small little beach, and we haven't even picked all of it up. It highlighted and brought to light the scale of this issue. The sheer amount of trash on beaches all over the world, and therefore the ocean is just insane. 

►Click here for the full article on the trash pick up we helped organise.