Getting Around Awajishima


2018.06.18

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Awajishima is a destination you will get the most out of by exploring either by car or by bicycle. Public transport options are limited, with this largely rural island lacking any rail service, but this serves to make the island that much more tranquil.

  • Whether on two wheels or four, two vast bridges provide the sole road access onto the island. Most travelers arrive via what is a wonder to behold in itself: the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. Known informally as the ‘Pearl Bridge’ for the way that it shines likea string of pearls when the light strikes it, it has the longest central span (some 1,991m) of any suspension bridge in the world. Connecting Kobe on Japan’s central island Honshu with Iwaya in Awaji City, it carries the Kobe–Awaji–Naruto Expressway, which then runs south to the smaller (but still impressive) Naruto Bridge and over to the island of Shikoku. A toll of 2,300 yen is charged for using the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.

    Getting Around Awajishima

    Getting Around Awajishima

    Those not coming by car can cross on a JR Highway Bus, which departs from JR Sannomiya Station (easily accessed from both Kyoto and Osaka using the Tokaido line) and reaches Awaji Yumebutai in around 50 mins (930 yen). Alternatively, you can continue further south to Awajishima’s Sumoto region (roughly 90 mins from Sannomiya; 1,850 yen). Another option is the Awaji Kotsu Bus Company, which runs a highway bus from Sannomiya and Osaka to the Sumoto Kosoku Bus Center (90 mins from Sannomiya, 1,850 yen; two hours from Osaka, 2,350 yen).

    Getting Around Awajishima

    Getting Around Awajishima

    The other way on to Awajishima is by sea: the Jenova Line ferry runs directly between Akashi Port (a short walk south of Akashi Station on the JR Kobe Line/Sanyo Main Line) and Iwaya on Awajishima. Boats depart every 20 minutes on weekdays (every 40 minutes on weekends and public holidays), with the trip taking 24 minutes at a cost of 500 yen one way (kids 250 yen, with a 220 yen surcharge for passengers crossing with a bicycle).

    The ferry sees plenty of people boarding with their bike, since Awajishima is noted as one of the country’s great cycling spots. A mostly flat road runs around the perimeter of the island following the coastline, with hardcore, Lycra clad road cyclists choosing to ride the entire 150km circuit. Dedicated cycle paths follow much of this route, with a clockwise direction giving better views of the sea. Inland, the going is more hilly.

    Getting Around Awajishima

    Getting Around Awajishima

    Visitors arriving without a bicycle but keen to explore Awajishima this way can rent a bike from several rental spots scattered across the island. Bikers Cafe Cicolo, in Awaji City’s Iwaya district, offers everything from compact mini velos to high end, 11-speed road bikes at rates from 3,000 yen per day. Cicolo’s electrically assisted cycles are a boon on Awajishima’s interior slopes, and the shop even has tandems available.

    Getting Around Awajishima

    Getting Around Awajishima

    The same coastal route can be taken by car, while National Highway 28 runs the length of Awajishima passing through most of the island’s major towns. Aside from route 28 and the expressway running parallel to it, Awajishima’s roads are often quite narrow, and care should be taken to look out for animals wandering into your path.

    Getting Around Awajishima

    Getting Around Awajishima

    It is possible to get around Awajishima solely by bus, but be aware that not all of the island’s sights are easily accessible this way. Three bus companies operate, with Awaji Kotsu Bus having the most extensive service. It runs several routes traversing the length and breadth of Awajishima. with the tourist friendly ‘Main Island Route’ passing through key districts including Iwaya, Sumoto, Minami-Awaji, and Fukura.

    Awaji Island
    place
    Hyogo Prefecture Awaji City, Kushimoto City, Minamiawaji City
    phone
    0799255820
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    Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
    place
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Tarumi-ku Higashimaikochou - Hyogo Prefecture Awaji Iwaya
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    Awaji Yumebutai
    rating

    4.0

    200 Reviews
    place
    Hyougo Pref. Awajishi Yumebutai 2
    phone
    0799741000
    opening-hour
    7:00-23:00※Depending on the…
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