Where to Go in Awajishima

Where to Go in Awajishima


2018.06.18

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Where to Go in Awajishima

Awajishima, the largest island in the Setonaikai Sea, remains a focal point of Japanese tradition while embracing contemporary culture: it was the second island created by the kami gods in the Shinto religion’s creation story, and these days is home to some breathtaking modern architecture and a major attraction celebrating anime culture. Nature lovers can encounter Awajishima’s most famous ‘residents’ at a monkey park, and take in sweeping views from the peak of Mount Oishi.

  • 01

    Awaji Yumebutai

    Awaji Yumebutai

    Awaji Yumebutai

    This starkly beautiful complex, conceived by revered architect Tadao Ando, lies close to the epicenter of 1995’s Great Hanshin earthquake and serves as a memorial to the disaster. Built on a hillside that was stripped of soil used to construct Kansai International Airport’s artificial island, it contains botanical gardens, shops, restaurants, and a hotel. The centerpiece is the Hyakudanen, which consists of 100 concrete cube encased flower beds, interconnected by some 235 flights of stairs. The cubes cover a wide expanse of the slope and form a grid like pattern when viewed from the hilltop.

    Awaji Yumebutai
    rating

    4.0

    199 Reviews
    place
    Hyougo Pref. Awajishi Yumebutai 2
    phone
    0799741000
    opening-hour
    7:00-23:00※Depending on the…
  • 02

    Awajishima Monkey Center

    Awajishima Monkey Center

    Awajishima Monkey Center

    Awajishima Monkey Center, located by the coast in the island’s southeast, is home to around 300 Japanese macaque monkeys, who are kept ethically and humanely. Friendly and non aggressive, the macaques scurry around or mischievously gather on rooftops with little regard for an architect’s vision! The monkeys are kept happy with both plentiful space and a 100% natural diet identical to what they would find for themselves in the wild, and they share their environment with a number of deer. The Monkey Center is best visited from January through May, when roughly 98% of its population are out and about.

    Awaji Island Monkey Center
    rating

    4.0

    26 Reviews
    place
    Hyougo Pref. Sumotoshi Hatadagumi 289
    phone
    0799290112
    opening-hour
    9:30-17:00
  • 03

    Nojima Scuola

    Nojima Scuola

    Nojima Scuola

    This charming Italian restaurant, occupying an entire three story building near the northwestern shore, has a unique backstory. Originally built as an elementary school, which had to be closed due to declining student numbers, the premises were subsequently reopened as an eatery, retaining many of the schoolhouse features. Drinks and light bites can be enjoyed on the parasol dotted lawn in warmer months.

    Nojima scuola
    rating

    4.0

    32 Reviews
    place
    Hyougo Pref. Awajishi Nojimahikinoura 843
    phone
    0799821820
    opening-hour
    10:30-21:00※Depending on th…
  • 04

    Nijigen no Mori

    Nijigen no Mori

    Nijigen no Mori

    Nijigen no Mori, located north of Awaji Yumebutai near Awajishima’s northeastern tip, is billed as Japan’s first ‘immersive entertainment anime park’ but offers plenty for non-otaku types too. Alongside anime related installations can be found art, abundant nature, and glamping grounds. ‘Night Walk Phoenix’ is a stunning 1.2km-long ‘projection mapping area’ themed on the work of famed manga artist Osamu Tezuka, while an adventure park with thrilling water rides is based on the adventures of much loved character Crayon Shin-chan.

    Awaji Island Anime Park (Nijigen no Mori)
    rating

    4.0

    49 Reviews
    place
    Hyogo Awaji-shi Kusumoto 2425-2 Hyogo Prefectural Awajishima Park
    phone
    0799647061
    opening-hour
    10:00-22:00(depending on the…
  • 05

    Craft Circus

    Craft Circus

    Craft Circus

    Craft Circus is a contemporary open air market located on Awajishima’s northwestern shore. Locally produced foods and handcrafted goods are sold from stalls, at which you can often meet the makers themselves. These artisanal delights are complemented by frequent events including live music ranging from steel bands to traditional taiko drumming, while the venue’s restaurant serves international fare (paella and California-style garlic shrimp) created with the freshest local seafoods. The highlight here is the view over the Akashi Strait from an expansive wooden deck: it has been named as one of Japan’s top 100 sunset views.

    CRAFT CIRCUS
    rating

    4.0

    6 Reviews
    place
    Hyougo Pref. Awajishi Nojimahirabayashi 2-2 Hirabayashi beach north
    phone
    0799821855
    opening-hour
    10:30-19:00(L.O.18:30)
  • 06

    Oishi Park and Yura Fortress

    Oishi Park and Yura Fortress

    Oishi Park and Yura Fortress

    Mount Oishi, in southeast Awajishima, is home to this park known for its many plum trees, which make for a fragrant experience when they bloom in early spring. The Kitankaikyo Strait (which separates Awaji and Wakayama) and Osaka Bay are both visible from Oishi’s peak. Also found here are the remains of Yura Fortress, which dates back to the 19th century.

    Oishi Park
    place
    Hyogo Sumoto-shi Yuracho Yura

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