Awaji Island is Hyogo Prefecture’s undiscovered paradise in western Japan. The largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, it remains an enigma, blessed with abundant nature and an ideal geographic position, and it continues to serve as a gateway to both Shikoku and the Kansai region.
The island is home to three cities with almost identical populations of about 50,000 people each. This relatively small number in a territory about 53 kilometers long and 28 kilometers wide means that there is plenty of room to move.
Awaji Island’s special position at the geographic center of the Japanese archipelago makes it the perfect platform to display the grandeur of the four seasons. From cherry blossoms in the spring to the changing autumn leaves, the beauty of cyclical flow throughout the year is perfectly reflected on Awaji.
The islands of the Seto Inland Sea are the site of many of the earliest human settlements in Japan, and Awaji Island has the distinction of being at the center of the some of the nation’s most primal creation myths. Accordingly, shrines and festivals hold a great deal of importance to this day. Izanagi Jingu Shrine (Japan’s oldest) and Onokorojima Shrine are two examples of the depth of the island’s spiritual and cultural heritage.
Spring marks the beginning of a year of blooming flowers on the island and you can take part at venues such as Akashi Kaikyo National Park and the Kiseki No Hoshi Botanical Museum.
Sumoto City is where the yearly summer festival brings dance, food and fireworks to Awaji Island.
In autumn, the Awaji Island flower festival takes place at a consortium of flower parks and gardens, including Awaji Hanasajiki, Michi-no-Eki Fukura and Awaji Farm Park England Hill.
The Awaji Art Circus is an annual autumn event that brings international performers to the island with a special brand of entertainment that combines dance, acrobatics and performance art.
The Hyogo Prefectural Awaji Yume Butai Greenhouse hosts a Christmas flower show with a Northern European theme. The magic of Scandinavian folklore is expressed through the beauty of flowers.
Access: Take the Shinkansen from JR Okayama Station to JR Shin Kobe Station. Transfer to the Yamate Line. Take the Yamate Line to JR Sannomiya Station. Take the Awaji bus to your destination of choice on Awaji Island.
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