Shikoku (四国)

Naruto Whirlpools (鳴門の渦潮)

Whirlpools??!! These are things which you only read about or see in movies. Never imagined that I would actually go out in a boat to try and spot them with my own eyes!!

The Naruto whirlpools are created by huge volumes of water moving between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean between high and low tides, combined with the unique underwater geography of the surrounding area. This webpage tries to explain it but it’s only available in Japanese ->

Depending on the change of tides, the whirlpools will vary in size. They tend to be larger in summer as compared to in winter and are largest during spring tides, which occur every two weeks. Under optimal conditions, whirlpools of up to 20 metres in diameter can be observed. If your timing is bad and you visit outside of the peak times, you may not get to see any.

There are different boats which you can ride on to get to the whirlpools.

We boarded the bigger boat called the “Wonder Naruto” (わんだーなると), which is operated by Uzushio Kankosen, for a 30min tour to see the whirlpools.

Under the ONaruto Bridge (大鳴門橋) between Awaji Island (淡路島) and Shikoku (四国) where the currents collide…..

Can you see the whirlpools? They aren’t very big since it’s not really the right season to see them.

Before you decide to hop onto a boat to go out to see the whirlpools, it’s best to check the Whirlpool Schedule first, in order to ensure that you’ll get to see something! The boats operate on fixed schedules so you’ll need to check which are the best viewing times which coincide with the boat schedules before you book your boat tickets.

Categories: Japan, Nature, Shikoku (四国), Travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Onion Ice-Cream, any takers?

Awaji Island (淡路島) has some interesting ice-cream flavours and I discovered this when I was travelling from Shikoku (四国) to Kobe (神戸).

Top row from left: Loquat ice-cream, Lime ice-cream, Mixture of both Loquat and Lime (i.e. half and half)
2nd row from left: Awaji Island ice-cream (not sure what flavour that is), Naruto sweet potato ice-cream, ONION ICE-CREAM!!

Unfortunately we had just finished lunch and didn’t have room in the stomach for anything else so I didn’t buy any to try. Anyway, I’m not a fan of onions so I don’t think I’ll ever try that flavour!

Which flavours do you think you’ll like? (^o^)

Categories: Japan, Shikoku (四国) | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Sakura in Shikoku: Ritsurin Koen Park「栗林公園」

The Ritsurin Koen Park (or Ritsurin Garden) is one of the most famous and most beautiful historical gardens in Japan.

Unfortunately, we only had about one hour at this place as it was one of the stops included in our tour package. Gosh…so much ground to cover and so little time!!

A weeping cherry tree!

Hyakkoku matsu (black pine tree)

Lovely koi in the pond….

Okedoinotaki (waterfall) with sakura

Kansuichi Pond

Spotted this bridge which was a sharp contrast to its surroundings.

Engetsu-kyo Bridge (view from the other side of the South Pond)

Ritsurin Koen Park「栗林公園」
〒760-0073 香川県高松市栗林町1丁目20番16号

Open: Daily.
Free Admission Days: January 1 (New Year’s Day), March 16 (Opening Day Anniversary)

Opening Hours:
December, January: 7am-5pm
February: 7am-5:30pm
March: 6:30am-6pm
April, May, September: 5:30am-6:30pm
June, July, August: 5:30am-7:00pm
October: 6:00am-5:30pm
November: 6:30am-5:00pm

Admission Fee:
¥410/adult (Group of 20 or more: ¥320)
¥170/child (Group of 20 or more: ¥140)
Ticket Booklet: ¥4,100 for 11 tickets
Annual Pass for one person: ¥2,570
Annual Pass for up to three persons: ¥5,140

Getting There by Public Transport:
From JR Takamatsu Station – 7 min. by car
From JR Ritsurin Station – 20 min. walk
From JR Ritsurin Koen Kitaguchi Station – 3 min. walk
From Kotoden Ritsurin Koen Station – 10 min. walk
From Kotoden Ritsurin Koen Mae Bus Stop – 1 min. walk
From Highway Express Ritsurin Koen Mae Bus Stop – right by garden entrance

You can take the local bus from the JR Takamatsu Station Bus Terminal「JR高松駅バスターミナル」and alight at Ritsurin Koen Mae「栗林公園前」

The following buses will stop at the Ritsurin Koen Mae「栗林公園前」 bus stop:
  【33 栗林公園・香川中央高校】
  【35 栗林公園・日生ニュータウン】
  【41 栗林公園・由佐・高松空港】
  【43 栗林公園・由佐・岩崎】
  【47 栗林公園・御厩・県立プール】
  【51 栗林公園・仏生山・岩崎】
  【53 栗林公園・塩江】

Categories: Japan, Sakura (桜), Shikoku (四国), Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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