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Japan Diaries 2: Day 10

Day 10 (May 26, 2018)

Greetings from Osaka!

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) predicted that the Kansai Region would be experiencing cloudy to fine weather today. Sadly, my wife and I did not plan anything today as we were still finalizing our plan to visit Universal Studios Japan sometime this week.
Someone woke up quite early for this trip...

However, this day suddenly became special when Mr. Toshi surprised us with an announcement that we're going on a road trip to Awajishima (island) in Hyogo Prefecture and then head to Naruto in Tokushima Prefecture to see its famed whirlpools.
Crossing Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Upon hearing this, my wife and I immediately prepared, and in less than an hour, we were already on the road. Together with Mr. Toshi's wife, daughter, and their dog Yomogi we drove from their house in Kumatori in Osaka Prefecture to Awaji Rest Area in Awajishima (island) in Hyogo Prefecture. Before reaching it we crossed Japan's longest bridge -Akashi Kaikyo Bridge which is also in Hyogo Prefecture. 
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge as seen from Awaji Rest Area

Time for some photo op...
This trip won't be complete without a family picture

Our first order of business after crossing the bridge and stopping at Awaji Rest Area was to have our toilet break. We then bought some snacks and took some photos of the picturesque view of Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and Kobe City. After this, we continued on our road trip but this time, I was behind the wheel.

Despite practice driving two days back, I was still a bit scared and a bit hesitant to drive as I'm still getting used to right-hand drive vehicles. Aside from that, I know how stiff the fines are here in Japan. Regardless, I mustered all my confidence and successfully drove from Awaji Rest Area to Farmer's Market in Minamiawaji which was 54 kilometers away.
Farmer's Market in Minamiawaji
Checking out the boats at Fukura Bay


Free taste of Awaji Island's famous onion

When we arrived in Minamiawaji, Mr. Toshi inquired about the sightseeing boats for the Naruto Whirlpool viewing. Sadly, the sightseeing boats in this area were all fully booked. We were told that there are other companies offering the same services in the coastal city of Naruto in Tokushima Prefecture. 

Going to Uzushio Rest Area
Check out this onion chair probably owned by the Onion Knight (only GOT Fans would get that)

Uzushio Rest Area

Checking out the onion products of the island

More onion products!
Enjoying lunch with our Japanese family
Lunchtime! Gotta love the curry!
Ella and Ms. Taeko bonding time
The viewing area with Onaruto (Bridge) as the backdrop drop
Onion hair souvenir photo!

Before heading there, we decided to eat lunch first so we drove to Uzushio Rest Area near Onaruto Bridge. We ate in Michi no eki Uzushio restaurant in the said rest area. The restaurant had a great view of the picturesque Naruto Strait. After lunch, we checked out the store in the rest area to buy some onion themed souvenirs which Awajishima is known for. 

One more stopover
... and more onion souvenirs for sale
Tried the different flavors of ice cream

Before leaving, we checked out the schedules of sightseeing boats in Naruto and s
ince it was still too early, we drove to Onaruto Bushi Kineka to check out other possible souvenirs. Although the Maritime Museum was here, we skipped it in favor of lining up to try out the salted milk ice cream and the chat with Mr. Toshi (which I always look forward to) that comes with it.
Booked a boat in the Uzushio Line
Boarding time

We then drove across Onaruto Bridge to Naruto in Tokushima Prefecture. A few minutes later we were in Uzushio-kisen which is a tour boat company that offers a "close encounter" experience to the famed Naruto Whirlpools via the Uzushio Line. We found out that we arrived just in time for the next viewing schedule as the next one after that would mean that we'd wait for another 30 minutes.
Ready for our new adventure
Our Japanese family enjoying the adventure

The famed Naruto whirlpool as seen 10 feet away

To ride the Uzushio Kisen High-Speed Whirlpool sightseeing boat, adults need to pay 1550 yen per head while preschool children are free as long as they are accompanied by a full paying adult.


The ride was scary at first especially when the tour boat is rocked by the whirlpools or when the whirlpools form so close to the boat. Overall, it would probably be one of those once in a lifetime activities that I'd experience in my lifetime (although I still wish that I'd experience it again someday). After the tour, we decided to head back home.
Yomogi enjoying the front row seat
Dinner at Ai-Chan

My fave - the okonomiyaki
After 4 years... See you after 2 years maybe...

To cap off the day, we had our dinner at Aichan restaurant near Mr. Toshi's residence. Aichan has been a restaurant close to my heart as it was the first restaurant in Japan that we've dined in during our first visit. You can read about that HERE. Just like last time, I ordered their delicious okonomiyaki and just like last time I loved it. After the meal, I made sure to have a photo taken with Aichan's owners for posterity purposes. Who knows, we might be back again two or three years from now.

PREVIOUS: Japan Diaries 2: Day 9


NEXT: Japan Diaries 2: Day 11



Comments

  1. Minamiawaji totally great place for Family vacation. Awesome photos!

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    Replies
    1. It is Maysz. It is really a great to visit Awajishima with the family.

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  2. I'm enjoying living vicariously through your travels in Japan. It is one of my favorite destination points and I plan to return there.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Eliz. I hope you can visit Awaji Island in the future.

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  3. What an amazing trip! Definitely want to visit myself now!

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    Replies
    1. Yes please do visit Awajishima and Naruto in the future.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your day with us 😍 I really love reading your posts ❤

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for visiting my blog Nohaila. =)

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  5. I live stopping at rest area although it seems odd to some. So I connected to your story when you stopped at the Awaji Rest Area. It’s nice when rear areas have snacks and places where you can take some photos of the picturesque view of Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and Kobe City. Keshia Richmond

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    Replies
    1. I have to agree with you Keshia. The Awaji Rest Area is more than a rest area it is more of a tourist destination in itself.

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  6. Wonderful story. It's always great traveling with your loved ones. I'd love to also try the dishes you featured here.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Ivan. =) You should visit Awaji Island too. =)

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  7. Japan!! Beautiful set of pictures. Personal and Informative post.

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    Replies
    1. Japan is really beautiful. You have to see the Naruto Whirlpools. My photo and video are nothing compared to the real thing.

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  8. I think I'm reading these backwards, but I'm enjoying them anyway 😂 seeing a whirlpool has to be amazing

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    Replies
    1. It truly is. The Naruto whirlpools are best seen with ones own eyes. =)

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  9. I liked the pictures and the Japanese culture. Hope you had a great trip.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Sanjota. We really had a great trip. Thank you. I hope you get to visit Awaji Island someday.

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  10. Beautiful Article. The most adorable thing in the article was the Kid, with no doubt.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha oh Ella my daughter. Thank you so much. You should visit Awaji Island with your family too. You'd surely enjoy it.

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  11. I'd love to sit in that onion chair and chill out for the day. I commend you getting a car and driivng around for two days.

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    Replies
    1. Driving in Japan was challenging but enjoyable. You'd love driving in Awaji Island for sure as there are few cars there.

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  12. I really enjoy this series that you have, and you experience so much of Japan that I am being jealous, I don't know if I will be able to see it all, you found the secret onion chair of the onion knight, don't tell anyone, be like Jon Snow and know nothing, I am really glad that you and the Japanese family is having so much fun, also don't worry about driving it's going to come natural.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy there is another GOT fan here. I'm pretty sure Jon Snow wouldn't want that chair in his castle. Hahahaha. Please do visit Awaji Island when you are in Japan.

      Delete
  13. It was a great trip for you. Glad you enjoy each moments of the trip.

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    Replies
    1. We surely did enjoy our trip. Thank you. You should find time to see Naruto Whirlpools when you are in Japan.

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  14. I enjoy your travel diaries. 👍🏻

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  15. Wow, this looks beautiful. Your travelling tour is awesome.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Please do visit Awajishima and Naruto when you go to Japan.

      Delete
  16. We have always wanted to visit Japan!

    Your blog series has not made it a must have for us

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for continually reading my articles. I do hope you get to visit Japan soon.

      Delete
  17. Such a wonderful weekend. Yeah I heard about the strict penalties in terms of driving, but at least you feel more confident and safer driving in Japan.

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    Replies
    1. That's true Blair. If you get caught over-speeding you'd be fined so big that you would just wish you just bought a ticket back home.

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  18. I really love your Japan Diaries series. It's so detailed and very informative that I have constantly saved every single post. Thank you so much for taking the time to point out even the simplest of things in your travels.

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    Replies
    1. Wow! Thank you so much Sheena. That really made my day. =)

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  19. Always on my list of must-visit ones. Loved reading it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sophie. I do hope you get to visit Awajishima soon.

      Delete

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