A round trip ticket for bus to Naruto, which I bought at Lawson
Going to a bus stop at Maiko
I woke up at 5:30am as usual. I stretched my body and packed for the day. I had breakfast and took shower. Left home at 7:15am, walking up to the station nearby to catch a train to Maiko. The train, which was supposed to be leaving Nishi-Akashi at 7:26am, did not come until 7:30am. It was only a 5 minutes delay, but I might miss the bus to Naruto which is scheduled to arrive at the bus stop at 8:45am. I was worried all the time while I was in the train, and it arrived at Maiko station at 7:38am, so I ran up to the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi bridge in a few minutes. I got there at 7:43am, just two minutes before the bus comes. I made it okay, phew...
Going to Naruto Park 7:45am-8:40am
The bus departed on time, crossing Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi, then moved into Awaji island. Today is a sunny day, and few clouds in the sky. While the bus heading south on Awaji Island, I get to see the populated part and opposite part of the island, I requested the drive to let me get off at Naruto Koen, and he agreed. The bus ran smoothly for the rest of the part and finally crossing Naruto Bridge. The bus dropped me off at the stop at 8:28am.
Crossing Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Blurry photo
Naruto Bridge in sight Being dropped off at Naruto Park
Because I carry no map, I had no idea where to go. So, the first thing I did was to look around. It was still early in the morning so the most of the stores have not opened yet. The view of the bridge from couple of different places are nice, hard to pick which one is the best. For today, the high tide was at 9:30am and low tide was around 3:00pm. There are about two ways to take close look at the whirlpools. One is to use a boat, and the other is to use a a place called Uzu no Michi (means the road for whirlpools). The later one cost me 500Yen, and I can use an observation deck 50m above the sea.
Naruto bridge Looking toward south side View from Mago Misaki Looking toward east
As I waited for the observation deck to open for the day, I walked around and saw the tide is picking up the pace. I could see the whole water moving now. Crossed the gate at 9:13am and walked toward the observation deck. There are already some people inside, and the breezy pathway was a bit scary. At the very end, there is a big room with many glass windows, and I could look out, look down while the tide makes whirlpools which change their shapes and sizes every moment. Since today is not the biggest day, no significant one I could see. I saw many boats passing by also, carrying people. It was impressive, but as the time passes, I get bored. I guess I should go check out the surroundings now.
While I was in the Uzu no Michi, I picked up a flyer showing a list of famous noodle shops around the area. I decided to eat at a place called Itonami. I checked the timetable of the bus, there are two companies operating and each runs one every hour, and one just left. I have 30 minutes wait. So I walked the stairs back up and did some shopping. I had to buy postcards, and a small box with many pieces in it (so I can share with my coworkers). Soon the time is up. A bus left Naruto Koen at 10:36am, it drove around a lot before arriving at the JR Naruto terminal. I was told that it would take about half hour, and in 40 minutes. I guess maybe because today is not a big holiday. I walked to the restaurant I picked at the park, located just 5 minutes walk from Naruto station. Paid 600 Yen for a bowl of noodle. It was good, the soup was very thick. Walked back to station, checked on timetable of JR, and found that there are only 10 trains per day. I waited for a while, and saw one coming which had only one car and looking aged. I guess it was good enough, because the whole town is kinda calm, small and peaceful.
A bus going to Naruto station Noodle at Itonami, walking distance from Naruto station.
A mockup from the famous carton Old diesel locomotive Train stopped at Naruto Station
Took a bus leaving Naruto at 11:39am, and arrived at Otsuka International Museum at 12:10pm. Otsuka is a company selling medicines and drinks, I guess the company was founded here. I even saw plants on the way. In addition, the building across from the museum is a vacation house for the company, one looked like a Ryugujo from a fairytale.
The museum is located at walking distance from the Naruto bridge. The founder decided to make replicas of many well known paintings in ceramic, thought it would withstand exposure to light over a period of time and also in case of fire. The idea is good but going in there and see was very expensive. The friend told me that I have to go must be rich... The admission fee for the museum was 3,150Yen. $30 per person?! I was surprised to see such a high price. Anyways, I entered the building and toured the building. The uniqueness of the place is that they only have replicas of famous arts, but also some buildings, too.
The entrance of the museum. Here is the 3,150Yen ticket!
After walking around for many hours, I guess that's it. I exited from the building and walked to the bridge again, to check out the whirlpool around 2:50pm. This time the time is going the other way, so I could see them moving to the west. Since Uzu no Michi will be closing at 5:00pm, I get out from there. However, I have plenty of time until the bus comes, so I walked around, tried to waste time at gift shops but they are also closing...
Looking at the bridge from shore The sun is going down One last view before going back
Going to Highway Bus stop
Walking down stairs to the bus stop around 5:15pm, the outside was getting darker and no one's around. I waited for a while then a bus came a bit early and the driver told me it's okay to get in. I appreciated his kindness since the outside is getting chilly and the inside the bus was a lot warmer. The bus left the stop on time at 5:36pm and picked up some people on the way. This time, we get more people than the last bus ride during the day time. I got off at Kosoku Naruto at 6:00pm, and I walked toward another bus stop on the highway. As I was walking by, I saw a building called Naruto city information center nearby and it serves as a free waiting room for the bus. I entered inside and waited for the time to come. I exit from the building at 6:45pm, and took a monorail to the bus station. At the stop by the curb of highway, I saw a couple of people waiting for the bus.
Coming home 18:55-19:45
Getting on the bus heading to Kobe Came back to the main land side
The bus going to Maiko, was a Salad Express this time. It arrived at the bus stop on time at 6:55pm, then invited passengers. The bus moved smoothly across the Awaji Island, the outside is pretty dark and I could not tell how much we are progressing. Finally crossed the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi and arrived at Maiko station at 7:45pm. I walked down to JR station, and took a local train back to Nishi-Akashi. I walked to home by 8:30pm. It was a good trip, but felt it is a bit too long and maybe too cold.
300 Bus to Naruto
270 Bus back to Park
500 Uzuno Michi
500 Uzuno Michi
250 Bus to Highway
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