Monday, August 22, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Uzunomichi 大鳴門橋遊歩道 渦の道, Eddy 大鳴門橋架橋記念館 エディ

Visited 16.11.2014 (Sun)

Whirlpools! When I first heard that it is possible to see and experience whirlpools in the open waters, it felt exciting yet terrifying somehow. Is it safe to be so close to the whirlpools? Will the boat get sucked into a whirlpool? These are some of the questions that ran through my mind at that point of time. Naruto Straits 鳴門海峡, alongside Italy's Strait of Messina and Canada's Seymour Narrows, are known to generate the world's biggest tidal whirpools. Under the right conditions, the whirlpools in Naruto Straits can measure up to twenty meters in diameter, recording a speed of 20 km/hr, making them the fastest whirlpools in Japan. The best viewing seasons are spring and autumn; however, it is recommended that visitors check the schedule online (on Uzunomichi's homepage) to increase the probability to see these whirlpools in action.

The entrance to Uzunomichi.
There are two ways to come close to these whirlpools. One popular option is to board a cruise ship to transverse through and come closer to these swirling tidal waves. I chose to see it from Onaruto Bridge, the suspension bridge which connects Awaji island of Hyogo Prefecture to Naruto city of Tokushima Prefecture and spans across the Naruto Straits. Uzunomichi (渦の道) is a 450 m long floating promenade constructed on the girders of Onaruto Bridge. There are glass panels on the floor where visitors can look through to see the whirlpools from directly above. Unfortunately, on the day of my visit, the whirlpools generated were small and less impactful, visually. Therefore, my photos may not be truly representative of what can be seen on a good day...

How do they form? Seto Naikai 瀬戸内海 and Kiisuido 紀伊水道 is connected by Naruto Straits. At the narrow Naruto Straits, the tidal range (the difference between high and low tides) can reach as high as 1.5 m. A combination of the huge tidal currents and unique underwater terrain give rise to these spinning water bodies in Naruto Straits.

After visiting Uzunomichi and Eska Hill, we made our way to Eddy since we bought the discounted bundled ticket which covered the entrance fees for both Uzunomichi and Eddy. Eddy is a museum dedicated to whirlpools and Onaruto Bridge, where interactive exhibits explained how whirlpools are created and models dissecting the architectural structure of Onaruto Bridg were put on display. There is an observation platform on the rooftop of the building where an unobstructed view of Onaruto Bridge and Naruto Straits can be seen. Personally, I felt that the view from Eska Hill was much better than that from Eddy because of its elevation.


Uzunomichi 大鳴門橋遊歩道 渦の道
〒772-0053 徳島県鳴門市鳴門町(鳴門公園内)
Operating hours:
- Mar to Sep: 0900 - 1800 hrs (last admission at 1730 hrs);
- Oct to Feb: 0900 - 1700 hrs (last admission at 1630 hrs)
Admission fee = 510 yen

Eddy 大鳴門橋架橋記念館 エディ
〒772-0053 徳島県鳴門市鳴門町(鳴門公園内)
Operating hours: 0900 - 1700 hrs (last admission at 1630 hrs)
Admission fee = 610 yen

Note: Purchase the discounted package ticket if you plan to visit both attractions: 1,120 900 yen

How to get there?

(1) By bus.
- At Tokushima Ekimae Bus Terminal Bus Stop #1, board Naruto line (鳴門線) bus heading for Naruto Koen 鳴門公園. Bus journey takes approx 1 hr 15 mins; fee = 710 yen.
- At Naruto JR Station, board Naruto line (鳴門線) bus heading for Naruto Koen 鳴門公園. Bus journey takes approx. 30 mins; fee = 310 yen.
Approx 5 minutes walk from bus stop. There are clear signage at the bus stop and in the vicinity providing clear directions to the main attractions in Naruto Koen: Uzunomichi, Eddy and Eska Hill.
Bus schedule (in Japanese):


Video: Fast forward to 3:17 for Go Go Japan's feature on Uzunomichi.


Commemorative stamps:



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