Number 1 on Japan’s list of 3, and the most challenging point to navigate by boat, the Kurushima Strait is located off the coast of Imabari City in Ehime Prefecture. After Kurushima, the other big rapid straits are Naruto and Bakanseto (Kanmon).
With a total length of about 4 km, “Shimanami Kaidō” expressway’s “Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge” was the world’s first triple suspension bridge. From sea level to the top of the main tower, the second and third Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge sections are 184m tall, which allows even the most gigantic ships to pass under. (Tourist boats pass beneath it, too!)
Here and there, the sea still has some traces of past pirate activity…
Ships couldn’t sail here without an expert who could read the tides.
Rough tides, whirlpools that eddy side by side… This is an unusual spot where raging seawater can be seen.
Scarily, ships sail close to these whirlpools…
During spring tide, “Hachiman-Uzu”, huge whirlpools sometimes with diameters of 10m or more, appear. There is a local legend connected with the whirlpools:
Ōhama Hachimangu Shrine is located in Imabari city. Following a festival at the shrine in the autumn of 1356, a boat carrying a Mikoshi (miniature shrine) sank into a whirlpool on the way back to the house of Murakami, the lord of a castle in Kurushima. Fearing a curse, Murakami made offerings to the sea, performed Kagura (sacred dance with music), and prayed. He then received divine instructions to “build a shrine somewhere with a great view and worship me”.
That night, San’yakō (light) flew out of the center of the whirlpool. Deciding that it must be another message from the god, Murakami built a shrine where the light fell.
He was also told, “I am in the whirlpool so I’ll stay in the whirlpool (if you want me to stay in the shrine, bring the whirlpool).”So, he scooped water from the whirlpool and enshrined it.
This is how the whirlpool is connected to god.
In Medieval Japan, the pirates (Murakami Suigun) that were active in the Seto Inland Sea were separated into three families; the Noto-murakami, Kurushima-murakami, and Innoshima-murakami families.
This was the Kushima family’s home base.
Here and there, some traces of that time remain: These stairs are said to have been made by Murakami Suigun!
With a circumference of only about 3kms, “Oshima” is a tiny island on which traces of history can be found.
Before the Russo-Japanese War broke out, Japan built a fortress here to prepare for the invasion of Setouchi by Russia. As a Meiji era (1868-1912) coastal fortress, this is the only one left in near-perfect condition.
The fortress is also associated with “Saka no Ue no Kumo (Clouds over the slope)”, a novel written by Shiba Ryōtarō. In front of the port there is a 28 cm Howitzer L/10 replica that was used in a TV drama.
I found a small shrine standing quietly at the scene of many historical battles…
A sea where human history and the gods are entwined…
If you visit once, I wager its beauty and mystic atmosphere will hold you spellbound.
Please visit and feel it for yourself.
Tickets: Road Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki Kan
Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichōmyō, Imabari-shi, Ehime
Boarding point: Iyo Ōshima Shitadami port
Closed: Open daily from December to February (Only for groups of 5 or more)
Hours: 9am to 4pm (approx.)
Price: Adults 1,500JPY (13 years-old and up)
Elementary School Children 1,000JPY (7 to 12-years old)
Children 6-years old and under go for free (if their number is less than the number of adults
Website (English): http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/kurushima/language/en.html
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Maki Ohashi
Give us your Like
> Speaking of Setouchi, the must-eat item is seafood! – A selection of 7 spots where you can try fresh seafood.
> A selection of 7 cafes and restaurants in Setouchi with superb scenery and views of the sea.
> A tranquil garden full of Japanese beauty and a huge carpet of green moss. / Gallery Teahouse Kokemushiro (Seiyo-shi, Ehime)
> 3 places for barhopping in Yokogawawhich carefully selected by a “hard-drinking” writer / Nice Yukari, Gohan-ya Haru-chan, and Trois Copain
> Please fully enjoy local sake brewed in Tokushima at the shop where you can “buy and drink.” / Taro Saketen (Tokushima-shi, Tokushima)
> A century-old Japanese house which an Onomichi merchant used as a villa has been renovated for accommodation. / The house rental “Kujira Bekkan” (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> An inn where you can find “ordinary Kobe” / Guesthouse MAYA (Kobe-shi, Hyogo)
> This could be the best choice for your stay in Awajishima! How about having a family trip while staying at a hot spring resort where you can get a great ocean view? / Hotel New Awaji Group (Sumoto-shi, Hyogo)
> Come and see, rail fans! A new base for a circular sightseeing tour in Shikoku, which is produced by JR SHIKOKU./ 4S STAY Awaikeda Sta.(Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima)
> Books, a bar, and international exchange!? 3 selections of hotel and guesthouses which have attractive little perks in the center of Hiroshima / (KIRO Hiroshima -THE SHARE HOTELS-, EN HIROSHIMA, and 36HOSTEL)
> Visit historic spots in the city center of Hiroshima on foot and learn about the history of peace (Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima)
> This is the ultimate soothing trip – feel the sense and the heart of Japan in Uchiko Town and Ozu City in Ehime.
> Beauty exists in every detailed corner of your eyesight! 8 spots where you can see wonderful views of Setouchi and its beautiful islands.
> Visiting the well-known “power spots” where mystical energy flows! This northern drive route visits temples, shrines, and cultural heritage sites in Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi
> A continual stream of natural beauty which will make your heart tremble! The eastern drive route covers the best viewing spots in Okayama, Hyogo, and Tokushima
> Let’s enjoy a liberating new Setouchi voyage by “SEA SPICA”!
> The last report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.5. STU48 members attended the launching ceremony. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.4. STU48 members paint the ship’s logo! / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the merging of the superstructure and the base of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi Vol.3 by members of STU48 / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi. Vol.2 shows you the “Reversal Procedure” where the ship is turned over. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> Shimanami Kaido - Cyclist's Paradise
> Onomichi U2 and the Giant Store – the perfect partners for enjoying the Shimanami Kaidō
> Eating, Cycling & Getting Warm : Akiyoshidai Karst Road (Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
> Kasaoka Island Hopping by Bike : A perfect 2-day trip! (Okayama)
> A Rare Lighthouse & Spelunking!? Traversing Ogijima by Bicycle! (Ogi, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture)
> “ONOMARU SHOUTEN” is the shop which has all of Onomichi’s fascinations. / JR Onomichi Ekisha (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> Kobe Shopping: 3 Distinct Local Brands to Bring Home（Kobe, Hyogo）【PR】
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
> “Meika Shitatsuzumi, ”a Japanese sweet from Yamaguchi which is soft, pleasant and melty on your tongue / San-in-do (Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi)
> Let’s enjoy taking a walk down the shopping street near Matsuyama Castle./Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture)
See more articles about "Cruise"CruiseList
Kobe City Himeji City Amagasaki City Akashi City Nishinomiya City Sumoto City Ashiya City Itami City Aioi City Toyooka City Kakogawa City Ako City Nishiwaki City Takarazuka City Miki City Takasago City Kawanishi City Ono City Mita City Kasai City Sasayama City Yabu City Tanba City Minamiawaji City Asago City Awaji City Shiso City Kato City Tatsuno City Inagawa Taka Inami Harima Ichikawa Fukusaki Kamikawa Taishi Kamigori Sayo Kami Shinonsen
- Okayama Pref.
- Hiroshima Pref.
- Yamaguchi Pref.
- Tokushima Pref.
- Kagawa Pref.
- Ehime Pref.