Roadside station Fukura is a leisure complex located in the southern part of Awaji Island, where in addition to taking a cruise to see the whirlpools on a sightseeing boat that looks like a large sailing boat, one can also enjoy Fukura Marché, which offers local ingredients and gourmet, and the traditional Awaji puppet theatre at the Awaji Ningyoza, among other attractions, all of which are a part of the complex.
However, the most recommended thing to do at the roadside station is to take a whirlpool cruise! You can board either Kanrinmaru or Nihonmaru, both of which are modeled after a large sailing boat, and enjoy a nearly 1-hour tour of the whirlpools.
During the winter season, you can try feeding seagulls before the boat departs. There are plenty of seagulls flying around that swoop down to catch tidbits thrown by passengers.
After getting used to it, you can even feed the seagulls straight from your hands.
Finally, the boat departs and heads towards the Naruto straits. After around 15 minutes, the boat closes in on Onaruto Bridge.
Onaruto Bridge approaches and underneath the whirlpools are roaring, a panoramic view with a huge impact is on display!
After enjoying a nearly 1-hour cruise, please visit Fukura Marché. Within the store you will find a rich variety of fresh vegetables and fruit harvested on Awaji Island, among other products.
In addition, at Fukura Marché you can also try gourmet dishes created with delicious local ingredients.
In addition to the Awaji Island-grown small fish that work well in adding a subtle flavor, the onions that are an Awaji Island specialty have a sublimely crispy texture. This flavor could become a habit. We recommend going and trying it on the spot!
There is one more facility that we would like to recommend. Awaji Ningyoza is located in the Fukura harbor area. Continuing the 500-year tradition of Awaji puppets, this is the only theatre in Japan meant only for puppets!
Osaka's bunraku (also Japanese puppet theatre) is said to have its roots in the Awaji puppet theatre. It has been designated as one of Japan's important intangible folk cultural assets, and has played an important role within the history of Japanese theatre.
Currently within Japan, only Awaji Ningyoza and bunraku are still performed as professional puppet theatre.
The program changes regularly, but the plays produced or adapted at Awaji, along with other plays unique to Awaji, have been passed down for generations.
Please do go to see one of Japan's traditional arts where the artistic skills of the puppeteers, the chanters and the shamisen players are all bound together with great pride!
In addition to the whirlpool cruise, roadside station Fukura is a spot where you can enjoy local gourmet and and traditional arts to their fullest, a spot brimming with charming experiences!
The whirlpools are best viewed during the time of day when the tidal currents are the strongest. Plan your visit to see the best whirlpools by checking the timetable for tidal currents beforehand on the website. (http://www.uzu-shio.com)
Whirlpool Cruise (Kanrinmaru & Nihonmaru)
Business hours: 8.30-17.30 (inquiries), 9.30-16.10 (the boat)
Duration: Around 1 hour
Fees: Adults JPY2000 / Children (Elementary school students & above) JPY1000
Tide table Homepage: http://www.uzu-shio.com/reservation/shiomihyo.php (Japanese)
Business hours: 10.00-18.00
Guide homepage: http://www.uzu-shio.com/fukuramarche/index.php (Japanese)
Awaji Ningyoza ('Awaji puppet theatre group')
Performances: 10AM, 11AM, 1PM, 2PM, 3PM (regular performances)
Duration: Around 45 minutes
Admission: Adults JPY1500 / Middle school students JPY1300 / Elementary school students JPY1000
Closed: Every Wednesday (may close over New Year)
Guide homepage: http://awajiningyoza.com/ningyoza/
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> 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)
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