This shot of the Naruto Strait with its large whirling tides right in front of your eyes was taken at roadside station Uzushio without a zoom lens!
Bustling daily with tourists, Uzushio Roadside station is a rare spot where you can comfortably see the whirling tides from land.
We were instructed on the secret of the roadside station’s popularity from an “insider”, and would like to pass on that info to you now.
One after another tourists are sucked speedily from the parking area into the building! What kind of wonderland is waiting inside…?
As I suspected, it’s an onion wonderla—-nd!!!
First off, we recommend doing some shopping. At the entrance of “Shopping Uzu no Kuni” they sell onions, an Awaji Island specialty. According to our “insider”, Hiroki Kanayama, “You can buy the most delicious onions harvested this season, here. Depending on the season, their flavor is completely different. There are even some customers who are surprised by how different the onions are compared to the last time they visited.”
I’d never heard that onions taste different according to season…! There are plenty of famous products that feature those onions at roadside station Uzushio.
This is “Ganso tamanegi wafuu dressing oil 1/2” (JPY500 + tax), an original Japanese-style dressing made with plenty of Awaji Island onions. With total accumulative sales of over 800 thousand bottles to date, it is the number one best seller at roadside station Uzushio’s shopping corner. It’s a magical dressing that naturally goes well with salads, but it’s also great with meat and fried foods. My personal recommendation is pouring some on white rice for “plain onion dressing rice”! Being made with ‘whole bean’ soy sauce, the flavor is light.
Karinto (fried dough cakes) are currently highly popular souvenirs all over Japan. Roadside station Uzushio’s original product is offered in a red package and labeled, “Awaji Island Onion Karinto” (JPY400 + tax). It’s a Japanese style sweet that brings out the onion’s fragrance and sweetness. The cute design of the package is also perfect for girls.
The station also handles other Awaji Island gems. The jam made by Jam Kobo and Yamada-ya farm is sold at the main store only on Fridays, so even if you visit, you may not be able to buy any. However, as it’s offered at roadside station Uzushio, you can purchase the jam even on days when Yamada-ya is closed.
Also, if you visit roadside station Uzushio, make sure you have lunch there! Michi no Eki Restaurant (‘Roadside station Restaurant’) is located inside “Shopping Uzu no Kuni”. From there you can admire this view while enjoying some of Awaji’s bounty made with heaps of local ingredients.
This is Awaji Beef Tekkadonburi (JPY1500 + tax) (vinegared rice topped with plenty of meat). There is also a stack of sliced onions under the beef, and you can pour on some of the onion dressing we introduced above. It’s a bowl of happiness made by coupling Awaji beef with onions.
The surroundings of roadside station Uzushio are also abundant with fruits of the sea. As suggested by its name, “Shiroi Kaisen-donburi – Kyou no neta nan desuka?” (“White sea food rice bowl, what is today’s main ingredient?”) is a rice bowl topped with delicious freshly caught ingredients, which is why it changes daily.
Apparently, Mr. Kanayama and other insiders plan the menu hoping wholeheartedly that tourists will enjoy a variety of Awaji Island delicacies.
One of the menu’s charms is that the recommended dishes change according to season. For example, during winter it’s puffer fish, during spring it’s Japanese Spanish mackerel, and in summer red sea urchins are in season.
There are even onions at a place like this!
After shopping and dining, we recommend a walk in the roadside station’s surroundings while admiring the nice views. The tidal currents change according to the time of day, which makes it a location that you won’t grow tired of even if you stay for the whole day.
A roadside station where you can experience the Naruto Strait, the tidal currents and even the actual Awaji Island with all five senses. How about a visit, not as “a pause along the way” but as “the main objective of the trip”?
Roadside station Uzushio
Location: 947-22 Hei Fukura, Minamiawaji city, Hyogo prefecture
Homepage: http://eki.uzunokuni.com/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writers: Asami Asai / Katsutoshi Asai (Kokohore Japan)
Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/
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