Dokodemo Door!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day trip to Awaji Island

The other weekend, we finally had an excuse to go on a little visit to see Awaji Island.

Awaji is a mountainous, pork-chop-shaped island which forms the western edge of Osaka bay. During the tides, natural whirlpools appear at its southwesternmost tip, the point at which the Inland Sea is forced to drain into and out of the Pacific Ocean. Remember the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake which flattened Kobe and killed about 6,400 people? Its epicenter was under Awaji's northern tip; the entire island supposedly shifted by about a meter during the event.
Since 1998, it's been accessible from Honshu via the Akashi-Kaiky┼Ź bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge. The central span is over 6,500 feet long. Not only is it a pretty impressive feat of engineering, it's also one of the three highway connections that link Shikoku with Honshu.
At first, I thought it might be a cool idea to film what it was like to drive over the world's longest suspension bridge. But unless you think it's interesting to watch 3 minutes of riding in a bus over a bridge in a light drizzle, it'll be sort of a let-down. Feel the magic, bay-bee:

Rather fortuitously, Awaji island is one of the main places where the cows for Kobe beef are raised. Half-price, this was:

Though, I might've used a bit too much tare on that one.


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