Naruto Whirlpools [鳴門の渦潮]

Naruto Strait and Onaruto Bridge
Naruto Strait & Onaruto Bridge
Photo by Tokushima Prefecture

Naruto Whirlpools
Naruto Whirlpools
Photo by Tokushima Prefecture

Map of Tokushima, Naruto

Naruto Strait (鳴門海峡) is a strait between Naruto city and Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture.

The width of the narrowest point is about 1,340 meters.

The northern side of the strait is Seto Inland Sea, and the southern side is Kii Channel connecting to the Pacific Ocean.

Both of high tide and low tide occur once a day.

Seto Inland Sea is surrounded with Honshu Island and Shikoku Island, so the seawater flows into the sea at high tide and flows out at low tide.

Because the massive amount of water must pass through this narrow strait, the water flows at 13 to 15 kilometers per hour at that time.
At flood tide, the speed reaches about 20 kilometers per hour.

It is said that the speed is the third fastest in the world, after Moskstraumen in Norway and Old Sow between United States and Canada.

The center of this strait is deep.
So the water flows fast but smoothly.

But both sides of the strait are shallow, and the water cannot flow so fast.

Therefore, many whirlpools appear around the border of the flows.
They are Naruto Whirlpools.

The diameter of the whirlpools is 10 to 20 meters.

Whirlpools are called as "uzushio" in Japanese.
"Naruto no Uzushio" (Naruto Whirlpools) is famous for Japanese people among the whirlpools in Japan.

Pleasure boat of Uzushio Kisen
Pleasure boat of Uzushio Kisen
Photo by Tokushima Prefecture

Pleasure boat of Uzushio Kanchosen
Pleasure boat of Uzushio Kanchosen
Photo by Tokushima Prefecture

To see the whirlpools, it is the best to take a pleasure boat.

The pleasure boats leave from both Naruto city side and Awaji Island side.

On the Naruto city side, two companies operate the pleasure boat.

One is "Uzushio-Kisen", and the pleasure boat is operated every 30 minutes.
It takes about 20 minutes.

The port is located near Otsuka Museum of Art.

Another is "Uzushio Kanchôsen", and a large pleasure boat is operated every 40 minutes.
It takes about 25 minutes.
This company has also a small ship with underwater obserbation rooms, and you need to make a reservation in advance.

The port is located about 1.3 km west of the port of Uzushio-Kisen.

On Awaji Island side, there is a company "Uzushio Cruise".
Large pleasure boat is operated every 40 minutes, and it takes about an hour.

It starts Fukura port on the southwest coast of Awaji Island, and the express bus from Sannomiya in Kobe city comes to this port in 1.5 hours.

Of course, the fastest flowing occurs only twice a day.
But the time changes every day.

When possible, you should visit here according to the time.

Uzushio Kisen Uzushio Kanchosen

Uzu no Michi
Uzu no Michi
Photo by Tokushima Prefecture

Windows to see whirlpools in Uzu no Michi
Windows to see whirlpools in Uzu no Michi
Photo by Tokushima Prefecture

Another method to see the whirlpools is to walk on Uzu no Michi (渦の道).
It is the walkway setting up under Ônaruto Bridge.

Ônaruto Bridge connectis Awaji Island and Shikoku Island, and an expressway runs on the bridge and is just over Naruto Strait.

We can enter Uzu no michi from Naruto Park at the end of the coast.

The length of the walkway is about 450 meters, and is at 45 meters over the sea surface.

There is an observatory at the end of Uzunomichi, and you can see the whirlpools right under you.

Uzu no Michi

How to get here

By local train of JR Naruto Line, about 45 minutes from Tokushima to Naruto.
Then, by route bus for Naruto-koen, from Naruto station, 19 minutes to Naruto-kanko-ko stop (Uzushio Kanchôsen), 22 minutes to Kameura-guchi stop (Uzushio Kisen), 25 minutes to Naruto-Koen (Uzu no Michi).

To Fukura Port in Awaji Island, by express bus for Fukura, about 1.5 hours from Sannomiya station (Kobe city).

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