Minamiawaji exudes the energy of a modern metropolis with strong ties to onion farming and artisan crafts. Its main draw is its proximity to nearby islands, particularly the natural attractions and dining scene on Awaji Island.
Things to do in Minamiawaji
The Mihara district of Minamiawaji is known for handcrafted puppets, an art form with deep roots in the community. You can visit the Awaji Ningyoza puppet theatre to experience this puppetry tradition that carries an “Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties of Japan” designation. Costumed performers interpret period dramas and historical cultural events through this unique art form.
Drive across the Onaruto Bridge to the island of Shikoku to see the famous Naruto Whirlpools. Check local tidal charts and choose the best time to see this twice-daily phenomenon either from land or aboard a commercial tour boat.
Travelling with the family? Kids love meeting the 200 free-roaming monkeys at Awajishima Monkey Center high in the mountains of Awaji Island. The whole family can saddle up for horseback rides with Harmony Farm. Head over to Keino Matsubara Beach to enjoy a sunset picnic surrounded by endless groves of black pines juxtaposed against white sand.
Pay your respects to the revered Japanese goddess at Izanagi Shrine, then hike to Sumoto Castle for a hot springs foot bath and spectacular views across Osaka Bay. Other famous onsen hot springs include Matsuho-no-yu, where you can watch the hourly Akashi Kaikyo Bridge evening light show while soaking in therapeutic water.
Getting around Minamiawaji
Tokushima Airport is about 22 kilometres away. Public buses operate on limited schedules, so most visitors opt for taxis and electric bike rentals. Ferries provide transportation to nearby islands.