A Mission to the Wave Country

Do you know about the manga and anime called “Naruto”? Well, I’m a huuuge fan of Naruto! Aaand do you know that the name Naruto is coming from a real town in Japan? Yes! There is a real town located in Tokushima prefecture called “Naruto”. This town is located by a strait between Shikoku Island and Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture with  a huge whirpool happening twice a day in the strait. Whirpool in Japanese is called “Uzushiyo”, while a small whirpool that you can find while you emptying your bath tub is called “Uzumaki”. If you are a fan of Naruto like me, I think you can immediately relate Naruto’s ninja technique the Rasengan with the image of whirpool. That’s where Naruto got his name. “Naruto Uzumaki” Naruto coming from the name of Naruto town, Uzumaki from the small whirpool.

I happened to get the chance to visit the town last year during my study in Japan. To get to Naruto city, you can take a bus from Kansai International Airport. It will take around 3 hours and the bus ticket will cost 4800 yen round trip.

The main attraction of Naruto city is the big whirpool which happens twice a day. In the afternoon and in the evening. You can experience the whirpool from a boat crossing the strait or from a bridge build above the strait, called “The Great Naruto Bridge”/”Oh Naruto Bridge” or in Japanese “Oo Naruto Hashi” (which happened to be in the beginning of the series while Naruto and team 7 had a mission to the wave country. In the series, Naruto and team 7 helped the people of the village defeating a tyrant and building a bridge to connect the village and the outside world so the people can do trade to fulfill their everyday needs. In the end of the mission the people of the village name the bridge using Naruto’s name).

To ride a boat to cross the strait, you have to take another bus. Once the bus from Kansai airport drop you in Naruto city, you will find a map of the city. Walk a bit and you will find a tourist information center. You can purchase the bus ticket to the harbor from the information center. To ride the boat, it’s another 1800 yen. At that time, we chose to ride the boat. After crossing the boat, we went to the Naruto bridge by bus.

DSC02034The map of Naruto Town.

DSC02089Naruto harbor.

DSC02044Out boat to cross the Naruto strait.

DSC02068The whirpool or Uzushiyo in Japanese. Couldn’t catch it well from the boat.

DSC02107Uzu no michi, the Uzu road!

DSC02117The Uzu road. Located just under the bridge for people to walk, while the upper side of the bridge is used for cars to cross.

DSC02182

DSC02181The Great Naruto Bridge.

Beside the boat ride and the bridge, you had to try the fish dish in Naruto city. We found a restaurant and had our lunch there. We ordered a fish head soup set. The fishes caught in the strait is more delicious because there is a whirpool happens in the strait twice a day. That whirpool functions like a gym to the fishes and kelp. Funny eh? But it’s true, the fish and kelp we had, taste so good and fresh.

DSC02167The head fish soup set.

DSC02165An autograph of Hatake Kakashi!! Haha… of course I mean the dubber of Hatake Kakashi. Seemed like He also visited the restaurant I went to some time ago.

After finishing our lunch, we went to the city museum. There we learned more about the strait, the whirpool and the bridge. The construction of the bridge was finished and open for public in 1985.  The museum was fun and packed with many interactive games and informations.

DSC02213The opening of the Great Naruto Bridge in 1985.

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Naruto 148

DSC02198The Whirpool should look like this if I could catch it well. This is a picture I took in the museum :p

DSC02208

Naruto 153

Naruto 138Submarine simulator. By riding this, we were as if diving into the Naruto Strait! It was quite a fun ride! ^_^

Naruto 154

Naruto 184

DSC02241Sunset we took from the roof top of the museum.

DSC02250Cheers from Naruto Town!

It was a fun experience to be able to visit Naruto city. If you happened to be in Japan at the moment, instead of the usual Tokyo or Kyoto, maybe you can try visiting this place. (npa)

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