🏙Hachiman, Tokushima City → Naruto, Tokushima → ⛴ Naruto Whirlpools🚗 Great Naruto Bridge → South Awaji City, Awaji Island, Hyōgo

Map of Tokushima Prefecture and Awaji Island with author’s route between Tokushima City and Naruto highlighted. 🗺 Open map1 in GaiaGPS (A,B,C) →


Manhole cover with the Great Naruto Bridge and the Naruto Whirlpools on it. 📍 Naruto, Tokushima


The churning water of the Naruto Whirlpools as seen from a small boat right under the Great Naruto Bridge.

The bridge with the whirlpools under it. 📍 Naruto Whirlpools

Isfahan may be half the world but the Pacific Ocean is surely the other half, and at Naruto its gargantuan mass squeezes through a gap barely a kilometer wide. My walk across Shikoku over, I sailed into this Japanese Charybdis on a small boat, the dark water a protean horror show. The ocean rose out of itself in patches the size of tennis courts, smooth as a high-end ice cube, the edges churning into the depths. Across the strait, the fields of Awaji smelled of sun and sweet onions.


Looking straight ahead out of a car at the halfway point of the Great Naruto Bridge.

Looking back on the bridge from Awaji Island in the evening light. 📍 Great Naruto Bridge

These Walking Dreams is a visual field diary of a 4,300-kilometer walk from one end of Japan to the other, in the spring and summer of 2017.

  1. This was the third of seven days when I didn’t walk every step of the way. The only way to avoid taking a vehicle here would have been to take an entirely different route across Western Japan. It was only when I arrived in Tokushima that I found out that there is no ferry service across the Naruto Strait and also that pedestrian traffic is not allowed on the Great Naruto Bridge. I did the closest thing I could: I took a sightseeing boat halfway across the strait, into the whirlpools, then I was driven across the bridge by my friend Yoshihara Hitoshi.↩︎