Awaji Island

Awaji Island

is an island in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, in the eastern part of the Seto Inland Sea between the islands of Honshū and Shikoku. As a transit between those two islands Awaji originally means "the road to Awa", the historic province bordering the Shikoku side of the Naruto strait now part of Tokushima Prefecture. Awaji was also written as 淡道.


The island is separated from Honshū by the Akashi Strait and from Shikoku by the Naruto Strait. Since April 5 1998 it is connected to Kobe on Honshū by the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world. Since its completion the Kobe Awaji Naruto Expressway across the island has been the main eastern land link between Honshū and Shikoku. The Naruto whirlpool forms in the strait between Naruto, Tokushima and Awaji.

The Nojima fault, responsible for the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake, cuts across the island. A section of the fault was protected and turned into the in the to show how the movement in the ground cut across roads, hedges and other installations. Outside of this protected area the fault zone is less visible. The and the are located near Fukura.


According to the creation myth of Shinto faith Awaji was the first of the ōyashima islands born from the two kami Izanagi and Izanami. Awaji constituted a province between the 7th and the 19th century, Awaji province, and was a part of Nankaidō. Today the island consists of three municipalities, Awaji, Sumoto and Minamiawaji.

The Awaji Ningyō-Jōruri, a over 500-years-old form of traditional puppet theater or ningyō-jōruri, daily performs several shows in the in Minamiawaji, Hyōgo in the southern part of the island and is designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Japan. The Awaji puppets perform popular traditional dramas but have their origins in religious rituals.

Tadao Ando designed several structures on the island, amidst them the and the Awaji Yumebutai, both located in Awaji, Hyōgo.



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