I’ve crossed the Ōnaruto Bridge many times but never stopped off. Fixated on haikyo as I am, I tend to avoid the tourist sites. But this is quite a unique phenomenon!
Water … whirlpools. Just take a boat trip for an hour or two, and find yourself in the middle of the Naruto Strait where the tidal currents slosh against each other.
Depending on the season and time of day, you can see exuberant whirlpools, great and small, up to 10 metres wide and 2 metres deep.
I went out on a boat offering to show you the phenomenon from an underwater observatory. But there’s no denying that there wasn’t much to see … apart from the bubbles on the windows.
This is one of the world’s rare phenomena (a priori, there are only three places where this kind of thing happens) so I recommend stopping off there if you’re passing. Visit the Uzusio website beforehand and you’ll find good prices and schedules, as well as tide tables and weather forecasts 🙂
Generally, the best time to catch the whirlpools is in spring or autumn.
So are the Naruto whirlpools really worth it? Enough to make a detour on a journey between Osaka and Hiroshima, for example? Well no. Unless you’re really keen on whirlpools.