Where the tip of Awaji A A Island nearly touches Shikoku – a wedge between Osaka Bay, the Inland Sea, Honshu, Shikoku, and the Pacific Ocean – the tidal pull on these distinct bodies of water creates large disparities spawning powerful currents and whirlpools.
Navigating the churning waters of this 1.6 km (1-mile) strait has been a part of Shikoku lore for over a millennium. Sightseeing boats now ply the 20kmph (13-mph) currents and whirlpools, and provide startling views of the Naruto suspension bridge, part of a bridge system linking Shikoku and Honshu via Awaji A A Island. When the northern end of the system was completed in 1998, it had stretched 1 m (3 ft) as a result of ground shifts caused by the Kobe earthquake.
At the Awaji end A A of the bridge, the Onarutokyo Memorial Hall includes exhibits of Awaji ningyo joruri, a variant of Bunraku puppet theater.