Awaji Island, located between Japan’s Honshu and Shikoku islands, has a mild climate that makes it easy to spend time here, and is an ideal place for families and groups of people to travel, as there are plenty of spots with seasonal flowers in bloom and leisure facilities that take advantage of the blessed nature. It is also a place where you can’t miss the many delicious foods. In this article, we will introduce three spots that you must visit on Awaji Island.

The largest island in the Seto Inland Sea! Features of Awaji Island

Awaji, the largest of the hundreds of islands hosted by the Seto Inland Sea, is today easily accessible thanks to the world’s longest suspension bridge — Akashi Kaikyo Bridge that connects it to Honshu and Onaruto Bridge, linking Awaji to Shikoku.

The island, with a history dating to the geological formation of Japan, is naturally home to many cultural sites, and it is particularly famous for its traditional puppet theater going back to 500 years ago. One can easily spend weeks on the island exploring its cultural and natural wonders while indulging in its exquisite cuisine featuring many vegetables, beef, and seafood dishes. And, if you are looking for even more active ways to enjoy the island — as I did, the island will not disappoint. Awaji offers a wide range of activities where the visitors are invited and encouraged to participate actively and even become part of the crucial missions!

These three activities in Awaji Island are within easy access via car and are particularly fun as a family or group activity.

Nijigen no Mori: Joining the Godzilla Interception Mission? A one-of-a-kind theme park where you can experience a different world

Nijigen no Mori — meaning two-dimensional forest in Japanese — is an amusement park where visitors are invited to step foot into an alternative world and interact with some of Japan’s most beloved anime characters and feared monsters. As evidenced by the life-size Godzilla that greeted me with an open mouth, everything is designed to ensure that you get fully immersed in this world (or into the mouth) of your favorite characters.

Nijigen no Mori is located within the beautiful Awajishima Prefectural Park featuring a lake, endless greenery, and picnic areas. Entry to the park is free, and the visitors are only ticketed for the attractions. Ticket prices vary on the attraction and can also be purchased online.

“Dragon Quest Island: The Great Demon King Zoma and the Island of Beginnings” is a field RPG attraction that combines the real and digital worlds of “Dragon Quest”, as well as popular attractions based on the world-famous anime series “Naruto”, “Boruto”, and “Crayon Shin-chan”.

Ready to Meet the Life Size Godzilla?

Since its first appearance in Japanese cinema in the 1950s, Godzilla has become one of the most iconic monsters in Japan’s cinematic history. After years of anticipation, the monster met all its fans in Nijigen no Mori Park in October 2020. The size of the statue is surprisingly about 120 meters long! The world’s largest life-sized Godzilla statue is permanently installed and is a must-see even for non-Godzilla fans.

Nijigen no Mori offers not only the chance to finally meet the Godzilla in person but also become a member of the National Godzilla Awaji Island Research Center and experience part of the important mission to monitor Godzilla. The experience starts with a short movie screening in Japanese (with English subtitles) that will immediately put you in the mood to fulfill the mission. After a brief introduction to the origin story of Godzilla and how it was finally captured and made inactive in Awaji Island, the mission is explained.

Your mission starts by putting on a safety harness and listening to the safety brief before jumping on a 152-meter-long zip-line, straight into Godzilla’s mouth. For those looking for a longer ride, the 162-meter-long alternative takes you right next to Godzilla.

This is, however, only part of the mission! Next, you must move to the shooting grounds positioned brazenly close to your most feared monster and shoot the living Godzilla cells that are spread around you.

Now that you have fully completed your mission, it is time to visit the world’s only permanent Godzilla Museum featuring impressive replicas of some of the most famous scenes from the Godzilla movies.

There is also a museum shop where you can shop for Godzilla merchandise that includes Godzilla’s black curry. If you are ready for lunch, there is also a restaurant that serves original and creative dishes based on Godzilla and other characters within Nijigen no Mori.

Naruto & Boruto Shinobi-Zato: Test Your Brain and Physical Strengths

Another immersive experience offered by Nijigen no Mori allows visitors to step foot into the world of the famed anime character Naruto and his son Boruto.

You will have to use your brain and your body to complete several missions. For example, in my challenge, I had to go through several ninja tricks and collect the stickers (stamps) needed to complete the mission in order to save the friends of Boruto who were trapped in a huge 3D maze with a labyrinth-like structure (beautifully placed by the lake).

The park does an excellent job at re-creating the world of Naruto and even includes a replica of “Hokage Rock” featured in the series.

Once you complete all your missions, you must be ready for lunch. So why not stop at Naruto’s favorite shop: Ramen Ichiraku?

Naruto fans will appreciate the real-life appearance of Ramen Ichiraku, where visitors can enjoy a ramen bowl from Naruto’s favorite shop.

The park has a glamping facility called “Grand Chariot Hokuto Shichisei 135°” where you can spend the night, and there are rooms collaborating with characters from Naruto, Dragon Quest, HELLO KITTY, and Crayon Shin-chan, so you can enjoy the world of anime all day long.

NARUTO’s character room, “The Fire Shadow’s Villa.”

Dragon Quest character room, “Slime Cocoon”

ⓒ2002 MASASHI KISHIMOTO / 2007 SHIPPUDEN All Rights Reserved.
ⓒ2002 MASASHI KISHIMOTO / 2017 BORUTO All Rights Reserved.

Enjoy Seasonal Flowers and Unwind at the Awaji Island Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park

Awaji Island Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park occupies one of the most splendid locations on Awaji Island. The park, which offers uninterrupted views of Osaka Bay, is famous for its seasonal flowers. As you walk into the park, the scenery gives the impression of the greenery flowing into the sea, creating a sense of infinity.

The park features various flower gardens, a pond, two children’s playgrounds, a BBQ field, and restaurants for a perfect day spent with the family or a group.

As soon as you step into the park, you will see flowers in full bloom from season to season, naturally making your heart glow. At the Daichi-no-niji Garden, tulips bloom in the spring and about 18,000 sunflowers bloom in the summer.

The park is also home to many other flowers and plants that can be enjoyed all year round. The park’s official website has information on seasonal flowers. You may want to use this information when planning your visit!

Two Playgrounds as Colorful as the Flowers

For those with children who want to stay active the entire day, there are two playgrounds in the park that are at least as colorful as the surrounding flower park. The largest playground, Yumekko Land, is based on a flower, water, and wind theme, with many slides, including the roller slide. Also at the Kodomo no Mori playground is a large maze-like jungle gym and slides for those who want more adventure.

If you are tired after walking around all day, or if you just want to relax and tour the park, I recommend taking the park streetcar car “Yume Hatch-go”, which allows you to tour the park while enjoying the scenery.

If you bring your own food, the grass field next to Yumekko Land with ocean views is a beautiful place for a picnic. There are also restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy filling dishes like curry, burgers, soft ice cream, and local beer.

Awaji Island Fruit Farm: Taste the fruit picked with your own hands!

Awaji Island Fruit Farm — accessible from Nijigen no Mori and Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park in less than 30 minutes by car — greeted me not only with the warm welcome from its friendly owners but the deliciously inviting smell of strawberries.

The owners are Awaji Island natives, who see their farm as a great way to share the energy of Awaji Island with the visitors.

The farm grows a variety of fruits, including strawberries (mid-October to mid-June), blueberries (July to mid-September), oranges (mid-October to December), and grapes (June to mid-October), and you can try your hand at harvesting them. Also, if you visit the farm between mid-September and mid-November, you can try your hand at digging sweet potatoes. The farm’s availability calendar is posted on the farm’s website (Japanese only) and shows the seasonal fruits available for picking. I was right on time for the orange picking season, and as a person who can live on oranges, I could not be happier.

Awaji Island Fruit Farm, which occupies an area of 10,000 m2, is a wonderful place to spend a few relaxing hours picking your own fruit. While you are welcome to eat the tasty fruit you just picked — as I did — you can also enjoy the variety of fruit juices, cakes, sandwiches, and curry with Awaji beef and onions served at café Kanomi run by the farm owners.

The satisfied faces of the children as they took fruit picking seriously showed how fun this experience was for families.

These are three of the activities that will take you closer to Awaji Island’s unique nature and keep your family happy and busy for at least one entire weekend. But you definitely want to come back for more.I hope these three activities and spots will bring you closer to Awaji Island’s unique nature and attractions! Using this article as a guide, you’ll be sure to enjoy a fantastic family day or weekend getaway packed with fun, relaxation, and thrills. With such a vast array of activities on offer, just one trip to Awaji Island is far from enough!

Photographs and text by Burcu Basar

More Information
・Nijigen no Mori
2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji, Hyogo
Opening hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Fee: Free to enter, tickets for each attraction are sold separately.
Ticket prices and hours vary depending on the attraction.
HP (English):

・Awaji Island Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park

8−10, Yumebutai, Awaji, Hyogo
Opening hours: April to June: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, July to August: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm, September to October: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, November to March: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Closing days: December 31, January 1, and the first Monday and Tuesday of February.
Fee: 450 JPY for adults (15 and older), 210 JPY for those 65 and older, free for elementary and junior high school students and younger.
Combination ticket with the Awaji Yumebutai Garden Greenhouse “Awaji Green-kan” is 1,000 JPY for adults, 920 JPY for those aged 65-69, 580 yen for those aged 70 and over, and free for elementary and junior high school students and younger.
Please present a certificate showing your date of birth.
HP (Japanese):

・Awaji Island Fruit Farm
Opening hours: Harvesting experience 9:00 am –3:00 pm, Cafe Kanomi 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fee: Fees for fruit picking vary depending on the fruit and season. For details, please visit the Awaji Island Fruit Farm website.
HP (Japanese):
Those with reservations are prioritized are required on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, March and April, and during Golden Week (from the last week of April to the first week of May).




Nijigen no Mori


Awaji Island Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park


Awaji Island Fruit Farm


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