We often go to Akashi, a town down the coast east of Kobe. It has a nice sleepy atmosphere, a good market street and some excellent food (octopus fishing is a big thing here). In the harbour we've often seen a ferry go back and forth between Akashi and the nearby island of Awajishma.
If you look at a map, Awajishima is in the middle of Osaka bay, right between the mainland and Shikoku. It's really close — you see it from the Osaka waterfront, and I was looking at the island from my previous job every day — and yet I had never once been there. Ritsuko, an Osaka native, had been there once on a middle-school trip, but never since.
Akashi Kaikyo O-hashi — The Great Akashi Bridge. Yes, It's huge.
So this time we didn't just look at the ferry; we bought tickets and took the 15 minute crossing to the island. There's two towns, Awaji and Sumoto, and there's a highway connecting the mainland with Shikoku, using the huge Akashi bridge. The ferry doesn't go to any of those places, though, but to a small fishing village called Iwaya near the northern tip of the island. It's really mostly a commuter ferry for people living in Iwaya but working, studying or shopping in Akashi city.
Central Iwaya. Hard to believe Osaka-Kobe is just 30 minutes
away. It really is a different world.
It's a fishing village, and most of the waterfront is all about fishing.
In the end we bought some bread and fruit in the terminal building — there's not even a convenience store, that's how small this place is — and enjoyed al fresco dining overlooking the Seto sea and the Great Akashi bridge.
A view from the big cliff in the harbour.
We took a long stroll along the seaside, looked at the fishing boats and just generally enjoyed an afternoon together with no commitments and no stress. Stop your life for a moment to smell the flowers. Late afternoon we boarded the ferry again and took the train back to Osaka. I can recommend this trip - but don't expect to actually do anything, and if you go, remember to pack a bento lunch.
Iwaya. You can see the highway and the interchange with its
shops and even a ferris wheel. But that is far from the
The pictures here are taken with the Meopta Flexaret, the TLR I bought in Prague last year. Overall I like the results I get with colour film (Ektar 100) using this camera. The camera works fine, although the infinity focus seems to be a bit off. I'll have to take a closer look at that.