Naruto (鳴門) is Shikoku’s premier tourist spot, world famous for its whirlpools that bring in tourists from all across the globe. While it may seem like a tourist trap, it is far from that and always included in any good Shikoku itinerary.
Budget travel tip
- When buying the tickets for your cruise, ask about discount combination tickets, for example ones that combine the cruise and a visit to Uzu No Michi (saves a few hundred yen). Written information was just in Japanese at out last visit, but English speakers are around to help if you need it.
- Arrive early and ask about best times for the cruise for the best experience, or ask your hotel to check the day before.
Things to do
Naruto Whirlpool Boat Cruises
This is what people come to Naruto for! There are two main cruise companies, both offering similar prices and experiences for the main boats, but the Naruto Sightseeing Steamship AQUA EDDY has the addition of glass floors. Naruto Sightseeing Steamship does seem to be more popular with the large tour groups though, so avoid them if this would annoy you.
Uzushio Steamship: Adults 1500 yen, Children 750 yen
Naruto Sightseeing Steamship: WONDER NARUTO (large vessel) Adults 1530 yen, Children 770 yen. AQUA EDDY (underwater tourist ship) Adults 2200 yen, Children 1100yen
Uzu No Michi
An interesting way to complement the boat cruise is to visit the bridge going right over the whirlpools. Uzu No Michi is a special section of the bridge with glass panels to look down on, extensive and detailed information about how the whirlpools are created and sometimes the best way to get a good photo of them.
Open: 9am-6pm (5pm in winter)
Price: Adults 500 yen, Kids 250-400 yen
Otsuka Museum of Art
Shikoku’s, if not one of Japan’s, top art museums. Very pricey, but if you are into classical art you could easily spend a few fascinating hours here.
Price: Adults 3240 yen, Children 540 yen
On the way to Uzu No Michi, a nice way to get a view over the city is to walk up to the highest points on the hills.
How to get there
From Tokushima, take the Naruto Line train to Naruto (40 mins, 360 yen or free with a pass). Sometimes you may need to take the Kotoku Line first to Ikenotani station first, then transfer to the Naruto Line.
Recommended hostels and hotels
Decent business hotel near the Tokushima station. Good if you want a night away from hostels! Check prices at Booking.com.
More at Booking.com