Culture and Highlights of Awaji Island, the Island of Beginnings

Awaji Island is known as “the island of birth of the nation.” Legend has it that long ago, before Japan was even born, the gods created this island and it eventually became the land of Japan. It is a special island so loved by the gods that it is said to have given birth rather than created. Various places of interest and culture based on the myths described in the Kojiki (ancient literature) are part of the charm of Awaji Island.

The Island of Beginnings: The Venerable Izanagi Shrine

The Izanagi Shrine is dedicated to the ancestral couple of all gods, Izanami no Oomikami and Izanagi no Oomikami. The family tree of the deities is shown in the excerpt above.
It is said that Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto was born from Izanagi no Oomikami’s right eye, Amaterasu from her left eye, and Susano-no-mikoto from her nose.

Awaji Island, known as the island of beginnings and the island of birth of the nation, has many places of interest related to the myth of the gods derived from the Kojiki. Among them, Izanagi Shrine is dedicated to Izanagi no Oomikami, the god of birth of the nation, and Izanami no Oomikami, the god of marriage. They are the ancestral deities of the Japanese gods.

Four Places of Interest Related to the Kojiki (Ancient Literature)

Just off the Awaji IC, there are three places of interest related to Kojiki at the northern end of the island.

1) Eshima, One of the Sites Believed as Onokoro Island

Address:884-4 Iwaya, Awaji City, Hyogo 656-2401[Google MAP].
Access2 min. walk north from Iwaya Port

2) Iwaya Shrine: Dedicated to Kuninotokotachi-kami, Izanagi-no-mikoto, and Izanami-no-mikoto

3) Iwakusu Shrine: It is said that Hiruko (created by two gods, Izanagi and Izanami) was swept away from the beach of Iwaya and became the deity of Nishinomiya Shrine

4) Nushima, Minami-Awaji City, the most prominent place in the Onokoro Island legend

The two gods, Izanagi no Oomikami and Izanami no Oomikami, first stood on the floating bridge of heaven and stirred up the chaotic world with the spear they had been given. The tide rumbled and the drops that fell from the tip of the spear hardened into an island. This is the island known as Onokoro Island. On this island, these two gods descended, became husband and wife, built a pillar and a palace, and created the land of Japan. This Onokoro Island is believed to be Nushima. There are five possible locations for Onokoro Island in the myth on Awaji Island alone, and although there are various theories, Nushima is the most likely candidate. Eshima, introduced earlier, is one of these candidate sites. Nushima is one of the sacred places where the entire island is said to be in the shape of a Magatama (crescent-shaped jewel).

Nushima, Minami-Awaji, Hyogo, 656-0961 Japan[GoogleMAP]

Historical Places, Akashi Straits and Matsuho-no-Ura, as described in Manyoshu (The Anthology of Poems from the 8th Century)

Since ancient times, the Akashi Strait has been a difficult place in the Seto Inland Sea where the currents are fierce. However, it was also a strategic point for maritime traffic to the mainland. The “Ama,” or people of the sea, were active with their excellent navigational skills. The Matsuho-no-ura beach was used to cross the Akashi Strait, and the Ama, who were salt makers, are mentioned in the Manyoshu, a classic Japanese anthology of poems.

This poem, which is said to have been read while looking at Matsuho-no-ura on the Awaji Island from the opposite shore, is translated as follows:
I hear that at Matsuho-no-ura on Awaji Island, which can be seen from the boat’s edge at Naki-sumi, there are maidens who reap seaweed in the morning calm and bake salt in the evening calm. But since I have no way of going to see them, I have no heart as a man, and like a weak woman, my heart is broken, and I just keep going back and forth to the same place, yearning for them. I have neither boat nor rudder.
This song expresses the sadness of a man who had no means to cross the inland sea to see mystical maidens on the island.

Boro Seikaiha, the Perfect Accommodation for a Stroll in Matsuho-no-Ura

This hotel is located in the property, adjoining Matsuho-no-Ura, the perfect place to stroll around. The hotel has a beautiful view of the Akashi Kaikyo Straits, and is in a good location with hot springs. It is a recommended accommodation for staying in the northern part of Awaji Island.

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Location Holistic Wellness Hotel - Boro Seikaiha
Address 1833-4 Iwaya, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2401
Access 40 minutes by car from Shin-Kobe Station / Kobe Airport. 5 minutes from Awaji IC on the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway.
Parking Available
Phone Number 050-3684-4838
Reception Hours Check-in: from 15:00
Check-out: 11:00
Website https://www.bourou-seikaiha.jp/
Reservations https://rsv.temanasi.jp/3/room/search
Click here for details of Boro Seikaiha

Aman no Syokutaku: Pirate Cuisine Eaten by The Ancient Sea People of Awaji Island

The sea people of Awaji Island supported maritime trade. This Japanese-style casual restaurant specializes in pirate cuisine such as fish and birds grilled in their original form, based on the theme of the meals of the sea people who supported the times with their great activities in the past. In a typical Japanese atmosphere overflowing with the warmth of wood, you can enjoy fresh Awaji Island ingredients with gusto.

Click here for reservations Utage Click here for reservations Sajiki

Name Aman no Shokutaku
1F Utage
2F Sajiki
Address 1042 Nojima-Tokiwa, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1726
Tel "Utage” 0799-70-9089
“Sajiki” 0799-70-9090
Operation Hours “Utage”: Weekdays 11:00~21:00 (L.O. 20:00) / Sat., Sun. & Holidays 10:30~21:00 (L.O. 20:00)
“Sajiki” 11:00~15:00 / 17:00~21:00 (L.O.19:30) Closed: Tuesdays
Website https://amannoshokutaku.jp/
Reservations: Utage https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/aman-utage/reserve
Reservations: Sajiki https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/aman-sajiki/reserve

Click here for details of Aman no Shokutaku