Discover the Charm of Sumoto on Awaji Island

When you think of Awaji Island, your mind likely wanders to the many tourist destinations located in its northern landscape. Each of these spots is truly remarkable, and we highly encourage you to explore them all. However, today, we invite you to explore a hidden gem, not widely known among foreigners but beloved by locals, Sumoto on Awaji Island.

Sumoto City, Awaji Island

Sumoto is the largest town on Awaji Island, located between Awaji City and Minamiawaji City. It provides tranquility amid the gentle flow of the Sumoto River and proximity to the island’s finest beaches. Its historical significance lies in bridging mainland Honshu with Shikoku, evident in the concentration of historic sites within the City. With its inviting beaches, captivating castle, and unique tourist spots, Sumoto is a great destination to visit on Awaji Island.

Sumoto Castle

Sumoto Castle stands as a testament to the island’s feudal past. Constructed in the early 16th century, this compact yet charming castle showcases traditional Japanese castle architecture. While not as imposing as some of Japan’s grander castles, Sumoto Castle is cherished for its serene surroundings and peaceful gardens.

Despite being abandoned in 1642, the castle’s influence endured, with the castle town continuing to thrive. Today, remnants of its era can be found on the slopes of Mt. Mikuma, including stone walls and historical artifacts. At the castle’s base lies the remains of the Inada family residence, once dominant in the region.

Nearby, a collection of Edo period (1603-1867) merchant houses stands as a testament to the area’s rich heritage. Additionally, Sumoto Hachiman Shrine, with over a millennium of history, is also located next to the castle.

Awaji Monkey Center

The Japanese Macaque, also known as the Snow Monkey, is a captivating primate native to Japan. Known for their pinkish-red faces and dense fur, these medium-sized monkeys have adapted well to endure the country’s cold winters.

One of the most remarkable experiences at the Awaji Island Monkey Center is the opportunity for close encounters with these rare animals. Within the confines of the center, approximately 350 Japanese macaques roam freely, offering visitors a firsthand glimpse into their intricate behaviors and lifestyles. Visitors can gain a deeper understanding of these remarkable creatures through daily feeding sessions, as the monkeys eagerly reach out for their food while interacting with one another.

Read this article to learn more about Awaji Island Monkey Center.

Sumoto Onsen

Sumoto is known for its onsen (hot springs), boasting several long-established and first-class ryokan (traditional inns) along the coast. Sumoto is a serene retreat with its therapeutic, mineral-rich hot spring waters, celebrated for their ability to rejuvenate the skin and refresh both body and mind. Here, you can unwind and alleviate stress while gazing out at the Seto Inland Sea and the picturesque landscape of the island.

Wellness Park Goshiki

The complex offers a diverse array of facilities, including a public park, a hotel, an onsen, a campground, and a museum. This location is ideal for those seeking a leisurely retreat, whether it involves relaxation, camping, or indulging in a barbecue.

Among the complex’s attractions, the onsen stands out as a main highlight. Featuring five signature baths, including a hot bath, outdoor bath, whirlpool bath, electric bath, and scented bath, the Goshiki onsen offers a unique and rejuvenating experience. The museum is dedicated to Takadaya Kahei, a merchant sailor who played a pivotal role in the development of Japan and is from Goshiki.

Ohama Beach

Sumoto city’s main beach offers convenient facilities amidst scenic pine trees. Sink your toes into the soft sand as you wade into the inviting blue waters of this expansive beach. During the summer, the area comes alive with playful attractions, turning it into a water park perfect for children. Restrooms and rental showers ensure comfort, while the abundance of trees provides refreshing shade near the water’s edge.

Sumoto offers a nice combination of tourist destinations blending nature, history, and simplicity. While exploring the northern part of Awaji Island is a must, don’t overlook the charms of Sumoto itself!