Nourish Body, Mind & Spirit on Awaji Island

Top 6 Places Not To Miss on a Springtime Day-trip!

The lush, natural paradise of Awaji Island has been a beloved resort getaway for centuries. As spring break season comes around, the days grow warmer, flowers begin to bloom and one after another, delicious ingredients come into their prime. This spring, take a day trip to the secret paradise that Japanese aristocracy have known for millennia: Awaji Island.

Superb Island Strawberries Italian Style

Ristorante Scuola

The “locovore master” of “local production for local consumption,” Chef Masayuki Okuda has done it again. One of his newest establishments is  Ristorante Scuola, an Italian restaurant housed in the historic building of a renovated former elementary school. The spectacular setting is the perfect place to enjoy luscious strawberries from Awaji Island transformed into gourmet creations at the hand of a master.

A wealth of dishes take full advantage of the unique mix of sweet and tart flavors only strawberries offer. In addition to the ruby jewels, this dish uses plenty of other local ingredients from Awaji Island, grown in one of the world’s most favorable climates, expressing the amazing attributes of this time and place.

For many people, an ideal day-trip will be filled with visits to many new places. Nojima Scuola holds not only restaurants, but also a marché with more than 250 types of souvenirs, including vegetables harvested that morning just down the road. So make the most of the day with some retail therapy. That’s not all! The Nojima Zoo is also just steps away on the grounds, so drop by to spend quality time with ponies, alpacas, and guinea pigs. Families love to get in touch with nature by feeding these friendly furry friends.

This is the first restaurant in Kansai run by Masayuki Okuda, a leader of the “chi-san, chi-sho” movement, meaning “local production for local consumption” who is also ranked as one of the world’s top 1000 chefs.

In this sophisticated space overlooking the Harima Sea, savor every bite of classic Italian cuisine made with Awaji Island vegetables, seafood, and Awaji beef.

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For an Unmissable, Spectacular Island View, Look No Further!

Awaji Hanasajiki

During Japan’s spring break period, the floral species, Awaji Hanana and Purple Hanana are at their best, as the vast mountainside is covered in a gorgeous carpet of yellow and purple flowers. The facility parking lot accommodates around 200 cars so enjoy a mountain drive up to the panoramic view of blossoms painting the 15 hectare expanse of the plateau in dazzling hues 300 meters above sea level.

A Food Court Like None Other

Dine in Style by the Sea

Craft Circus

For many, one of the main attractions of Awaji’s West Coast is the stunning, famous sunset. There’s no place better to enjoy this coastal panorama than Craft Circus. Enjoy the ambience of a seaside resort in this wide open space where the magnificent Harima Sea spreads out before your eyes. Craft Circus dishes are made with a wealth of ingredients from Awaji Island, including the 40cm diameter island pizza and seafood barbecues.

Nearby, the Global Market sells carefully selected merchandise and traditional crafts from around the world, while the Craft Marche carries fresh vegetables from farmers on Awaji Island, and a variety of souvenirs unique to the region.

A dog area is also here, so everyone can freely enjoy the day with their 4-legged friends. Treat yourself to a short break on your Awaji Island day-trip to just chill with the glittering sunlit waves of the Harima Sea.

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Find True Love at an Awaji Island Power Spot

Onokoroshima Shrine

Onokoroshima Shrine in Minami-Awaji City is famous for its towering vermilion torii gate. In spring, when the weather gets warmer, this becomes a hotspot for those looking for that special someone. The claim to its fame for matchmaking is said originate in the ancient creation myth of Japan, connected with the husband and wife deities enshrined here, Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto.

Since time immemorial, people have believed this place to bring luck in marriage and safe childbirth, making it a popular day-trip destination. The giant torii gate that towers over the entrance is recognized as one of Japan’s 3 Great Gates, along with Itsukushima Shrine and Heian Shrine. For what is sure to be a stunning shot, why not drop by this amazing power spot?

Awaji Island’s New Gourmet Food Paradise

Awaji Chef Garden by PASONA

Awaji Chef Garden by PASONA brings together the best gourmet food from all over Japan to Awaji Island. Shops housed in brightly colored converted shipping containers line the coast offering delectable treats for eat-in or take-out. The all-weather terrace seating by the sea is the perfect place to enjoy stunning vistas of the ocean. The endless variety of cuisines from Japanese to Chinese and Western allows you the luxury to choose whichever kind of meal suits your mood that day but enjoy the dining experience alongside friends and family.

The location along the Awaji Sunset Line makes it easy to stop by, with ample parking next to the facility and a free shuttle bus from Iwaya Ferry terminal. So don’t hesitate, and head out for an easy day-trip today.

Click here for details on Awaji Chef’s Garden

Secret Photo Spots

The Water Temple (Honpukuji Temple Mizumido)

Honpukuji Temple, built in the Heian period, is located a little uphill on Awaji Island. The Water Temple, newly built as the main hall in 1991, was designed by the world-renowned architect Tadao Ando, also famous for the landmark structure Awaji Yumebutai. The design of this temple defies expectations, and makes astounding use of the exposed concrete construction which has become an trademark of Mr. Ando. Enter the room into a divine atmosphere filled with natural light, and find the large vermilion latticework beloved far and wide as an utterly unique photo spot. The harmony of Heian era design and modern architecture in the tranquility of this sacred site is a deeply moving pleasure.


Here, we have introduced some of the best spots for day-trips to Awaji Island recommended for spring break. Springtime is the perfect climate to head into the outdoors, so what are you waiting for? Leave the city behind and head to the gentle seashore and inspiring beauty of Awaji Island.