Top 10 Popular Photo Spots on Awaji Island for Christmas

When sightseeing, we always try to capture the moment in a perfect photo. Finding the ideal spot isn’t always as easy as you might think, so here we provide you with a list of the best locations to take that perfect travel photo to make your memories of Awaji Island magical!

1. French Forest Illumination

French Forest, also known as Auberge, has three restaurants in close proximity, each with a different take on a common concept; La Rose (French × Japanese), Grand BaoBab (French × Mediterranean Italian), and Prince Etoile (French × Spanish Basque). They also each have a very exclusive and prviate stay option.

The exterior of French Forest is adorned with sparkling illuminations, and the carefully sculptured and nurtured gardens add a touch of Christmas allure. The French Forest triptych has already started accepting reservations for the time-limited Christmas course. How about enhancing the festive mood while enjoying the illuminations and indulging in a luxurious French feast to make this Christmas truly special?

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Name Auberge “French Forest”
Address 2593-8 Kusumoto Aza Banaka, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
TEL La Rose 0799-70-6062
Prince Etoile 0799-70-6061
Grand Baobab 0799-70-6063
Website https://frenchnomori.jp/
Reservations https://frenchnomori.jp/reservation/
Operation Hours Lunch – 11:30~15:30 (Last Entry: 13:00)
Dinner – 17:30~21:30 (Last Entry: 19:00)
Menu A Full-Course Lunch ¥7,000~/ A Full-Course Dinner ¥10,000~

Click here for details of Auberge “French Forest”

2. Nojima Zoo: get a kiss from Alpaca Raoul

Nojima Zoo, located at the Nojima Scuola facility is a small zoo where you can see and pet some of the animals kept there. The zoo is also the home of alpaca Raoul, who recently became famous for only giving kisses to young women. If you put your cheek close to him (like in the photo), he might give you a special kiss for Christmas too!

Limited-time events are held at Nojima Zoo where you can celebrate Christmas with the animals. Additionally, special Christmas courses that allow you to get into the holiday spirit are offered at the restaurants within Nojima Scuola. With goats, rabbits, mini pigs, ponies, and other cute animals living there, you can enjoy a special Christmas on Awaji Island while interacting with these adorable creatures.

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Name Nojima Scuola
Adress 843 Nojimahikinoura, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1721
Website https://www.nojima-scuola.com/
Reservations 2F Ristorante Scuola
Tel 0799-82-1820
Operation Hours 1F Marché /Bakery: Weekdays 10:30~19:00
Sat., Sun., & Public Holidays 10:00~19:00

1F Café Scuola: Weekdays Lunch 11:00~14:00/ café 14:00~18:00
Sat., Sun., & Public Holidays breakfast 10:00~11:00
Lunch 11:00~15:00
Café 15:00~18:00

2F Ristorante Scuola: 11:30~15:30 (in by 14:00) / 18:00~21:30 (in by 19:30)

Outdoor Zoo: Weekdays 11:00~16:00
Sat., Sun. & Public Holidays 10:00~16:00 (13:00~14:00 animals in recess)

Closed: Wednesdays (Open on Public Holidays)

Click here for details of Nojima Scuola


The Best Christmas Present for Children: A Photo with Hello Kitty

At HELLO KITTY SMILE, you can enjoy projection mapping and photo spots that recreate the world of the Dragon Palace of Princess Otohime. Hello Kitty is dressed in an original costume inspired by Princess Otohime, a sight you can only see on Awaji Island. During the daily greetings, you can chat with Hello Kitty and create many special memories.

On the second floor, there is a photo spot featuring the world’s largest Hello Kitty face. It’s a facility with plenty of places where you can capture impactful pictures. How about giving your child a special memory with Hello Kitty as one of this year’s Christmas presents?

©’22 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPR. NO. L630788

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Address 985-1 Nojimahikinoura, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1721
Access 10 minutes by car from Awaji IC or Hokudan IC on Awaji-Kobe-Naruto Expressway.
Parking Free parking available
Operating Hours Weekdays 11:00~19:00
Sat., Sun, & Public Holidays 10:00~19:00
Please note that each restaurant/café has different operating hours.
Closed Tuesdays
Website https://awaji-resort.com/hellokittysmile/
Reservations https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/hellokitty-smile2restaurant/reserve
Phone Number 0799-70-9037

Click here for details of HELLO KITTY SMILE

4. Craft Circus – Photo Spot for Dogs

Craft Circus is a seaside market and restaurant located on the west coast of Awaji Island. There is a dog terrace so, you can relax and enjoy a lively meal alongside your beloved pet, choosing from a menu that includes 40cm diameter island pizza and giant hamburgers.

Outside the store, there’s a dog run area too, along with elephant statues, and a giant fountain, making it a spot where you can take resort-style photos with your pet.

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Address 2-2 Nojima-Hirabayashi, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1724
Access 15 minutes by car from Awaji IC on Awaji-Kobe-Naruto Expressway. 10 minutes by car from Iwaya Port (Jenova Line Ferry).
Parking 80 spaces
Business Hours Weekdays: 10:30-20:30 (last order 19:30)
Weekends/Holidays: 9:30-20:30 (last order 19:30)
Closed Thursdays (excluding national holidays)
Tel 0799-82-1855
Website https://awajicraftcircus.com/
Reservations https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/craftcircus/reserve

Click here for details of CRAFT CIRCUS

5. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge – The Longest Illumination in Japan

The regular illumination is held on weekdays from sunset to 11:00 PM and on weekends and holidays until midnight. There are a total of 31 illumination patterns. The lighting effects vary seasonally, making it a beautiful and ever-changing bridge to behold.

Christmas: December 19th to 25th
The illuminations have a special Christmas theme.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day: December 31st to January 1st (illuminated until sunrise)
From 11:30 PM on New Year’s Eve, a countdown pattern to welcome the New Year will be displayed.
In addition, at every hour on the hour, there will a 5-minute rainbow pattern that will announce the time.

6. Awaji Greenhouse – Indoor Illumination

Awaji Greenhouse is a large indoor botanical garden located next to Awaji Yumebutai. It’s actually the largest greenhouse in Japan.

The Winter Garden is currently open. From November 18, 2023, to January 14, 2024, illuminated plants will be showcased in the vast space. The garden features a grand-scale hall with a captivating design, and from dusk onwards, there are beautifully lit spots perfect for photos.

As it is the largest greenhouse facility in Japan, we definitely recommended it as a photo spot for a relaxing Christmas date or a hidden spot that not that many people know about yet.

7. Awaji Yumebutai

Awaji Yumebutai is a fascinating facility designed by Tadao Ando, ​​who was awarded the Pritzker Prize, for his works of exposed concrete architecture.

Particularly recommended photo spots for Christmas are the “Church of the Sea” with its impressive cross of mysterious light, “Hyakudan-en” where a hundred flower beds are arranged along the mountain slope and the “Circular Forum,” which has a beautiful contrast between beauty and the sky. It is a photo spot where you can see different expressions by taking pictures from various angles.

It is so full of photogenic elements that it has been used as a location for a variety of films and TV dramas. It is recommended for those who want to take stylish photos on Awaji Island. This facility is an indispensable photo spot, where you can enjoy exquisite scenery from an interesting perspective; a place where nature and human activity coexists.

8. Awaji Hanasajiki – Winter Flower Photo Spot

Awaji Hanasajiki is located on the top of a hill in the northern part of ​​Awaji Island. From thee you can see a panoramic view of colorful seasonal flowers with the Akashi Strait and Osaka Bay beyond.

During the Christmas season, the Stock flower (Matthiola incana), which is a symbol of winter, is at its best. When taking a photo with the sunset or open sea in the background, you are certain to get a beautiful and picturesque photo to enjoy later.

Admission to the park is free, and convenient public bus stops and parking lots are available, ensuring accessibility for all. When coming by car, the carpark fee is only yen 200 for the whole day. If you wish to know more, please check our article on Awaji Hanasajiki or visit the official website.

9. Keino Matsubara – Japan’s Top 100 Best Sunset Spots

Speaking of Awaji Island, the sunset scenery is so popular that it has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 sunsets. Keino Matsubara is a scenic spot with white sand and green pine trees that stretches for 2.5 km along the coast. 

We recommend taking a pictures with the silhouettes of the trees and people, which will give you a nice and tasteful photo. 

10. Ladybird Road & Awaji Chef’s Garden by PASONA

The new gourmet spot in Awaji Island, “Ladybird Road,” is a standout illumination spot, especially when passing through the Sunset Line. At night, the warm-colored lights create a stylish and cozy atmosphere. The buildings, reminiscent of European architecture, are adorned with decorative lighting, and the symbol tree in the center of the facility is a popular photo spot. After enjoying the magnificent sunset views on the western coast of Awaji Island during dinner, be sure to delight in the sparkling illuminations that complement the experience. They run all along the sea like a beautiful colorful ribbon of light.

Name Ladybird Road
Address 95-2, Nojima Todoroki, Awaji Shi, Hyogo Ken, 656-1722
Parking lot 86 cars *Temporary parking is available nearby.
Operation Hours Varies from store to store.
Tel 0799-64-7530

Standing right at the landscape selected as one of Japan’s “Top 100 Sunset,” the impressive and popular gourmet spot, Awaji Chef Garden by PASONA, is lined with colorful containers. As night falls, colorful neon signs illuminate, creating a resort-like atmosphere. From the entrance, please proceed to the terrace.

Name Awai Chef's Garden by PASONA
Address 57-3, Nojima Okawa, Awaji Shi, Hyogo Ken, 656-1723
Parking Approx. 140 units
Phone Number 080-8177-4501
Website https://www.awaji-chefgarden.com/
Business Hours 11:00~21:00 (last order 20:00) 
*Subject to change depending on the season and weather.

Click here for details of Awaji Chef's Garden