Your Guide to an Awaji Island Backpacking Adventure

Many may not immediately consider Awaji Island for backpacking due to its well-deserved reputation for luxurious restaurants, cafes, and hotels. However, the island offers much more, having a rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and secluded spots. While transportation can pose challenges, it is readily available throughout the island. Doesn’t this sound like the perfect backpacking adventure?

In this article, we will provide you with a guide to destinations and a few tips for exploring Awaji Island on a backpacking adventure.

Getting Around Awaji Island  

Transportation may not be the most convenient aspect of backpacking on Awaji Island, but that is part of what makes it an adventure, right? That being said, navigating the island is simpler than you might expect. Be prepared for plenty of walking since it is the best way to enjoy your backpacking adventure. A city bus circles the island for a flat fare of 500 yen, regardless of distance, with just one transfer needed to reach your destination.

If your destination lies on the northern part or west coast of Awaji Island, you are in luck, as there is a free shuttle bus servicing popular attractions in those areas. While buses are available, remember that you may need to walk considerable distances to and from bus stops, so be sure to wear comfortable footwear for your backpacking adventure.

Exploring all of Awaji Island’s Hidden Gems During Your Backpacking Adventure

If there is one thing that backpackers love, it is to discover the hidden gems in a certain location. Fortunately, Awaji Island is quite a mysterious island, in a very good way. Mythically speaking, it is known as the first island to exist in Japan. As a result, there are many historically significant shrines and small islands to explore. Your backpacking adventure won’t be complete without visiting at least some of these places.  

Do not forget to include a visit to Izanagi Shrine, one of Japan’s most historically significant shrines. It is believed to be among the oldest in the country, with legends suggesting it was the residence of Izanagi, the deity credited with Japan’s creation. After imparting his powers to his daughter, Amaterasu, Izanagi spent his final days at the shrine. Experience the serenity of this sacred site, offering the opportunity for prayer and, if fortunate, witnessing ceremonial rituals performed by the shrine’s priests.

Exploring Nushima and Eshima also comes highly recommended, as both locations are believed to be among the first exact spots in Japan. Eshima, situated on the northern tip of Awaji Island, offers panoramic views of its surroundings from the outside.

On the other hand, Nushima lies farther south, accessible only via ferry, and covered in verdant hills, making it perfect for leisurely hikes along its easy trails. Within just a few hours, you can traverse the entire island, visit its quaint shrines and temples, and immerse yourself in its tranquil ambiance.

Try all the Local Hands-on Experiences on Awaji Island

Backpacking adventures often entail immersive learning experiences, and what better way to do this than by engaging in hands-on activities? Awaji Island, renowned for its rich culture and history, offers numerous opportunities for such experiences. Our top recommendation is delving into the art of indigo dyeing, utilizing locally grown indigo leaves to craft natural dyes completely free from chemical additives. Additionally, we suggest exploring the art of incense-making, as Awaji Island is famously known as the “island of incense”.

Read this article to learn more about the many hands-on experiences available on Awaji Island.

For enthusiasts of sake or other alcoholic beverages, we highly recommend a visit to Koshunoya, an establishment dedicated solely to vintage sake. Here, you have the unique opportunity to try your hand at crafting your own vintage sake. During this hands-on experience, you will have the chance to select, blend, and bottle your very own aged sake from a curated collection featuring approximately 30 renowned brands.

Click here for reservations

Name SEIKAIHA – Koshunoya
Address 70 Nojima-okawa, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1723
Tel 0799-70-9020
Website https://awaji-seikaiha.com/kosyunoya/
Reservations https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/awaji-seikaiha/reserve
Operation Hours 11:30~21:00 (L.O. 20:00)
Closed: Thursdays

Click here for details of SEIKAIHA – Koshunoya

Unique Experiences to Fill up Your Backpacking Adventure

Backpacking adventures are all about discovering new and unique experiences, and Awaji Island offers plenty of them. Among the island’s top attractions are its anime and Hello Kitty theme parks. One must-visit spot is Nijigen no Mori, an anime theme park boasting a variety of popular anime-related attractions, including Naruto, Godzilla, Shin-chan, and more. If you are an anime enthusiast, this park will be sure to delight you.

For fans of Hello Kitty, the HELLO KITTY SHOWBOX and HELLO KITTY SMILE theme parks are must-visit destinations. Here, you can immerse yourself in everything Hello Kitty, from lunch shows featuring the iconic character to projection mapping-style theme park experiences.

In addition to exploring attractions, backpacking adventures often involve sampling unique culinary delights, and miele Café on the West Coast of Awaji Island comes highly recommended. You can try their specialty whitebait pizza and onion pizza, which come with unlimited toppings of whitebait and onions, offering a flavorful taste of the region. Do not forget to save room for dessert as their honey-themed treats are truly delicious.


There you have it—a brief guide to embarking on a backpacking adventure on Awaji Island. While it may seem daunting at first, the experience is much more manageable than you might expect. Besides, a few challenges along the way only add to the thrill of backpacking. The destinations we’ve introduced are just a glimpse of the wonders and hidden gems waiting to be discovered on the island, so be sure to explore every corner of the picturesque Awaji Island.

© 2024 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L640006