Travel Tips: Akashi Japan Guide
Akashi Japan Map
Akashi’s location is in the Hyogo prefecture of Japan. Although the more popular city in the area would be Kobe, Akashi still has hidden treasures and beauties that need to be visited. It has a total of about 50 square kilometers which is mainly made up of coasts and ports. One of its most important travel attractions would be the Akashi Castle which played an important role in the region’s military movements in the early 1900s.
This place is very popular for its sunsets, seafood, and more. Anyone trying to visit the area is sure to enjoy the simple pleasures offered up by the city. Navigating around the city is also quite easy and there are a number of guides available online and on paper as well.
Akashi Japan Weather
The general climate in the area would be temperate since it is found near the central-southern portion of the country. Any further south will make the temperature subtropical. The weather in this region is always warm and pleasant. What is interesting about the place is that it normally experiences a lot of rainfall throughout the year, even during the dry summer months.
How to Travel to Akashi Japan
Akashi Japan Airport
There are actually no airports found specifically in Akashi, the nearest airport would be the Kobe airport. The distance between Akashi and the Kobe Airport is roughly about 20 kilometers, a short distance that can be traveled by train.
Akashi Japan Train Lines
There are different railway lines in Akashi that connect the city to different parts of the region. All these train lines are expected to bring individuals to their destinations regardless of distance. There are Shinkansen stations that will bring people in and out of Akashi fast. The station that takes individuals in and out of Akashi via the Shinkansen would be the Nishi-Akashi-Eki railway station of the Sanyo Shinkansen line.
One important train line in the area would be the JR Kobe line which is found as a combination of some portions of the Tokaido Main Line and Sanyo Mainline. It connects different cities within the Hyogo prefecture. It also connects Kobe and Akashi with each other. To get to Akashi, travelers must go down at the Akashi station or Akashi stop of the JR Kobe line. Locally, there are JR stops that will bring individuals to different destinations.
Famous Festivals of Akashi
Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival
Japan is home to a multitude of festivals that celebrate a variety of things. They have festivals to celebrate the cherry blossoms, to celebrate children, to celebrate nature, and more. Akashi is home to Japan’s celebration of fire known as the Taimatsu Akashi. This particular matsuri, or festival, is a grand celebration of fire which is celebrated every November at Mount Gorozan.
The people of Akashi has celebrated this festival for the past four centuries and the traditions have been passed down to generations of family. This festival was intended to memorialize all the lives of samurai warriors who have lost their lives in battle. They celebrate by burning what they call as Taimatsu, a gigantic torch made from very flammable materials. This particular Taimatsu is paraded along the streets and carried by their own makers. These are carried to the top of Mount Gorozan and lit up simultaneously to the beat of festival drums. Once these are burned they are to be witnessed by residents.
The fiery red flames from the Taimatsu is sure to brighten up any dark night. These gigantic torches together with isolated bonfires are sure to make it seem like the summit of the mountains is on fire. It is believed that the power and energy of the fire will take the fallen samurais’ souls to peace.
Akashi Park Cherry Festival
Another must see in Akashi is their celebration of the cherry blossoms known as the Akashi Park Cherry Festival which is held every spring time. The city is home to the Akashi Castle which has been labeled as one of the 100 best places in the country to view cherry blossoms. Because of this, they locals have declared that the Akashi Park Cherry Festival shall be held every year between the first and the ninth of April.
This festival is held at the time when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Families go to the park to have picnics as a celebration of the festival. They sit by the trees and enjoy the beautiful blooms; they have tea and cakes, laughter and relaxation with friends and family. During this time of the year, a number of events are held in the park as well.
Culture and History Trips
Akashi Shiritsu Bunka Museum
This place is a small museum in Akashi but its weight and importance to the city are huge. It is one of the best places to go to understand the culture and history of Akashi. It presents permanent exhibitions of the different historical events in the region. There are also exhibitions of clothing, food, and basically how Akashi became the modern city that it is today. It is a great place to visit for those looking for a short glimpse of the city’s history.
Most temples in Japan were built to celebrate deities and gods, however, there are also shrines which are built for the important individuals who have walked the paths of the country. One particular shine which celebrates an ordinary human is the Kakinomoto Shrine which was built to memorialize a poet and nobleman from the early Japanese times. His name was Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, it is believed that this man’s poetry had made him immortal in the hearts and minds of the Japanese people.
During his life, he was known as an imperial poet whose works have been used to continuously tell stories about the lives of royals and to keep them encouraged and motivated for their work. Kakinomoto held an important role to the mentality and being of the royalty he served at the time. This, along with his very historical work, has made him one of the greatest poets in Japan’s history.
There are three shrines built in his name, the two is found in Masuda from the Shimane prefecture. This is believed to be his birth and death place. There is also a shrine built in Akashi which holds an annual Waka party to celebrate his life.
This castle is one of the most important travel highlights in Akashi. It was built in the early 1600s not only as a clan castle but also as a strategic military investment. It was placed in between Osaka and western Japan as a form of protection against clan enemies. It is now considered as one of Japan’s important cultural properties.
It was officially dismantled in the late 1800s and now what could be seen in the compound are the ruins, with only the main keep and a few towers remaining. Whatever remains of the castle is ensured to be well maintained and preserved so that future generations can still admire and appreciate its beauty.
This temple is considered as one of the 10 best tourist destinations in all of Akashi because of its awe-inspiring preservation of nature. Inside the compound are a multitude of shrubs, trees, and other greenery. The temple itself has a simplistic design but is a good manifestation of the beautiful architecture from early Japanese times. People usually visit this place if they wish to have a serene and tranquil sightseeing experience.
Hama no Sampomichi Cycling Road
Some people call this the Awaji Longride; others call it the Hama no Sampomichi cycling road, it is a 150 km bike trail. Annually, there is a bike marathon held on this trail, it goes around the island of Awaji. A lot of cyclists from all over the world travel to this place to get the experience of the Awaji long ride.
What is great about this cycling road is that it gives the riders an impressive view of nature. The path is quite near the sea, the roads are safe from fast vehicles, and it is a cycler’s paradise. One part of the trail leads to the Akashi bridge that connects the main islands to the Awaji Island. A lot of bikers go to this place during the spring time when the temperatures are not too cold nor too hot for a long bike ride. Along the way, there are establishments and sightseeing spots for new tourists.
This park is the home of the famous Akashi castle and has been a great place to enjoy the cherry blossoms during the spring season. Although it was a late addition to the castle’s compound it was sure to complement it beautifully. There is a moat which is home to fishes, ducks, and even swans. The fun thing is that visitors are allowed to feed them.
There is a beautiful Japanese garden inside this park which is designed with a traditional house in the middle. This house was built to allow visitors to enjoy some tea and cakes while enjoying the greenery in the garden. During the spring season, its pathways are covered with the beautiful blooms of cherry. The hundreds of trees found in the compound of the castle bring soft colors to the surroundings, a very romantic sight! Inside the park is a small lake as well where visitors can ride boats to enjoy a full 360-degree view of all the cherry flowers.
Okura Kaigan Beaches
Since Akashi is found near the coast, it will without a doubt provide an impressive place to enjoy during the summertime. The Okura Kaigan Beach is the best place to go. In this beach, the famous Akashi-Kaikyo bridge is within view and the famous Awaji Island is also within sight. People who visit the place also enjoy fishing, picnicking, sunbathing, and swimming. The sunsets are also very beautiful in this place, which makes it a great place to hang out and relax in.
A lot of people also enjoy having a barbecue in the shore, especially during the summer season. The only thing people must remember when visiting this place is the fact that it can be jam-packed during the hot summer seasons, it is best to get there early to reserve a good spot.
Must Eat in Akashi Japan
Akashi Japan’s Famous Seafood
Since Akashi is mostly coastal, it is not surprising to find a number of good restaurants that serve very fresh and delicious seafood. This is what the place boasts about the most and they use this to attract multiple tourists every year.
One of the favorite seasonal (and local) seafood would be the anago or the salt water eel. They also sell hamo, or pike eel. A lot of people enjoy this because of its soft texture and delicious sweet taste. They might be a bit expensive but it is definitely worth a try. Buying shellfish is also great in this area, the fresh squids are also delicious.
All the Must Try Sushi
Since all of the seafood in the area is freshly caught, it is without a doubt that sliced raw fish becomes a delicacy in the area. There are multiple restaurants that sell sashimi and sushi in different ways. There are conveyor belt places or gourmet places both of which will give price-worthy sushi. Make sure to try sushi places in the area when visiting Akashi.
The Local Star Akashiyaki
A popular local delicacy which is being sold in the streets of Akashi would be Akashiyaki. This is a small dumpling made from octopus and dashi. This has been enjoyed by the locals for hundreds of years. It is quite similar to a takoyaki but the difference is that the Akashiyaki has a more eggy texture as it tends to be much softer and runnier. There are multiple shops around the city that sell this food, it is surely a must try!