Whirlpool in the Seto Inland Sea (Photo: Ehime Prefecture)
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Riding the Seto Inland Sea Currents

Exciting boat trips in the dramatic tidal currents

The Shimanami Kaido highway is a remarkable spot for cycling or driving, where you can admire the beautiful islands and sea passages of the Seto Inland Sea. The complex pattern of islands and the strong tide that runs through the inland sea creates currents that roil the surface in dramatic whirlpools.

The Seto Inland Sea appears calm from a distance, but if you go offshore in a boat, you experience its extreme side. The bridges of the Shimanami Kaido also look most dramatic from the sea.

Kurushima Strait boat ride 

A small boat takes you right into one of the most rapid currents roiling the surface of the Kurushima Strait where you can experience the power of the sea up close and personal. The ride also affords magnificent views of the Kurushima Strait Bridge from below and the shipyards which symbolize the maritime city of Imabari.

The boat leaves from the pier in front of the Yoshiumi Iki-ikikan Road Station on the southwestern end of Oshima Island.

Availability: Daily from 9:00 to 16:00 (Group bookings only from December to February)
Price: Adults (over 16) 1,000 yen
Children: 500 yen
Address: 4502-2 Myo, Yoshiumi, Imabari
Enquiries: (089) 784-3710
URL: www.imabari-shimanami.jp

Dramatic currents in the Seto Inland Sea
Dramatic currents in the Seto Inland Sea (Photo: Ehime Prefecture)

Miyakubo Seto Tidal Current Experience

This sightseeing boat lets you experience an extreme tidal current with a maximum speed of 10 knots, which is equivalent to 18km/h. The island of Noshima was the stronghold of the Noshima Murakami Suigun, a buccaneering naval force that dominated the Seto Inland Sea from the period of North and South Dynasties to the Warring States period. It’s best to take the boat ride after a visit to the Murakami Suigun Museum near the pier where you can learn about this historical navy. Then you can really enjoy the 40-minute cruise like a true buccaneer.

The boat leaves from the pier in front of the Murakami Suigun Museum at the northeastern side of Oshima Island.

Availability: From 9:00 to 16:30 (the service operates if there are at least 2 passengers) Closed Monday except for national holidays when the next day is closed.
Price: Adults (over 16) 1,000 yen
Children: 500 yen
Address: 1293-2 Miyakubo, Imabari
Phone: (089) 786-3323
URL: www.noshima.jp

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Preethu 7 years ago
Melissa Hill 9 years ago
Gosh! I've wanted to see the Whirlpools for years, but I always messed up the timing and couldn't make it for the morning or the evening when the tides changed. I hope to make it here someday, with the proper timing, of course!

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