You know that Japan is famous for hot springs, right? But have you ever tasted water from a spring? There are a lot of famous springs you can drink from in Japan and I am going to introduce one in Akashi.
It is called Kame-no-mizu (Turtle’s water). It is famous among Akashi people and they come here with bottles or tanks to pack the water. It is said that this water has not been officially okay for drinking by the authorities, so you need to boil it before you drink. So please don’t try driniking it there on the spoit. If you really want to try some there, bring your own boiler. No, I am kidding, don’t do that!
It takes 35 minutes to get to Sanyo Hitomarumae Station, which is the closest station to Kame-no-mizu, from Kosoku Kobe Station. Take a Directed Limited Express from Kosoku Kobe Station, change to the Sanyo Dentetsu at Sanyo Suma Station and get off at Sanyo Hitomarumae Station. The spring is a 5-minute walk north from Sanyo Hitomarumae Station. You can see a sign of “亀の水” as you keep walking to the north. Go into the straight narrow path and you will see a gate of Kakimoto Shrine ahead of you. The spring is right in front of the shrine. It has been there since 1719, so it is very very old. It is open 24 hours a day but it is dark at night so I recommend you that you visit there during the day. The reason it is called “Turtle’s water” is because the water comes out of a turtle’s mouth. I didn’t take a picture of his face so go check it yourself! It is fun...like a blind date, isn’t it?
If you look up, you will see an astronomical observatory. Please visit it if you have time and money. They also have a planetarium there. It costs 700 yen to see the planetarium, exhibition rooms and the view from the observation room. All elementary school students in Akashi go there on school trips and learn about the universe. But all I remember is how noisy the boy next to me was and all I wanted was to make him learn how not to be the center of the universe. Anyway, try the water and feel its 300-year-old history.