Despite its name, the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge (明石海峡大橋) is not in Akashi. This longest suspension bridge in the world connects Awaji Island to Honshu via the city of Kobe. However, if you'd like to admire the bridge from below, ferries to Awaji (see #Get in) that pass right under it depart Akashi every 20 min or so.
To the south is the Sanyo Akashi Station, run by the private company Sanyo Electric Railway. It is on the Sanyo Electric Railway Main Line which connect Himeji to Kobe and runs parallel to the JR line.
The Shinkansen passes through Akashi at Nishi-Akashi (西明石) station. The Kodama, Hikari, and some eastbound Nozomi trains stop here.
The JR station and ferry are within easy walking distance of each other.
- 1 Akashi Castle (明石城, Akashi-jō) (in Akashi Park (明石公園), about a 5-minute walk north from Akashi Station). It is ruins now with two turrets and stone walls remaining. The area surrounding the castle is a big park that is popular during cherry blossom season.
- 2 Akashi Municipal Planetarium (明石市立天文科学館, akashi-shiritsu tenmon kagakukan) (buses leave from Akashi Station regularly, but isn't too far to walk). A great stop for science fans. It is known as the place where Japan Standard Time is measured, because it is located at exactly 135 degrees east longitude, the Japan Standard Time Meridian. The planetarium is the longest running planetarium in Japan. It also features a time and space museum.
- The beach (beached areas can be found dotted all along the coast of Akashi). While not spectacular, for people looking to cool off or hang out in the summer this is a nice alternative. While not as packed, jamming or popular as Suma Beach, people wanting a more relaxed scene or looking for somewhere to take kids and family should be pleased. Some seaside shops (海の店) are dotted along the sand in the summer months too. Fireworks are banned on the beach. The sand is coarse and the water is a little dirty. There are no waves either, which is good for kids or relaxing.
Akashi is a major port particularly well known for its seafood, retailing local specialities like sea bream (タイ tai), octopus (タコ tako) and conger eel (穴子 anago).
- Uo no Tana Shotengai (魚の棚商店街). Huge seafood market retailing everything that swims, creeps, crawls or just sits on the sea bottom. Unlike Tokyo's Tsukiji, this is actively tourist-friendly, with lots of prepared produce for souvenirs and restaurants for eating the stuff. On the road between station and port.
- Malls and shopping districts (near Tarumi Station and Ookubo Station). While nothing like Osaka, if you're looking for a department store to get some retail therapy there are a few options within Akashi. Tarumi is famous for some of its department stores and right infront of Ookubo Station is a huge department store that goes for 3 blocks. Ookubo's also houses a huge food court as well as a cinema if you're looking to catch a movie.
Akashi's claim to culinary fame is Akashiyaki (明石焼き), an eggy version of the ubiquitous takoyaki (octopus balls), often dipped into dashi broth before eating.
- . Akashi's also famous for its seaweed (明石のり) and its Bream (鯛).
- 1 Murphy's Irish Bar, Summit City Building 1F, Aioi-Cho, Akashi, Japan, 673-0882 (From JR Akashi station, head south across highway 2 past the Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, towards the ferry terminal. Take the last left turn before the next set of lights and head east towards the orange signs about 400 m in the distance.), ☏ . 20:00-03:00. This comfy bar is hidden in the middle of Akashi's comparatively large hostess bar district, on the ground floor of a nondescript white tiled building. The owner David is of a rare breed, an Irish bar owner who is actually from Ireland. The bar is a labour of love, the decorations growing and changing constantly. David's right-hand man, manager 'Rodem', knows far too much about Scotch and other whiskey. A real cosy place for Guinness on tap and a good chat. The sofas fill up quickly, and are a good place to hole up and watch the night unfold. ¥500.
- Guesthouse Lohas Home, 402-28 Taniyagi Okubo-cho Akashi-shi (From JR Nishiakashi st ( 10 min by taxi). Tell driver you want to get off at Taniyagibashi. Walk along bay for 3 min until you find white and blue house (Lohas home). Climb up the stares on your right to enter hostel. From Fujie st (Sanyo railway): 5 min walk. Get off at the station and turn right at the exit. Soon you will find a rail crossing on your right. Cross that crossing then turn right. Walk 200 m until you find 7-Eleven. Turn left there and walk to the end then turn right. When you find road mirror on your right, turn left and walk to the dead end; hostel is on your right.), ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Ocean-view hostel facing Tosetouchi Bay. The owner is an esthetitian, so you can have aromatic healing therapy and friendly staff, and a lovely dog will be waiting for you. Facilities: rooms with air-conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi, internet, coffee, tea, shampoo, rinse, soap, Japanese sake cellar tour, organic farm tour, macrobiotic cooking, candle yoga, beach BBQ, jetski, windsurfing booking. 3-bed private room: ¥7500/3 person, ¥6000/two person; double-bed private room: ¥4500/one person, ¥6000/two person.
|Routes through Akashi|
|Hiroshima ← Himeji ←||W E||→ Shin-kobe → Shin-Osaka|
|Okayama ← Himeji ←||W E||→ Kobe|
|Sanyō Himeji ← Takasago ← Befu ←||W E||→ Motomachi → into → Osaka Nanba|
|END ←||W E||→ Suma → into → Nishi Nagahori|
|Himeji ← Takasago ← Kakogawa ←||W S||→ Kobe → Osaka|