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This article refers to the Naruto in Tokushima Prefecture. For the Naruto (成東) in Chiba Prefecture, click here.

Naruto Whirlpools

Naruto (鳴門市 Naruto-shi) is a city at the northeastern tip of Tokushima, Japan.


Tourist information sites[edit]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

There are four daily JR buses from Kobe Airport to Naruto (2 hr 45 min, ¥2950).

By train[edit]

Naruto has a train station, but it is inconvenient for rail traffic from other major cities. Even within Shikoku, the trains are sparse at one per hour, so the fastest and most direct method of reaching Naruto is to take a bus from Kansai across the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge.

By bus[edit]

JR Bus operates daytime Awa Express buses between Kansai and Tokushima, stopping along the way at Kōsoku Naruto (高速鳴門) which is a bus stop along the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto highway. Buses connect to JR Osaka station every 30-60 minutes throughout the day, with separate runs operating to/from Kobe once per hour (including Shin-Kobe station on the Shinkansen) and to/from Kyoto seven times daily. The one-way fare to Kōsoku Naruto is ¥3750 from Kyoto (2 hr 20 min), ¥3150 from Osaka (2 hr 10m in) and ¥2750 from Kobe (1 hr 35 min). Once arriving you can connect to a city loop bus that will bring you into town (09:00-11:30, 14:00-16:30 daily), or you can walk for five minutes to the Ko-Naruto-Bashi (小鳴門橋) bus stop where you can pick up more buses. You can also walk to JR's Naruto train station in about 15 minutes.

From major cities located near the Shinkansen (such as Tokyo, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Fukuoka), the hassle-free way to Naruto is to take a Shinkansen train to Shin-Kobe and transfer to the Awa Express bus. Even if you have a Japan Rail Pass, the Awa Express bus from Shin-Kobe, which is not covered by the pass, is a wise investment for ¥2750. Or, continue to Okayama, where you will have to change to three more trains and add an additional 1-2 hours to your journey.

Seats for JR's Awa Express buses can be reserved at Midori-no-Madoguchi locations at major JR train stations.

JR's Dream Tokushima overnight bus service from Tokyo also stops at Kōsoku Naruto (9 hours, ¥9800).

By foot[edit]

Naruto is the starting and ending point of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage course around the entire island of Shikoku, which is traditionally covered by walking.

Get around[edit]

Bicycle rental is available in Naruto tourism center (15 minutes walk from Naruto station). It costs ¥500 for one day. Bicycling up to Naruto Bridge at a slow pace takes about 2 hours.


Naruto is best known for the Naruto Whirlpools (鳴門の渦潮 Naruto no uzushio), which form in the narrow Naruto Strait between Awaji Island and Shikoku. The vortexes can be seen up to four times daily, but their size and speed depends the height of the tide, which in turn depends on the alignment of the Moon and the Sun. In general, the new moon and full moon are usually the best times to see the whirlpools, which can reach a depth of 2m and a width of 20 m. They can be viewed either from viewpoints at either end of the Onaruto Bridge crossing the strait or from sightseeing boats in the Strait itself.

Naruto's second claim to fame is as the starting point of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage. The first two temples on the trail, Ryōzenji (霊山寺) and Gokurakuji (極楽寺), are in Naruto.

  • Ryozenji (霊山寺).
  • Gokurakuji (極楽寺).
  • 1 German House (鳴門市ドイツ館), 大麻町桧字東山田55-2, +81 88-689-0099, . 09:30-17:00 daily; closed 4th M of each month and the day following a national holiday. The site of a World War I prisoner-of-war camp for German soldiers. The stone bridges and cenotaph built by the prisoners are on display, along with documents that give us a glimpse of life during those times. The German prisoners were free to communicate with the local people, and much German culture remains in the area to this day. The present-day German House was built in 1993.
  • 2 Otsuka Art Museum (大塚国際美術館), Naruto Park, +81 88-687-3737. Tu-Su 09:30-17:00. The Otsuka family has created a "backup" of the world's painting masterpieces. Their museum displays no original paintings; all works on display are duplicates of originals that have been printed onto ceramic surfaces using the most advanced printing technology available. Buses run to Naruto Park from JR Naruto Station. ¥3150 adults, ¥2100 university students, ¥520 younger students.




Naruto claims to be home to the world's best sweet potatoes (kintoki), from which all sorts of products are derived: cakes, cookies, and liquor (Naruto Kintoki Shochu).


Try Sudachi Chu, a lime spirit.


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