Walking from Kyushu to Honshu.
At the closest point, the islands of Kyushu and Honshu are a mere 700 meters apart. The narrow channel called Kanmon Straits is a very busy waterway with about 600 ships a day passing through it.
In 1973 the two islands became connected by the Kanmonkyo Bridge which carries traffic across its central span of 712 meters, and not far away is the Kanmon Railway Tunnel, the first undersea tunnel in Japan, but underneath the Kanmonkyo Bridge is the Kanmon Pedestrian Tunnel.
Connecting Mojiko on the Kyushu side with Shimonoseki on the Honshu side, the tunnel is a little over 700 meters long, and can be walked in 10-15 minutes.
It's a very popular walk, with many people simply walking from one side and back again, collecting the stamp at either end, but many people make a round trip by connecting with the ferry that runs from Shimonoseki to Mojiko.
The tunnel entrance in Mojiko is about a 15 minute walk from the main tourist attractions in the centre of Mojiko, which is where the ferry runs from. Next to the entrance is Mekari Shrine, the northernmost shrine in Kyushu.
On the Shimonoseki side a ropeway up Hinoyama offers stunning vistas over the straits. The ferry and main tourist attractions of Shimonoseki are a 20 minute walk or bus or taxi ride.
Entrance to the tunnel is free for pedestrians, but there is a 20 yen charge for people who want to push their bicycle or moped through.
Open daily, 06:00 to 22:00.
Images & text © Jake Davies & JapanVisitor.com
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Monday, December 29, 2008