Kanmon Straits (関門海峡 Kanmon kaikyou) is the name of the sea between Kitakyushu on Kyushu and Shimonoseki on Honshu. The straits can be traversed by ferry, train (regular and Shinkansen) and road bridge and tunnel. There is also a tunnel for walkers at the narrowest point near the road bridge. The Kanmonkyo road bridge was completed in 1973. It is the 34th longest in the world at 712 metres in length.
From the point of view of tourists and travellers, it may be helpful to consider the Kanmon area as one complete whole. It is a substantial area in size, with many attractions and opportunities for sightseeing on both sides of the straits.
The Kanmon Straits summer firework display dwarfs all the neighbouring ones. No less than 13,000 fireworks were let off on the 18th annual display held on Saturday, August 13, 2005, 19.55 - 20.45. There were large crowds, to a total of one million or more on both sides of the straits for an awesome display, definitely "the Best in the West" of Japan.
This display is held on August 13 every year.
Cruising the Straits
Board the oddly shaped Voyager at Moji-ko to cruise the busy straits in a boat.
Access to the Straits
From 2006 access to the area will be improved by the New Kitakyushu Airport, scheduled to open on March 16. There are Shinkansen stops at both Kokura in Kitakyushu and Shin-Shimonoseki.