Kanmon straits viewed from space, Kyushu
on the left, Honshu
on the right
Kanmon Straits (関門海峡 Kanmon-kaikyō)  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 Kanmonkyō road bridge was completed in 1973. It is the 34th largest 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 region. It is a substantial area in size, with many attractions and opportunities for sightseeing on both sides of the straits.
Not far from here:
- Battle of Dan-no-ura - between the Heike and Genji clans in 1185
- Bombardment of Shimonoseki - in 1864
- Treaty of Shimonoseki - signed in 1895
- 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.
- Cross the straits on a small high speed ferry between Moji-ko in Kitakyushu and the Kamon Wharf in Shimonoseki.
- Board the oddly shaped Voyager at Moji-ko to cruise the busy straits in a boat.
- Visit Kaikyo Dramaship in Moji-ko to see how Moji used to be and a standing exhibition on the straits.
- Fly in a helicopter over the straits (minimum price 3,000 yen; weekends only).
- 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 13th every year.
- Shabu shabu at the JR Moji-ko station, still a working station and the northern terminus of the Kagoshima main line.
- Fugu fish at Kamon wharf, Shimonoseki - delicious, fresh off the boats!
- Moji-ko Hotel has Italian and Japanese food.
- Chinese food at the replica building of the library in Dalian (Moji-ko).
- Mojiko Retro Beer Factory
Not much to say here. Japan is a pretty safe and pleasant country as long as you observe ordinary courtesy and common sense. There are no known problems or dangers in the Kanmon Straits area.
- Train from Moji-ko to Kokura
- Train from Shimonoseki station