The mighty Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Akashi (明石市) is a city in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, to the west of Kobe. As of May 2021, Akashi had a population of approximately 303,840 people.
Despite its name, the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge (明石海峡大橋) is not located in Akashi. This longest suspension bridge in the world connects Awaji Island to Honshu via the city of Kobe.
Akashi is on the JR Sanyō Main Line between Kobe (15 min from Sannomiya) and Himeji (25 min).
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.
- Akashi Castle Ruins (明石城址), 1-27 Akashikoen, Akashi (In Akashi Park), ☎ 078-912-7600, . Akashi Castle is only ruins now with just two turrets and stone walls remaining. The area surrounding the castle is a big park that is popular during cherry blossom season. The park is about a 5 minute walk from Akashi Station Free. edit
- Akashi Planetarium (明石市立天文科学館), 2-6 Hitomarucho, Akashi (Buses leave from Akashi Stn regularly, but in walking distance), ☎ 078-919-5000, . 9:30AM–5PM, Closed Mon. A great stop for the science fans. It's safe to assume that there won't be any English shows or tours but if you're content with just watching the pretty lights, are a huge science buff or are looking for a place to take someone on a date it's worth a go. edit
- Akashi Brewery (ながさわ明石江井島酒館), 1194 Okubocho, Akashi (Near Eigashima Stn), . 11AM–3PM, Sat-Sun 11AM–3PM, 5–8:30PM. A brewery that makes the local top drop, Akashi Beer. It's won numerous awards and is famous (albiet a little pricey) but people looking for a tour and a good drop should enjoy this destination. There is also a restaurant attached which has views of the ocean and Awaji Island. edit
- Inazume Shrine (稲爪神社), 6-10 Okurahonmachi, Akashi, ☎ 078-911-3143, . With a history going back to the 7th century, this shrine has beautiful architecture and is connected a legend of driving away an Iron man invader. Free. edit
- Akashi Municipal Cultural Museum (明石市立文化博物館), 2-13-1 Uenomaru, Akashi, ☎ 078-918-5400, . 9:30AM–6:30PM, Closed Mon. The museum is divided into three areas - one for photographs, one for calligraphy, and the last one for other other artworks, including Godzilla and other pop-art. ¥200. edit
- Hayashizaki Matsue Beach (林崎・松江海水浴場), 3 Chome Hayashisakicho, 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 course and the water is a little dirty. There are no waves either, which is good for kids or relaxing. edit
- Ōkura Beach Park (大蔵海岸公園), 2 Chome Ōkurakaigan-dori, Akashi, ☎ 078-914-7255 (fax: 078-914-7256), . 9AM–11PM. A large beachfront area with nice views of the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge, multipurpose sportd field, and children's playground. edit
the Tairyo-bata (fisherman's flag) displayed at Uo-n-tana
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 n 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 in Tokyo, 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 Stn and Ōkubo Stn). 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 in front of Ōkubo Station is a huge department store that goes for 3 blocks. Ōkubo's also houses a huge food court as well as a cinema if you're looking to catch a movie. edit
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).
- Murphy's Irish Bar, Summit City Building 1F, Aioi-Cho, Akashi, Japan, 673-0882 (From Akashi Stn, 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 400m in the distance), ☎ 078-9145911, . 8PM-3AM. 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 is actually from Ireland and the bar is a labor of love, the decorations growing and changing constantly. A real cozy 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~. (34.645725,134.995950) edit
- Smile Hotel NishiAkashi (スマイルホテル西明石), 12-5 Kanigasaka (3 min walk to Nishi-Akashi Stn), ☎ 078-925-5555, . checkin: 15; checkout: 10. Simple business hotel but rooms are clean, decent and comfortable. With optional breakfast buffet and each room has the full compliment of amenities. ¥5000~. edit
- Guesthouse Lohas Home (ゲストハウス&スパ Lohas Home), 402-28 Taniyagi, Okubo-cho, Akashi, ☎ 078-202-2269, . checkin: 15; checkout: 11. Offers oceanside comfortable accommodations with nice sea views, kitchen equipment, rental bicycles, Japanese sake cellar tour, organic farm tour, macrobiotic cooking, candle yoga, beach BBQ, plus jetski and windsurfing booking. ¥4500~. edit
- Akashi Luminous Hotel, 2-7-12 Kokubo, Akashi, ☎ 078-928-1177, . checkin: 15; checkout: 10. Simple and straighforward business hotel type of accommodations with free breakfast and located nearby Nishi-Akashi Station. ¥4500~. edit
- Akashi Castle Hotel (明石キャッスルホテル), 1-chōme-8-4 Ōakashichō, Akashi (Near Akashi Stn), ☎ 078-913-1551 (fax: 078-917-3322), . Simple, affordable and clean hotel with rental bicycles, and free breakfast buffet. ¥5000~. edit
For the latest info on events and sights, contact the Akashi Tourism Association (笠岡市観光協会, Akashi Kankō Kyōkai) Tel. 078-918-5080.
- Himeji - Famous for Japan's grandest castle, the gorgeous Kokoen Garden, and mountaintop Engyoji Temple.
- Kobe - Popular international port known for its wharf, Sorakuen Garden, sake district, and earthquake museum.
- Osaka - Biggest city in Kansai with 24/7 nightlike, Dotonbori, Shinsekai, and an amazing food culture.
- Kyoto - Former capital for over a milennium, and still the traditional soul of Japan.
- Awaji Island - Connects to the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge, and offers flower fields and nice scenery.
- Arima Onsen - A hot-spring town just north of Kobe on the other side of Mt. Rokko.