Hike and Workcation in East Tokushima
The East Tokushima area has several places you can remotely work with high-speed internet while staying away from the crowds and clamor of the city.
This special series introducing “hike and workaction” travel plans for three towns in the eastern Tokushima, is taking you to the town of the world’s biggest whirlpool in Naruto.
Enjoy the mountains and sea together.
Guestrooms have ocean views at Aoawo Naruto Resort
Naruto is the northeasternmost city of Tokushima, known worldwide for giant whirlpools in the strait bearing the name of the city.
When staying in the city of seas, an oceanfront room should be the most desirable. Standing literally right by a beach in the Seto Inland Sea National Park, all guest rooms of Aoawo Naruto Resort are facing the blue sea and Awaji Island is a stone’s throw away.
Aoawo Naruto Resort area is like a gateway to Shikoku, located near the first expressway exit and bus stop in Tokushima when coming from Awaji island, making it the most easily accessible place in Shikoku, especially from the Kansai region.
Each guestroom has large windows with an endless expanse of blue sky and sea right in front of you.
Each room has a private balcony furnished with a table and chairs, perfect for working on your computer on while enjoying the sea breeze and sound of the waves right next to you. You can also enjoy a cup of tea or a meal while being bathed in the sunlight.
The hotel has 208 guest rooms, all of which are facing the ocean. When you need to stretch your arms and legs, the long building gives you a good excise by just walking from one end to the other.
Aoawo Naruto Resort also has a wedding chapel with a big lawn. Guests can not only get relaxed, but also work in the garden as wifi access is available there.
Aoawo Raruto Resort offers workcation stay plans and you can check them out on their official website.
It is not only a place to stay, but there are also a variety of sports and activities for guests of all ages to enjoy in the hotel and the surrounding area as well as a numerous unique Naruto experiences.
As there are five different style restaurants and cafes in the hotel building, you don't have to worry about the variety of each meal when staying here for multiple nights.
For example, you can have a casual light dinner at Terrace Cafe Ohge, which offers various pastas and desserts including a special gourmet burger, only 10 are available per day.
When you want to focus on work in your room in the evening, take-out from the restaurants and room service are available.
With the morning sunlight shining through the large window of your guest room, the first thing you see as you wakeup is the stunning view of the blue sea.
Opening the window, a soothing sea breeze comes inside. With a clear mind and the best feeling ever, a new morning starts.
You may have a hard time deciding whether to try the Japanese or the Western breakfast Aoawo Naruto Resort offers. Let’s see how the Western style one is like this time.
Unlike other general hotel breakfast buffets, Aoawo Naruto is unique.
Guests can make their own original sandwiches from a large variety of thin-sliced breads, vegetables, meats and sauces. Aside from sandwiches, hot omelets are cooked right in front of you with toppings you can choose, as well as fresh salads, yogurts, and various cold and hot drinks. You’ll wish you had a stomach big enough to eat everything!
You can also ask for a take-out box to fill with your sandwiches and whatever you like from the buffet to bring to your room, instead of eating in the buffet restaurant.
Otsuka Museum of Art, one of the largest in Japan with over a thousand of world famous artworks
A short walk distance from Aoawo Naruto Resort, the Naruto Park has some of Tokushima’s most-known tourism attractions.
Especially popular is Otsuka Museum of Art, located in the part of the Naruto Park close to the hotel.
The general public knows the name of this museum because a record-breaking artist in the Japanese pop music scene, Kenshi Yonezu, who is Tokushima-native, performed live inside the museum for the national year-end TV music show in 2018.
From ancient ruins to contemporary art, 1,075 famous paintings from around the world are reproduced in full scale on tiles (ceramic panels) fired with advanced techniques and exhibited in Otsuka Museum of Art.
Otsuka Ohmi Ceramics Co. developed the world's first thin, low-distortion and extremely hard super-sized ceramic tiles. The development originally began with sands from the Naruto strait.
In this museum, you can touch and photograph any masterpiece as much as you like. You can even take a photo with the Mona Lisa right next to each other!
The museum is one of the largest of its kind in Japan, and the total distance of walking to see all displayed works inside of this huge museum is a whopping 4 km, providing some great exercise.
Come in your comfortable walking shoes.
Walking around the quiet and comfortably air-conditioned building for half a day, your body will get a good stretch and relax while having a good time.
There are vending machines and a café in the museum, so you don't need to worry in case you get hungry. As you can re-enter the museum any time on the same day with your ticket, you could go to other places in the park after seeing some sections and come back to see the rest later.
Facing Monet's Water Lilies pond, the museum café is a perfect place for lunch.
The special kaisen-don (seafood bowl) made with plenty of Naruto's specialty seafood, and curry plate inspired by the Venus de Milo are always popular at the café. They also create various limited menus according to the themes of museum events and seasons.
New limited-time-only sweets featuring famous paintings in the museum arrive on menu frequently, so there is always something different to enjoy here at any time of the year.
45m up in the air, walking above the great Naruto whirlpools
Always visible from anywhere in the Naruto Park, the huge Onaruto Bridge connects Tokushima and Awaji Island. The narrow sea beneath is the Naruto Strait, known worldwide as one of the world's three major tidal currents.
The whirlpools are like the symbol of Naruto, so there is no need to explain how famous they are.
During the spring and fall high tides, hundreds of thousands of tourists come to see the world's largest whirlpools, which can grow as large as 20 meters in diameter at times.
Pedestrians are not allowed to walk on the Onaruto Bridge, but can go through a very long pedestrian promenade, called the "Uzu-no-michi (Whirlpool way),” extending on the underside of the bridge to just above the whirlpools.
The path is 45 meters above the sea and 450 meters long. That is a bit less than 1 km for the round trip and should be a good light workout as well.
In addition to the observation deck at the end of the promenade, multiple viewing spots are placed along the way from where you can see the entire blue ocean around you.
The observation deck has glass floors, which might make your heart beat a bit faster if you are afraid of heights.
It is both exciting and thrilling to watch the fishing boats as they swiftly cut across the milder whirling currents to travel through the straits.
The whirlpools are most likely to form twice a day.
Since the estimated best times change from day to day depending on the tide, make sure to check the Whirlpool Expectation Chart at the top of the Whirlpool Way website and come to the path at the best time.
Fishing and BBQ while still working on the sea
Would you like to work and play all at once in an environment unique to Naruto, the city of the sea, which is not possible in mountain areas?
Then, why not take the plunge and go "on the sea"?
Uchinoumi is an inland sea in Naruto City. Surrounded on its three sides by mountains, it looks like a large lake, but it connects to the open sea by three straits.
Looking down from an view point on top of a mountain, what look like small square beads scattered all over the sea are aquaculture cages and rafts.
Uchinoumi is a major spot for leisure fishing on aquaculture rafts.
Download『The Fishing Paradise! Naruto, Tokushima』to learn about fishing in Naruto and fishing boat/raft services
There are several fishing boat services that take you to the fishing rafts around the Uchinoumi inland sea area. This time, let’s try a fishing boat and raft provided by Fujimoto Suisan fishery.
All fishing gear and bait can be rented, so you can come empty-handed. A whole set of equipment for BBQ on the raft is available for rent too.
All you need to bring for BBQ are the foods you like. If you would like to taste Fujimoto fishery’s signature farmed sea breams with your BBQ, you can order them when you make a reservation.
The start time can be adjusted to your wish. When you want to just relax and work remotely while fishing rather than seeing how many fish you can catch, you can start later in the day.
About a 10 minute-long pleasant fishing boat cruise from Musa Fishing Port, the meeting point, takes you to the raft, located almost in the center of the Uchinoumi inland sea.
Say goodbye to the boat for now until the arranged end time. Even in the middle of the sea, the phone signal is good here, so in case you change your plan or anything else, you can contact the Fujimotos.
The inland sea water is so quiet and calm, and the raft is spacious and stable with several floats tied beneath it. Setting up your gadgets and a power supply on the table, you are ready to work.
A big container-full of krill (small shrimp) are the bait for today and can be ordered when making a booking. First, throw them into the sea to attract fish, and then drop the fishing lines.
Shadows of fish, large and small, are moving in the clear deep water. They appear to be attracted by the bait. Regardless of your experience level in fishing, even a complete beginner, it can be surprisingly easy to catch many fish during the right time they are active.
You can of course take home the fish you catch in your icebox.
Just relaxing on the quiet sea under the blue sky and the gentle breeze, and sometimes working at the table... It is a very luxurious way to spend a day.
Another article about the fishing on the rafts in the Uchinoumi inland sea.
“Fishing and BBQ on floating rafts in Naruto”
When you get hungry, light charcoal to make the fire in the BBQ grill.
After eating, you can simply leave the leftover charcoal in the grill and put the garbage in the trash box provided on the raft. Other than bringing your food, there is no preparation or cleanup you need to do, making it a completely stress-free experience, great service for a relaxing day.
When your stomach is stuffed, make coffee and just chill out.
A workcation on the sea, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, is an unique activity Naruto city can offer. It is a different experience from what you can do in mountainous area.
● Aoawo Naruto Resort
16-45, Oge, Tosadomariura, Narutocho, Naruto, Tokushima Tel: 088-687-2580
“Workcation in Tokushima” stay plans
● Otsuka Museum of Art
65-1, Fukuike, Tosadomariura, Narutocho, Naruto, Tokushima Tel: 088-687-3737
● Onaruto Bridge Promenade “Uzu no michi”
Inside Naruto Park, Narutocho, Naruto, Tokushima Tel: 088-683-6262
● Fujimoto Fishery（Uchinoumi Fishing boats and rafts）
Musa fishery port, Setocho, Naruto, Tokushima Tel: 088-688-0686