Awaji Yumebutai

We made a trip out to Awaji Island, part of Hyogo Prefecture and sitting right between the main island and Shikoku. There are bridges on both north and south ends, allowing drivers, but not cyclists, to move from Honshu to Shikoku by passing through the island. The northern part of Awaji is accessible by car or bus via the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, which spans over the Akashi Strait. 

Awaji-Kaikyo Bridge: Sumiyoshi-Taisha to Awaji (140km on TT bike).  Taken 7.21.2013. 

Awaji-Kaikyo Bridge: Sumiyoshi-Taisha to Awaji (140km on TT bike). Taken 7.21.2013. 

I had been to the base of the bridge a few times before. Once in 2011, were it was the turn around point for the Kobe Marathon and again in 2013 when I did a long ride on the TT bike from Osaka to Kobe. On a foggy day, the distant mist along Awaji eats up the island, leaving a eerie bridge that suddenly disappears into the fog over the water.

Today's visit was to Awaji Yumebutai, a park designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, whose interesting works can be found in various places throughout Japan. According to the website, the land where the park was originally built was taken to make artificial islands in the area, thus the park was made to restore what nature had been taken away. The park acts as a giant botanical garden with both outdoor structures and greenhouses. With very few people visiting and the massive size of the area, it made for a good day wandering around without being disturbed.