Awaji Island: Mythical Birthplace of Japan *RERUN
Awaji Island is the largest island in the Seto Inland Sea. From ancient times, Awaji has been known as "Japan's Foodstore," and local fish have, down the years, been presented to the Imperial Court. The island is also proud of its connection to the legend of the 2 gods, Izanagi and Izanami, who gave birth to Japan. The story of Japan's origins describes how the gods passed the country on to the people. Awaji Island is where it all began.

The Naruto Whirlpools

The Naruto Strait is at the island's southern tip. The narrow strait, combined with the high and low tide in the east and west, causes a strong current which creates the Naruto Whirlpools, known in Japanese as Naruto no Uzushio. Tidal flows in the strait can reach 20km an hour. From ancient times, local people have been blessed with a rich harvest from this strait.

Advanced Reservoir Technology

There are 23,000 reservoirs on Awaji Island. The island has hardly any rivers, and the average rainfall is only two-thirds of the national average. Long ago, the Inland Sea served as an important sea route connecting major areas in Japan with China and the Korean Peninsula. Awaji Island, located just prior to the route's final destination, likely became a focal point for people and technology. The reservoirs were one example of the advanced technology that was brought to the island.

The Winds of Gratitude

In Japan, incense sticks are burned to honor the dead. They are a familiar part of everyday life. Awaji Island is responsible for nearly half of Japan's entire production of incense sticks. The westerly breeze from the Inland Sea, which blows all year round, enabled the area to become a major production site. Slowly drying the sticks is the secret to creating a fragrant product that does not warp.