Capturing Whirlpools.

Hario Seto, one of Japan’s three stormiest currents, is famous for its whirlpools created by the large volumes of water moving between the Seto Island Sea and the Pacific Ocean between high and low tide, combined with the unique underwater geography of the narrow strait. The rate of whirlpools appearing increases particularly at springtime due to the great difference between the tides. The whirlpools can vary in size, depending on the intensity of the tides. According to the change of tides, the whirlpools occur roughly every six hours and can typically be seen once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Under ideal conditions, whirlpools of up to 20 meters in diameter can be observed. On the other hand, there is not much to see on calm days or outside of the peak times. So far we haven’t been able to catch any sights of really big whirlpools as we have not been in Japan long enough to enjoy the spring time yet. But you are still able to enjoy the scenery and park activities surrounding the Saikai area and two of the most well-known bridges here in Nagasaki prefecture- the Saikai and Shinsaikai Bridges.

Saikaibashi Park:

The Saikai Bridge is a fixed-brace arch bridge 244 meters in length and 1,927 meters tall. The bridge was completed in 1955.

The Saikai Bridge
The Saikai Bridge.

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Flowers on the path to the park.
Flowers on the path to the park.
Very steep steps found all around this area- great thigh and butt workout :)
Very steep steps found all around this area- great thigh and butt workout 🙂
Another of nature's beauty.
Another of nature’s beauty.
Pretty flower bushes in the fall.
Pretty flower bushes in the fall.
Overview of the park area.
Overview of the park area.
Japanese family playing frisbee in the park.
Japanese family playing frisbee in the park.
"Pick up your dog's poop in the park" sign :)
“Pick up your dog’s poop in the park” sign 🙂
Gorgeous view from one of the hills in the park.
Gorgeous view from one of the hills in the park.
Another view (the large buiding you see is a hotel- I think- on the other side of the island bay).
Another view (the large buiding you see is a hotel- I think- on the other side of the island bay).
Beautiful!
Beautiful!
Another view of the park as a whole.
Another view of the park as a whole.
Clock.
Clock.
Grass slide.
Grass slide.
Ready?
Ready?
Set...
Set…
...set...
…set…
GO!
GO!
Roll your slide across this strip to get some extra static to whip down the hill faster!
Holy friction!! Roll your slide across this strip to get some extra static to whip down the hill faster!
Close up of this "grass" slide.
Close up of this “grass” slide.
Japanese players enjoying a game of baseball in the park, next to the grass slide.
Japanese players enjoying a game of baseball in the park, next to the grass slide.

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Rollar slide next to the "grass" slide.
Rollar slide next to the “grass” slide.
Awesome shot of this "hummingbird" looking thing near the flowers and berries!
Awesome shot of this “hummingbird” looking thing near the flowers and berries!

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Landscaping down near the shore.
Landscaping down near the shore.
Japanese spiders are HUGE and their webs are all over! You must look whenever walking anywhere so as not to get tangled in one!
Japanese spiders are HUGE and their webs are all over! You must look whenever walking anywhere so as not to get tangled in one!
Seaside view.
Seaside view.

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Today, the Saikai Bridge has a companion bridge that was completed in 2006. The second new bridge, Shinsaikai Bridge, has opened across this channel and is gaining popularity. This bridge is part of a toll road, but the footbridge built under the bridge can be accessed for free. From the footbridge, you can enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace, and also view the powerful whirlpools from the 60cm diameter windows made of tempered glass in floor of the observation area set up in the middle.

Shinsaikai Bridge
Shinsaikai Bridge
Panoramic view of both bridges and the Saikai area.
Panoramic view of both bridges and the Saikai area.
Steve.
Steve.
Me.
Me.
Another park area by this bridge.
Another park area by this bridge.
View from a lookout.
View from a lookout.
Heading to the walkway under the bridge.
Heading to the walkway under the bridge.
Catwalk under the bridge.
Catwalk under the bridge.

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View of the red Saikai bridge from the walkway.
View of the red Saikai bridge from the walkway.
The three Hario Wireless Towers can be seen in the distance. From there, a coded message was transmitted that launched the attack on Pearl Harbor and triggered the Pacific War on December 7, 1941.
The three Hario Wireless Towers can be seen in the distance. From there, a coded message was transmitted that launched the attack on Pearl Harbor and triggered the Pacific War on December 7, 1941.
Looking below...
Looking below…
Cool flower! (NOT photo shopped either!!)
Cool flower! (NOT photo shopped either!!)

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Steve by the whirlpools.
Steve by the whirlpools.

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Lindsay View All →

Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!

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