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