Kuronoseto Strait, which is situated between Akune City and the town of Nagashima, is considered one of Japan's three great rapid tides. This magnificent strait connects the East China Sea to the Yatsushiro Sea. The rapid waters that flow through the narrow strait are ferocious in their intensity. At low tide, it is possible to see tidal whirlpools. It is not surprising that such a perilous pass made transport difficult in ancient times. The channel is also widely acknowledged as the border of Satsuma/Kagoshima, its scenic beauty calling to mind famous romantic exploits. It is an area that affords a number of popular tourist attractions, including the Kuronoseto Bridge, the Kajiorebana Park viewing platform and dolphin watching. It is also an ideal fishing location. A number of scattered fishing 'leisure' spots have since gained large popularity.
Kuronoseto Strait is a channel that connects the East China Sea to the Yatsushiro Sea. 400km long with a width of 500m, it is quite narrow. It is said that, at their fastest, rapids travel along the strait at a rate of 12 knots. This is why there are whirlpools at low tide. Spring tides also give rise to ferocious rapids, during which visitors can see an array of big and small whirlpools. Owing to the ebb and flow of the tides, the best time to see large, powerful rapids is from the end of March through April.
In ancient times, this scenic spot was known as 'The Strait of the Hayato People'. Emperor Nagata composed, among many others, a song/poem entitled 'The Strait of the Hayato People - Though Far Away, I May Find It This Cloudless Day'. This poem appears in 'The Collection of 10,000 Leaves', an 8th century anthology of Japanese poetry, honoring the strait with a special mention in history. The poems outline in specific detail the way in which 'The Strait of the Hayato People' is situated in the southernmost region of the area.
In feudal times, contemporary trade ferries crossed the strait, and continued to be commissioned up until the time of the Meiji Restoration. However, in 1974, the construction of the Kuronoseto Bridge enabled Nagashima to be connected to the mainland. Kuronoseto Strait has also become an important transport route to Amakusa and Nagasaki.
Near the center of Kuronoseto Strait, at its narrowest point, is a headland cape. The tip of this cape is called 'Kajiorebana' or 'Broken Rudder Nose '. This site inspired a tale from the ancient past. According to legend, a ship broke its rudder, washed up on the Origuchi Coast and turned into a rock. Ever after, the location became known as a perilous pass. These days, the Kuronoseto Bridge/Pier is a central sight-seeing spot. From here, you can view the nearby rapid whirlpools and admire the stunning views afforded by the strait. There is a well-situated viewing platform that looks out onto the coast and the surrounding area is lined with cherry blossom trees. One particular highlight is when the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom; the delicate, light pink blossoms create a stark contrast to the ferocious current of the rapids. A scenic promenade has been constructed along the sides of the channel, most suitable for walking and running. The night sky, full of stars, is also a must-see.