It's also reachable via ferry and bridge. There is a tunnel for walkers at the narrowest point across the Kanmon Straits.
Buddhist temple in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
building in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Shimonoseki (下関市 Shimonoseki-shi) has been at the center of Japanese history for centuries, but it's best known to culinary daredevils as the home of fugu, a pufferfish as cute looking as it is potentially lethal.
If you're coming from a long distance, the best option is to take a Nozomi or Hikari train to Kokura on Kyushu, and then backtrack on the San'yo Main Line via Moji Station in Kitakyushu. By this route, Shimonoseki can be reached by Nozomi in about 5 1/2 hours from Tokyo and 2 1/2 hours from Osaka.
The Dream Fukufuku bus runs overnight from Tokyo and Yokohama (15 1/2 hours, ¥13000). Another Fukufuku departs nightly from Osaka Umeda (10 hours, ¥9150).
Daily ferries run by Kampu Ferry (tel. +81 83-224-3000) connect to Busan in South Korea. Ferries leave Busan at 8PM and arrive in Shimonoseki at 8AM the next morning, and leave Shimonoseki at 7PM for an 8:30AM arrival in Busan (8AM on Monday). 2nd class one-way tickets cost ¥9000, making this the cheapest way to get from Japan to another country. Arrive a few hours early for visa inspection, though!
For those travelling the expressways and only wanting a bit of fugu, even the Nexco Parking Areas either side of the Kanmon Bridge offer it in a variety of pre-prepared forms including frozen sashimi omiyage platters. The views are rather nice too making it a worthwhile break regardless.
For those travelling by way of thumb, note the aforementioned parking areas are easily accessible on foot and frequented almost as much as the standard Service Area. The Kyushu side stop services northbound traffic and the Honshu southbound.
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