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Visiting Japan’s Awaji Island: Checking Out Why Craft Circus Became so Popular!

Visiting Japan’s Awaji Island: Checking Out Why Craft Circus Became so Popular!

Date published: 19 September 2019
Last updated: 6 July 2020

Set amidst a stunning natural backdrop surrounded by blue sea, Awaji Island is a fascinating place to visit, with interesting things to see and do and delicious food to eat. CRAFT CIRCUS, the island's hippest location, had its grand opening in spring 2017. Its Instagrammable views and holiday resort atmosphere is a hit with young girls and families. We’ve come to visit to find out why it’s become so popular!

Feel the excitement from the moment you arrive! A Circus by the sea

CRAFT CIRCUS is 15 minutes’ drive from the Hokudan Interchange on the Kobe Awaji Naruto Expressway, or 10 minutes from the Awaji IC. Exit at the interchange, drive along the stunning coastline and take in the glamour!

▲The Main Entrance resembles the South of France (although I’ve never been!)

Awaji Island is sometimes referred to as “Hyogo’s Hawaii,” where you can enjoy a drink or meal, go round the market or see a performance. As the name suggests, it’s a fun and lively place to visit, with all the excitement of a circus.

▲An elephant greets you at the entrance (it’s so lifelike!)
▲ A rest stop, shaped like an onion (made locally). Three adults could have a nap in here if they wanted! Cool and comfortable inside.
▲The chairs may look off-balance but they’re very comfortable! Children and adults alike love them!

Take a photo before you enter. There’s so much here to thrill and excite your inner child.

Open air market featuring fun and colorful goods from all over the world.

Open air market featuring fun and colorful goods from all over the world.

Start at the front and enter the building on the right. The Right Wing is where the market is located. Here you’ll find an international flea market selling unique, colorful items such pottery, bags and accessories from Italy, France, Bali or Vietnam, as well as hand-crafted goods made in the local area or off the island. There are plenty of bargains available with many overseas items attractively discounted.

▲Locally-made specialty alphabet letter tiles (180 yen each, tax excluded). Buy the letters of your name or your favorite word to create an interesting ornament.
▲An array of colorful accessories, such as pottery, wallets, sunglasses and hats.
▲Sandals and umbrellas, useful for the upcoming holiday season. Perfect for souvenirs and gifts.

There are plenty of unique items here to take your fancy. It’s also a great place just for browsing.

If you feel a bit peckish after shopping, then head to the restaurant!

Sample some of Awaji’s most popular dishes in the restaurant

As you come out of the market area, head to the Kitchen Center.

▲Order your food and drink here. Meat and seafood dishes and desserts are laid out for you to choose from in the display cabinets.

There is seating for 200 people on the spacious wooden terrace deck.

▲Enjoy a pleasant breeze as you eat your lunch or dinner. Amazing!

The menu features a whole variety of interesting dishes using ingredients from Awaji Island. These hip and trendy dishes are just like you’d eat at a holiday resort. The portions are huge.

For example, take a look at Awaji Island Craft Paella, with fresh seafood and Awaji onions.

▲Delicious paella, featuring fresh seafood, such as prawns and squid. Bursting with seafood flavor!

A 40cm serving for 3 to 4 people is 3,800 yen excluding tax; a 60cm serving for 5 to 8 people costs 7,800 yen excluding tax. There’s also an extra-large size paella which has to be carried to your table by two servers. Sometimes, when people haven’t made up their minds they smell the delicious aromas from someone else’s paella or see how good it looks, and decide to order one for themselves!

You can also have a BBQ here - all the necessary ingredients and cooking equipment are supplied for you.

▲Awaji Beef Craft BBQ Set Meal (1- 2 people/4,980 yen, tax excluded), featuring a large sirloin steak with homemade sausages and vegetables.

Just grill and cook the way you want and start eating! There are plenty of other unmissable dishes to try!

▲Awaji Beef and Onions Mega Craft Burger (1,680 yen, tax excluded). The sweet onions go perfectly with the soft, succulent meat!
▲There’s nothing better than drinking a frozen fruit cider (700 yen, tax excluded) with a stunning sea view in front of you!

Authentic taste with plenty of fruit. If you want to taste a variety of different dishes from the menu, why not come as a group and share a range of dishes between you?

Seats on the terrace right by the sea! Feel the pleasant breeze on your face and relax with stunning views of the sea and the nearby Honshu mainland. When you’ve eaten, you can just chill out.

And if it rains, don’t worry! The Left Wing is for indoor dining, with seating for 190 people. There’s plenty of space for everyone.

Check out the weekend only events and sunset views

Live events, such as music and dance, are held on the terrace on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays

▲Scene from a past event. Pleasant music against the backdrop of the Harima Sea

Enjoy a drink as you take in a performance by a local artist, or musicians from Kobe and Osaka. Enjoy a weekend that will sate all your senses.

Our top recommendation is sitting on the terrace at sunset.

▲Take a look at this beautiful sunset!

The view from the terrace at dusk has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 Best Sunset Views. You just can’t take your eyes off it until the sun has finally disappeared...

▲The sun sinking slowly into the wide open sea makes a perfect photo opportunity!

Enjoy a late lunch and chat with your friends as you wait for the sunset, or take in the enchanting views over a leisurely dinner. It’s an Instagrammable setting ideal for sharing with friends and loved ones.

Dog lovers are also welcome here. There’s even dedicated space on the terrace for your pet.

CRAFT CIRCUS is the place to come for great food and shopping as well as stunning views. It’s a perfect summer destination for couples or friends, colleagues and family.

  • CRAFT CIRCUS Seaside Market & Restaurant
    シーサイドマーケット&レストラン CRAFT CIRCUS(クラフトサーカス)
    • Address 2-2 Nojimahirabayashi, Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture
    • Phone Number 0799-82-1855
    • Opening hours: 10:30AM - Sunset
      Closed: Thursdays (Open if Thursday is a public holiday) * Open throughout August

Text by:SPC

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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