Embark on a new stage of life with a symbolic boat journey!

Spring is the time of year for students to graduate, and whatever school or level you’re graduating, you deserve to celebrate! This year, why not treat yourself with a boat trip to the world’s biggest whirlpools?

The Uzushio Cruise departs from Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture and takes you on a boat tour of the famous whirling tides in the waters that separate Shikoku from Hyogo prefecture. In spring and summer, tide currents of the Pacific Ocean and the Seto Inland Sea crash against each other, causing vortexes of up to 20 meters (65 feet) in diameter, the largest in the world.

That’s why cruises of the area are highly popular, and it’s the perfect destination for a spring graduation trip. Uzushio Cruises, which runs hourly cruises past the whirlpools, are having a Sotsu Uzu ’24 campaign from February 1 to March 31 for any junior high, high school, vocational school, trade school, university or graduate student planning to graduate this spring. Graduates can board the cruise for just 2,000 yen (US$13.45) per ticket, though non-graduates can also ride any of the Uzushio Cruise ships for the usual price of 2,500 yen.

Not only will passengers get to see the world’s largest tidal whirlpools, but graduates will also receive a special congratulatory message from the boat’s captain while out to sea, and be honored with a celebratory banner and begiven a sticker to wear to receive congratulations from the staff and crew.

They’re also holding a special event where, before or after departure, you can write your wishes on an ema, the wooden wish boards commonly seen at Shinto shrines, so you can send your hopes and dreams for what comes next out into the universe.

Lastly, they’ll have a cherry tree section of the boat meant to send you off to a good start. Write your messages about graduating or moving on to a new a school to put on the tree and make it look like it’s in full bloom. The trip is all about new experiences and fresh starts, so it’s a great way to embark on the next phase of your life.

▼ On certain days you’ll even be seen off by a puppet of Ebisu, the god of commercial prosperity, courtesy of Awaji Ningyo-za Puppet Theater!

Now, if that’s not enough, there are also three departures on March 10, 23, and 24 which will be offering a special “Sotsu Uzu Mankitsu Plan,” which gives you a chance to experience captaining a boat yourself for 5,000 yen!

You’ll be one of only ten per ride given a captain’s hat and jacket to wear for photos with an instant camera, a chance to observe the wheelhouse, and a special swirling tide amulet to take home. No doubt it will be an experience full of memories!

To graduate is to embark on a new journey in life, so why not symbolize the start of it by embarking on a trip by boat? For reservations, head to the Uzushio Cruise homepage, or visit the ticket window with a student card that provides proof of your graduation. If you’re not an upcoming graduate, you can still book a ride; you just won’t get the discounted ticket and all the cool celebratory things that go along with it.

And while you’re on Awaji Island, you might as well check out their anime theme park Nijigen no Mori and the Hello Kitty theater restaurant Hello Kitty Show Box!

Related: Uzushio Cruise official website
Source, images: @Press

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