Photo/IllutrationA sightseeing vessel ventures close to the famed whirlpools of the Naruto Strait that carve a sea lane between Hyogo and Tokushima prefectures on March 15. (Gen Hashimoto)

  • Photo/Illustraion

NARUTO, Tokushima Prefecture--The remarkably powerful whirlpools in waters off this city are approaching their twirling climax as spring makes her entry.

The swirling sea of the Naruto Strait is at its most dynamic in spring and autumn, when the tidal range is at its widest, according to the Naruto City Uzushio Tourist Association.

But spring edges autumn if you want to catch a glimpse of the whirlpools at their extravagant best, which is due to robust southerly seasonal winds.

Visitors planning to visit can ask the association ( for advice about the day and the time when the whirlpools will be at their most tantalizing.

The Naruto Strait is located between Awajishima island in Hyogo Prefecture and Shikoku, the smallest of the main islands.

Having a V-shaped seabed, the currents flowing in and out of the Naruto Strait are slower along the sides and faster in the middle. The conflicting water speeds create the whirlpools.