Dofuchi Strait – Tonosho, Japan - Atlas Obscura

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Dofuchi Strait

Tonosho, Japan

The world's narrowest strait is often mistaken for a canal. 


Japan loves Guinness World Records. From the number of vending machines to the world’s smallest escalator, it holds numerous world records and always pushes for more to boast about.

Dofuchi Strait in southern Japan was one of its many submissions to Guinness, and in 1996 it was designated as the narrowest strait in the world. Previously unnamed, it was given the name Dofuchi (土渕) at the time of its submission after its hometown of Tonoshō (土庄), and the district of Fuchizaki (渕崎) located on the opposite side.

The narrowest part of it is only 32.5 feet (9.93 meters) wide, which makes it a stark contrast to the broadest straits in the world, most of which span for tens of thousands of meters at their narrowest points. Though it stretches on for little over a mile, Dofuchi Strait may be mistaken for some common canal as concrete revetments cover both of its banks.

Know Before You Go

Although the name is often mistaken as "Dobuchi" Strait, the correct name is Dofuchi. The town hall nearby offers a certificate of "strait-crossing" for 100 yen.

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December 2, 2021

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