“The best two of Awaji, its onion and beef, fuse in a bun.”

My friends and I took a driving trip around Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture. The excursion took us to the most southern tip of the island, which led us to a shop offering award-winning hamburgers at Awaji Island Onion Beef Burger.

Awaji Island Onion Beef Burger is located right next to Onaruto Bridge, which connects Awaji Island to Tokushima. The burger we all had was the signature Onion Beef Burger which is famous for being an award-winning burger from several competitions.

The menu ranges from a standard burger with one meat patty to a luxurious steak burger which has a hefty price tag of ¥3,500. The award-winning burger costs ¥600 alone or ¥1,000 with the set of fries or onion rings with soda of your choice. It only took 5-minutes until the burger was ready to be served.

The burger itself is very juicy and full of flavor. The combination of the meat and the fried onion rings were splendid and soothed our mouths so much. The fries which came with the set was prepared well and at the right temperature. However, there is only one lacking point which is the small quantity of the meat in the burger, which might be due to the high pricing of Awaji beef.

As mentioned above, the temple site is ancient since it dates back to more than 1000 years ago — Heian Jidai for the connoisseurs — but the structure built by Ando dates back to 1991. It is home to a statue of Yakushi Nyorai, a Buddhist deity meant to protect people from diseases. The statue is designated as a National Treasure.

But to arrive that far you will have to through the graveyard and then cross the thick circular walls that will lead you to a pond where you should see lotuses if you go there during the right season — unlike us — hence its other name, “Water Temple”. From there, follow the stairs that will take you down to this unique circular temple bathed in the typical red colour (shuiro) of the Japanese temples.

If you arrive at the right time during the day the whole place is likely to be blessed by sunrays that will emphasize the colours and shadows of the place. As you can expect in a temple, the place is peaceful and quiet but the fact that this one is underground and that the light comes from above provides a specific atmosphere to it and makes it even more special.

You may have had your fill of crowded temples in Kyoto or Nara but I have never visited anything like this one and I do believe that it deserves your attention as much as the lovely Awaji-shima.

Written by: Pawin Win Yenphrapai