Tsugaru Strait (津軽海峡, Tsugaru Kaikyō?) is a channel between Honshu and Hokkaido in northern Japan connecting the Sea of Japan with the Pacific Ocean. It was named after the western part of Aomori Prefecture. The Seikan Tunnel passes under it at its narrowest point (19.5 km) between Tappi Misaki on the Tsugaru Peninsula in Aomori, Honshū and Shirakami Misaki on the Matsumae Peninsula in Hokkaidō.
Japan's territorial waters extend to three nautical miles (5.6 km) into the strait instead of the usual twelve, reportedly to allow nuclear-armed United States Navy warships and submarines to transit the strait without violating Japan's prohibition against nuclear weapons in its territory.
The Tsugaru Strait has eastern and western necks, both approximately 20 km across with maximum depths of 200 and 140 m respectively.
In the past, the most common way for passengers and freight to cross the strait was on ferries, approximately a four-hour journey. Now the Seikan Tunnel provides a convenient but more expensive alternative and approximately halves the travel time in comparison to ferrying. When Shinkansen trains can traverse the tunnel to Hakodate (scheduled for 2015), the journey time will be cut to 50 minutes.
On September 26, 1954 1,172 lives were lost when the ferry Tōya Maru sank in the strait.
Thomas Blakiston, an English explorer and naturalist, noticed that animals in Hokkaido were related to northern Asian species, whereas those on Honshu to the south were related to those from southern Asia. The Tsugaru Strait was therefore established as a major zoogeographical boundary, and became known as the "Blakiston Line".
Other articles related to "tsugaru, tsugaru strait, strait":
... There they merge into the Tsugaru Current and flow into the Pacific Ocean through the Tsugaru Strait ... feed the Sōya Current and exit through the La Perouse Strait to the Sea of Okhotsk ... partly because of the inflow of salty water through the Korea Strait ...
... took the title, and in one bound leaped over not only the Shirakawa Barrier but also the Tsugaru Strait separating Hokkaido from Honshū ... flag back home, at the moment the plane crossed the Tsugaru Strait, the passengers joined in unison for a celebration cheer ...
Famous quotes containing the word strait:
“We approached the Indian Island through the narrow strait called Cook. He said, I xpect we take in some water there, river so high,never see it so high at this season. Very rough water there, but short; swamp steamboat once. Dont paddle till I tell you, then you paddle right along. It was a very short rapid. When we were in the midst of it he shouted paddle, and we shot through without taking in a drop.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)