Kanmon Straits
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Kanmon Straits

Ships entering the Inland Sea from China or Korea snake through the Kanmon Straits that separate the islands of Honshu and Kyushu—a passage so tight that it measures less than a kilometer (a half mile) at its narrowest point. To call this throughway on the sea’s northwestern side strategic would barely cover its historic importance as a route into the Inland Sea. Both sides of the passage are highly urbanized today and bisected by the long Kanmon suspension bridge, but in the feudal age the straits were guarded by castles perched atop steep forested hills.

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