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Article written by Anh
Kyoto is hugged by the Sea of Japan and has many wonderful sea sightseeing spots. Among them, “Amanohashidate”, which is famous throughout the country, is a scenic spot that attracts thousands of visitors every day. It is a nearly 3-hour drive by car from Osaka.
Amanohashidate is located in Miyazu Bay in the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture. Together with “Matsushima” in Mutsu (Miyagi Prefecture) and “Miyajima” in Aki (Hiroshima Prefecture), it is one of the special scenic spots called “Japan's Three Views” 日本三景.
The outstanding thing of Amanohashidate is that there are 8,000 pine trees on the sandy beach which is about 20-170m wide and 3.6km long connecting the Monju mainland in the south with Fuchu in the north.
This sandland running across Asokai beach is said to have been named Amanohashidate 天橋立 because it looks like a bridge over the sky.
Next, let us introduce the view spot on the hill where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery!
You can take a panorama look at the superb view called “Hiryukan” from “Amanohashidate View Land”. Amanohashidate View Land is a 5-minute walk from Amanohashidate Station on the Kyoto Tango Railway. Here you can see the view from the south of Amanohashidate that runs through Miyazu Bay from north to south.
You can go up to the observatory on the mountain by monorail or chair lift. Both are 850 yen for junior high school students and more, and 450 yen for elementary school students (both including tax). If you drive a car there and park at a nearby parking lot, you will get a 50 yen discount for the monorail/chair lift ticket. The monorail takes about 7 minutes one way, and the lift is about 6 minutes one way. We took the chair lift for a round trip because we wanted to enjoy the wind blowing our hair up and by using a chair lift, we had a broader view while descending the mountain.
At the viewpoint, it is common to see people looking upside down through their legs. It is believed that the boundary between the sea and the sky will disappear if you do so and Amanohashidate looks like a dragon flying in the sky. However, unfortunately, no matter how many times I tried, I could not see the dragon. I am not sure whether it was because of my limited imagination or not. There were a lot of clouds on that day, and it was a bit subtle for me personally, but on a day with no cloud, it is said that a powerful dragon will surely emerge.
There are also a Ferris wheel, cyclecar, shooting range, restaurants, and cafes and you can enjoy a little amusement park. This park is recommended for families with young children to come here and relax.
Again, we really recommend to go down using chair lifts. Because the descent is facing Amanohashidate. You can ride an open-air lift and go down the mountain while taking nice photos.
►February 21 to July 20/9:00 to 17:00
►July 21 to August 20, 8:30 to 18:00, August 21 Sunday-October 20/9 : 00-17: 00,
►October 21-February 20/9 : 00-16: 30
Amanohashidate is good to see the scenery from the hill, but it is also one of the attractions that you can actually go on foot or by bicycle.
After descending by lift, I decided to cross from the south side to the north side. There are many souvenir shops and restaurants on the south side, and there is also the “Chionji Temple Bunsendo” which is famous for the "Three important statues of Monju Bosatsu". Monju Bosatsu is a type of Buddha that represents intelligence.
Amanohashidate is about 3.6km long. It takes about 50 minutes on foot. I decided to rent a rental bicycle because it seems to consume some time (and physical strength).
Here is the information of bicycle rental service we used:
Amanohashidate Boat & Bicycle Rental
Kyoto Prefecture Miyazu City Bunju 466 (Passenger Ship Sales Office)
►8:30-17 : 30
►[Regular Holidays] None
►[Fee] Sightseeing Boat & Rental Cycle Tax-included 900 yen (Rental Cycle use is 2 hours. Sightseeing boat on the north side) Drop-off at the stop OK)
►0772-22-2164 (Tango land and sea transportation Ltd. Passenger sales office)
“Amanohashidate has long been a famous clam production area, and there is still clam fishing except in winter,” the landlady says. Well, we can't help ordering this. I feel that a lot of umami ingredients are contained in the light dashi. The pre-prepared clam is also crunchy and delicious. Recommended for those who like clams and shellfish, as well as those who want a light lunch.
There are lush pine trees on both sides of the promenade. There is no other scenery where such a row of pine trees floats in the sea, which is why it has been loved by many people since ancient times.
I found a small shrine where I walked about 1/3 of the walking path. It is "Amanohashidate Shrine" as said in the guidance. The history is old, and it is said that it was built as a guardian company of Chion-ji Bunsendo from the end of Heian to the Kamakura period. In fact, it is also famous as a power/haunted spot, and many women are visiting for the fulfillment of love.
Japan, 〒629-2242 Kyoto, Miyazu, 字 大垣 ７５
After finishing the visit to the sandbar, go to the Fuchu cable car station. The souvenir shops lined up-sell the famous fish dried fish, black chikuwa, and black bean souvenirs.
Address of Fuchu station:
Ogaki, Miyazu, Kyoto 629-2242, Japan
This is a very warm and cute cable car vehicle. The station building is in good condition. “Kasamatsu Park” is a hillside view spot with a view from the north side of Amanohashidate. Go up by cable car or lift. The cable car runs every 15 minutes and the ride time is 4 minutes. The lift runs anytime and takes 6 minutes. The fare is 330 yen for adults and 660 yen for round trips. Children are 170 yen each way and 330 yen round trip (all incl. Tax).
Arrived at the top of the mountain in no time. The view from Kasamatsu Park is called “Shoryukan”, which is said to represent the dragon rising up to the sky.
Next, we would like to introduce Nariaiji temple up on the hill. Nariaiji, the 28th temple of the 33rd Saisho in Nishikuni, is located in a scenic area overlooking Japan's Sankei Amanohashidate, and is originally an ancient mountain religion study place in Japan.
Since we heard that Nariaiji Temple on the hill would hold a light-up event at 18.00 pm, we arrived at Fuchu Station at 5 pm and waited for the free cable car at 17.20. The cable car is free only this day because of this special event. After reaching Kamatsura Park, there was free bus that drove us to the temple in 50 minutes. If you have time, you should pay for this temple a visit. The illumination is so breathtaking and there was also laser performance which made the whole atmosphere become vague and mysterious. In fact, many temples in Kyoto have light-up at weekends but this temple only held for two days only. You can check the information on the website: www.nariaiji.jp
339 Nariaiji, Miyazu, Kyoto 629-2241, Japan
We ended up our trip to Amanohashidate by watching the night view at the observatory of this temple. What a stunning and peaceful scenery!