May 7, 2016
Amanohashidate is one of the most scenic spots in Japan. It is located in the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture on Miyazu Bay. It is one of Japan’s three most celebrated scenic sights, selected amongst many beautiful sights all over Japan. The other two are Matsuhima in Miyagi prefecture, and Miyajima in Hiroshima Prefecture.
Amanohashidate is special because it provides visitors with an amazing view of a tree-covered sandbar that spans a pretty ocean bay. The sand is pure white, and there are approximately 8,000 pines trees growing on it. Also, as the oldest place of strong energy in Japan, there are three shrines in the region: Manai Shrine, Amanohashidate Shrine, and Motoise-kono Shrine. For these reasons, many tourists make the trip to northern Kyoto Prefecture each year.
There are actually a number of different views around Amanohashidate that tourists can experience, not just one. The most famous – Naname Moji – is a view from a nearby mountain, in a place called Kasamatsu Park.
People can see Amanohashidate in the form of a diagonal character from Kasamatsu Park. It is called Naname moji, which means ‘diagonal character’. This view is an iconic view representing Kyoto Prefecture. All Japanese recognize it when they see it.
Tourists can also see Amanohashidate from Kasamatsu park by bending over and looking at it from between their legs. This view is called Matanozoki. If people do that, the sea is above and the sky is below, which makes the sandbar appear to be a bridge over heaven.
While Naname Moji and Matanozoki are the most well-known views, there are actually many other views for tourists to experience while they are at Amanohashidate.
Tourists can also see the scenery of Amanohasidate from a different perspective if they climb to the top of Bunsyu-Mountain from the north side. As the name Hiryukan suggests, the view looks like appearance of a dragon climbing to heaven.
Another interesting view of Amanohashidate is from Oouchimisakiichigikan park on the west side.
Tourists can also see the scenery of Amanohasidate from the east side. In addition to beautiful views, the Amanohasidate region has many other attractions for tourists to enjoy.
Isoshimizu is a small shrine within walking distance from Amanohashidate Station. It has a strange feature: the spring water inside the shrine is surprisingly fresh. One would expect it to be salty because it is surrounded by the sea, but it is not salty at all.
Amanohashidate is said to have a very old and strong energy in Japan. It is known as a power spot. There are three shrines that are said to contain this power: Manai shrine, Amanohashidate shrine and Motoise-kono shrine.
This Shine is also located in Amanohashidate. It has another name: Kushi-hamanomiya. Kushi means ‘mysterious power’. A legend says that this is where the gods of the grand shrine at Ise moved. It contains the main gods of the inner and outer shines of Ise, making it a very special place. This shrine is within walking distance of Isekono-Shrine Station.
This shrine is quietly located in Amanohashidate. When people pray at this shrine, they will fulfill their love. Many couples come to this miraculous place to put stones top of the shrine gate. This shrine can be reached from either Amanohashidate Station or Isoshimizu, where it is within walking distance.
There is like retro-style post box in Amanohashidate. A legend says that when people send a letter from this retro post box, they will get power. If people have a special person or family member, their may wish come true.
Tourists can play this game in Amanohashidate. People throw tiles at rings. A legend says that if you get the tiles into the rings, your dreams come true and your bad luck will go away. One play costs 300 yen.
If couples hang a key with a message on a string from the view of Kasamatsu park over Amanohashidate, their wish for love is said to reach the sky. This is a romantic place. One key costs 700 yen.
Also from Kasmatsu Park, there is a large bell. If people ring the bell while making a wish, their wish will come true. It is popular for lovers to ring this bell and make a wish together.
In sum, if you visit the Kansai region during your stay in Japan, you should definitely make the trip to Amanohashidate. It is such a beautiful and powerful place that people are said to shed tears at the experience.
Access from Kyoto
There is express train to to Amanohashidate from Kyoto statio. It takes 2.5 hours one way. The fare is 4,500 yen, which is a bit cheaper than the cost of normal trains.
There is also a bus from Kyoto Station to Amanohashidate Station. It takes 1.5 hours, and only costs 2,800 yen.