Amanohashidate – 天橋立

Amanohashidate

Amanoshidate is one of the three Nihon Sankei (the three most scenic views of the traditional Japan).

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Since in the past, Amanoashidate was frequently depicted in many stamps and printings, such as the well known, either abroad, Ukiyo-e stamps. The other two famous views are Matsushima, in Miyagi Prefecture, and Miyajima, in Hiroshima Prefecture.

What’s special about Amanohashidate?

Amanohashidate (6)

Amanohashidate is located in a singular area, a 3.6 km long sandbar. This geographic feature formed about 8000 years ago, during the end of the glacial era, and nowadays about 8000 pine trees are growing on it. Also, since Heian era this area was considered one of the three wonders of Japan, and we can find a proof of this in this quote from the Koshibu no Naishi poem:

Overcame Mount Ōe, the journey to Tanba, passing through Ikuno is way too far […] I still haven’t stepped on Amanohashidate’s soil, I still haven’t read my mother’s lettersKoshibu no Naishi

How to reach Amanohashidate?

Click here for details.

Impressions

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We went to Amanohashidate in a cold winter day, some snow had just fallen.

Close to the Amanohashidate sandbar, there is a famous temple called Chion-ji: here people come to pray Monju Bosatsu-Zō in order to increase their knowledge and to pass school exams.

Once passed through Chion-ji, in order to reach the sandbar you have to cross a rotating bridge (it rotates about 90 degrees to allow little ships to enter in the lagoon) finally arriving to Amanohashidate. In front of your eyes you will see lots or pine trees, some of them are really old, sometimes venerated as deities and with proper names.

The narrowest part of Amanohashidate measures only 30 meteres. By looking at the sea in both the direction, We somehow could understand the importance of this place for Japanese people in the history: even if so apparently fragile and abandoned to the force of the sea and the nature, this tiny sandbar is still here after 8000 years. To cross all the sandbar it takes about 45 minutes, or 15 min by bycicle (you can rent it). Along the route there are resting areas, toilets and a little shrine.

In the southern side of Amanohashidate you can find Kasamatsu park and on its hill, reachable by a cable car and a chairlift, you can see the sandbar from the top. In addiction, here there is a platform where you can take the typical “matonozoki” pose, which consists in turning your back towards the sandbar, bend over your body and looking between your legs. From this point of view, the sandbar looks like a vertical and slim line.

The “matonozoki” pose

In certain periods in the year, Amanohashidate may see a real invasion of tourists, especially during Golden Week (around half of May) and Obon vacations (around the middle of August), so if possible let’s try to avoid these periods.

Amanohashidate is located along the sea, so fish is really good here. Also, in the surroundings there are many hot springs, so how about spending a night in a local ryōkan?

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4 Comments

  1. Vivien

    Hi there, I was wondering if you could help me with my question. I am planning to visit Amanohashidate and use the Amanohashidate Pass. Have you used it before? May I know where can I get one if possible in Kyoto? Thanks for the help 😀

  2. Aki

    Hello, Vivien.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Amanohashidate Pass is a relatively recent pass. Before when I went there I drove there by car.

    This is the information about the pass: http://www.amanohashidate.jp/lang/en/kyoto-sea-area-pass/

    It looks like you cannot buy it in Kyoto, but first need to reach Fukuchiyama Station, Where you need to change train to reach Amanohashidate.

    However, if you already have a Japan Rail Pass it is not so convenient, I guess…

  3. Xinlie

    Hi Aki,
    Im planning to visit Amanohashidate as well as Ine on one day trip. I will be getting Kyoto Sea Pass..
    Bus from Kyoto to Amanohashidate and going back by train.
    Can you please give me idea how to get my money worth by purchasing Kyoto Sea Pass ( non JR Pass).
    1. Does the Pass cover a free train ride from Amanohashidate to Fukuchiyama (non express one)..?
    2. Is there any other method to get to Ine, such as boat instead of bus..? If yes, does this pass cover that ride..?
    3. Can you please provide me a link where i can find the bus timetable and cost from Amanohashidate to Ine..?

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Thanks in advance, Aki.

    Regards,
    Xinlie

    1. Aki

      Hi, Xinlie.

      First of all, I apologise for the big delay in my answer. Hoping you still need this information, I will answer you by point:

      1. Are you sure you can still purchase the pass you mentioned? With a brief research I could understand that the pass was available until last year autumn.

      2. It looks like there are not public ferry services to Ine, but there is a sightseeing boat service in the area. You can get information here:
      http://www.inewan.com/02yuransen.html
      営業時間
      午前9時~午後4時(約25分周遊)
      毎時0分、30分毎に運航(繁忙期、多客時には15分毎に運航いたします。)
      一度に150名様までご乗船頂けます。船内は冷暖房完備となっています。
      運賃
      大人680円  子供340円

      The page is in Japanese only, so I only translate for you the main points:
      Service from 9 to 16, 25 minutes course. It departs every 30 minutes at :00 and :30. The price is 680 yen.

      3. Here is the timetable, in Japanese only.
      http://www.tankai.jp/kanko_jikoku.pdf

      In the table, on the left, the names of the bus stops. The third from the top is Amanohashidate Station, and Ine is where you can see “伊根”.
      The ※ ones do not run on the days shown in the bottom of the chart.

      I hope these information could be useful to plan your trip.

      Thank you for your inquiring, and ask more if you need more info! 🙂

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