Amanohashidate in Kyoto
While the city of Kyoto has plenty to offer with its abundance of shrines, a short train ride will take you away from the crowd and to Amanohashidate, a picturesque 3.6km-long pine-clad sandbar at the north of Kyoto Prefecture.
Nicknamed the “bridge in heaven”
Image credit: @sora1836
As one of Japan’s three most scenic locations, the fabled Amanohashidate derives its name from an ancient myth. Legend has it that in order to meet his wife Inazami, Izanagi – a deity in Japanese mythology – used the bridge as a pathway between heaven and earth.
Image credit: @kyotogosyuin
Hence, the narrow sandbar that spans Miyazu Bay has earned the nickname of “bridge in heaven”.
Image credit: @yasuo611
While the view is beautiful all year round, winter is arguably the best time to visit. With pristine white snow blanketing the area and piling on rows of pine trees, Amanohashidate becomes a true winter wonderland.
Best way to enjoy the view
Image credit: Xiu Ting Wong
Upon reaching the observatory point, some take a quiet moment to take in the scenery, while others snap away, hoping to get the best shot. But ask any local and they’ll tell you that the panoramic view is best enjoyed upside down and through your legs.
Image credit: @shinji184
Known as matanozoki (股のぞき), the customary practice is a fresh way of taking in the view at Amanohashidate. Once you’re at the observatory point, turn your back against the sandbar, bend over, and admire the view through your legs.
Image adapted from: @kaniyu3839
Depending on which viewpoint you wind up at, the imagery that the landscape conjures up differs. There are two observatory points – Amanohashidate Viewland, which is nearer to the train station, and Kasamatsu Park.
For the former, it is said that when viewed upside down, the sandbar resembles a floating bridge in the sky, hence its moniker “bridge in heaven”. At Kasamatsu Park, however, the pine-tree covered sand bay is reminiscent of a majestic dragon flying in the sky.
How to get to Amanohashidate
Image credit: @mkhire_suzuki
Thanks to Amanohashidate’s popularity among local and international travellers alike, there are plenty of ways to get there. Starting your journey at Kyoto Station, you can opt to ride the highway bus. A one-way ticket will set you back ¥2,900 (~USD22.69) and take around two hours.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to make use of the Japan Rail Pass, hop on the JR Hashidate limited express train (¥4,500, ~USD35.22), which will take roughly the same duration.
Image credit: @amanohashidate_view_land
The easiest and cheapest way to get to the observatory point is through the chairlift at Kasamatsu Park, where round trip tickets are available at ¥680 (~USD5.32) for adults and ¥340 (~USD2.66) for children.
Address: Miyazu, Kyoto
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: 75 Ogaki, Miyazu, 629-2242 Kyoto
Opening hours: 8AM-4.30PM, Daily (Dec-Feb) | 8AM-5PM, Daily (Mar & Nov) | 8AM-5.30PM, Daily (Apr-Oct)
Admission: ¥680 (~USD5.32) for adults, ¥340 (~USD2.66) for children
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- Kawachi Wisteria Garden
- Adorable fruit bus stops in Konagai
- Jigokudani Monkey Park
- Kirby cafe in Japan spring menu
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