1. Amanohashidate 天橋立
Located in Miyazu City 宮津市, Amanohashidate is a sandbar cutting across the Miyazu Bay, this 2-mile (or 3.6 km) long, black pine covered land bridge appears like a bridge to heaven or a dragon flying to the heaven when observed from different angles.
On the sandbar, there is a shrine and a freshwater well. During summer, the beach along the sandbar becomes a popular location for swimming. Besides that, cycling is a popular means of transportation to cross the land bridge and to travel around the area. As for sightseeing, visitors can choose to do it by boarding a boat that travels along the bay.
Image by: Kimon Berlin / CC BY-SA 2.0
Enjoy the sandbar’s view from the hills on either side of the bay. Popular lookout points in this area include Kamamatsu Park 傘松公園 at the northern end, and Amanohashidate View Land 天橋立ビューランド at the southern end. Both points have a ropeway that takes visitors up to the viewing area.
At one of the lookout points, turn your back to the bay, bend over and look at the sandbar upside down through your legs. This is called matanozoki 股のぞき, an almost ritualistic thing to do for anyone visiting Amanohashidate.
Amanohashidate in an ukiyo-e dated circa 1856
Image source: commons.wikimedia.org
Attractions around Amanohashidate:
Chion-ji 智恩寺 | A temple dedicated to the God of Wisdom or Bodhisattva Monju, with a handicraft market held on every 15th of the month
Motoise Kono Jinja 元伊勢籠神社 | An important shrine in the Tango region of Kyoto, also known as the origin of the Ise Shrine 伊勢神宮 in Mie
Nariai-ji 成相寺 | A temple overlooking the sandbar halfway up the journey to Mount Nariai 成相山, with beautiful views especially during spring and autumn
Ine 伊根 | A quaint, picturesque fishing town known for its funaya 舟屋 which means boathouses located along the bay
Amanohashidate is two hours from Kyoto by taking the Hashidate はしだて limited express train service (operated by JR West). Amanohashidate Station is only a short walk from the southern end of the bay.
More Information: www.amanohashidate.jp/lang/en/