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Amanohashidate 天橋立

View of Amanohashidate (© barunkun - Fotolia.com)
View of Amanohashidate

Amanohashidate is acclaimed as one of the Three Views of Japan (日本三景 Nihon Sankei), the three most celebrated scenic sights according to 17th-century scholar Hayashi Gahō, along with the floating shrine of Miyajima and the islands of Matsushima.

Its name literally means "standing celestial bridge", although the bridge is in fact a 3.6 km arm of woody sand between Monju and Fuchū, closing the Miyazu-wan Bay but for a few channels.

The town itself is split between each end of the "bridge", with most of the shops, hotels and restaurants at the southern end, around the train station.

The best views can be obtained from the top of the hills on each side of the bay. Both are accessible by cablecar or chair lift. From the top, visitors are supposed to view the heavenly bridge by turning their back to it and sticking their head between their legs !

The region of Amanohashidate (Northern Kyōto prefecture) in the Tango-hanto Peninsula is pleasing for scenic hikes or touring some of the 33 temples of the the Saigoku Kannon pilgrimage route (one of which is in the town of Amanohashidate).

How to get there

Amanohashidate is about halfway between Kyoto and Tottori. It is best accessed from Kyōto of any major city in Japan. The JR Limited Express Hashidate makes the journey in about 2h (¥2,200). Coming from Matsue, the fastest and easiest way is via Okayama and Kyoto.

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