Amanohashidate Sandbar – Viewing from Above and Below
Arguably the main attraction of the Amanohashidate area is the pine tree covered sandbar which reaches across the water, connecting the main Amanohashidate and Miyazu areas. It is ranked among Japan’s top three most scenic views and is best viewed from the parks located in the hills on either side of the bay.
On the south side, head to Amanohashidate View Land which is situated just a 5 minute walk from the station. Take a chairlift or monorail to the peak where you can get panoramic views of the entire sandbar and bay. On the north side, Kasamatsu Park offers similar views, also reachable by chairlift or cable car.
The name Amanohashidate loosely translates to “bridge in heaven” and subsequently the way to view the sandbar stems from this. To view the sandbar, face away from the bay and bend forwards, looking at the view from between your legs. The sandbar should resemble a bridge in the heavens, hence the origin of the name.
How to Get Around
Other than panoramic views, you can also cross along the sandbar, which is typically quicker than driving on the mainland around it. The entrance is about a 10 minute walk from Amanohashidate View Land and the sandbar itself takes approximately 45 minutes to walk end to end or 15 minutes to cycle across it. Bicycles can be rented for just 400 yen for 2 hours, and I found a place on the south side which let me return it on the north side.
Cycling across the sandbar was very tranquil – it is covered with pine trees and the odd temple or two, along with sandy beaches. Alternatively, there are also sightseeing cruises offered around the bay which give a different view of the sandbar from further away.
Motoise Kono Shrine
On the northern end of the sandbar stands Motoise Kono Shrine, one of the most important shrines of the Tango region. It is said that two deities were enshrined at the inner and outer shrines of Ise and as a result, Kono Shrine is referred to as ‘Motoise’ which is loosely translated as “origin of Ise”. Admission is free and you can view multiple smaller shrines within the grounds built in various architectural styles, symbolising their dedication to various deities.
Daniel is a Tokyo-based Australian food and travel blogger who has resided in Japan since 2015. He enjoys trying new foods in addition to exploring Japan’s natural treasures. He has particularly enjoyed Kansai’s autumn colours and temples and hopes to visit again in the future.