Amanohashidate, sometimes called “The Bridge to Heaven” is a 3.6 kilometer sand bridge formed over thousands of years and is now a beloved landmark in northern Kyoto prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan. It’s been crowned one of the three most beautiful spots in Japan. To behold the natural beauty best, we recommend you rise to a peak on either side by lift or cable car. Traveling across the nature park’s land bridge is a journey you will not forget with the carefully attended to pine forest and fine sand beaches. If you’d prefer a sea-side view, there are ferries and charter boats to show you the sights from the ocean.
Nature is the premier attraction but there is also deep culture and rich history to experience. There are several temples, shrines, and even natural hot springs adjacent to Amanohashidate and mountain top viewing areas.
Amanohashidate is also a place to have a good time! In the summer the beaches are great for swimming, beach sports, and family outings. There are various festivals held all year round, including the re-enactment of the folklore surrounding the creation of the mysterious sand bar in the summer dragon dance festival and a fireworks festival in the winter.
This unusual bridge turns 90degrees when ships go a waterway and it connects Amanohashidate and Monju area. The bridge that was built in 1923 was turned by hand, but the present electric one was rebuilt in May 1960 because many ships come. If you see it turning, you are lucky!
It is one of three Monju in Japan and you can gain wisdom. Many candidates and their families visit here. The temple gate that faces Chaya Street is registered as the Cultural Property of City and it is the biggest gate in Tango area.
Toyoukeno Okami is enshrined at the front and Okawa Daimyojin is enshrined at the right side of the shrine and Hachidai Ryuo is enshrined at the left side. Some people say that Motoise was moved from here, but it’s considered as a village shrine of Monju-do.
Motoise Kono Shrine
It is the home of Ise Jingu in Mie prefecture and it has long history. Amanohashidate was the approach to Kono Shrine in the past. According to legend, Amanohashidate was used to be a ladder for Izanagino Omikami (God) in the heaven who often came down to see Izanamino Omikami (Goddess) who was at Iwakura of Manai Shrine that is a rear shrine of Kono Shrine. However it fell down and became Amanohashidate. It is the only superior shrine in Tango area. Five colors balls “Suedama” on the balustrade can be seen at only 2 places; here and Ise Jingu.
It has an observatory where you can overlook Amanohashidate. Amanohashidate is seen in the shape of the letter “one” kanji character. Also it’s upside down and looks like the bridge to the heaven when you do Matanozoki that is seeing from between your legs. There is another observatory that is called “The birthplace of Matanozoki” and it has a pine tree named “Kasamatsu” that is shaped like an umbrella.
It’s the 28th of 33 sacred temples in Western Japan, so many visitors come. This temple noted for a temple that makes your wish come true. It was built in 704. There are the bell that has never struck, a bottomless pond and a mysterious dragon sculpture “Mamuki no Ryu” that is staring at you even if you see it from right or left side. Goju no To, which was drawn on “Amanohashidate zu” by Sesshu, was restored in 2000.
Miyazu Catholic Church
It is also called Saint John church and this wooden church was built in 1896 by Father Louis Relave who was French. It is considered as the oldest among the churches that celebrate the Mass every week. It has a Romanesque structure and also has Japanese and Western styles because the inside is tatami-matted and 1280 sheets of stained glass, which were imported from France, lighten the hall. It’s not a sightseeing spot but a religious facility that many people come to pray. You can’t visit in the morning on Sundays and when people pray.
Old house of the Mikami family
This house was registered as an important national cultural property. The Mikami family was one of the leading merchant families in the Miyazu castle town during the Edo period. And they ran the brewing, shipping and silk wholesale businesses. Also they played an important role in the finance of Miyazu-Han. In 1783 their house was burned down, so the main building was given a fireproof structure with great walls and earthen doors that surround the outer columns. This house is really high quality and luxurious.
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