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【Kyoto】 “Amanohashidate,” The Stairway to Heaven2015.10.23

151023★ 天橋立

Japan is a series of islands that are the result of a series of volcanic eruptions, creating scenic mountain landscapes and lakes. One of the most beautiful is “Amanohashidate,” a natural land bridge located at the Tango Peninsula in the northern Kyoto prefecture. “Ama” means heaven, and “Hashidate” means bridge. The 3.5 Km long, narrow, pine tree-covered (8,000) sand bridge spans Miyazu Bay, and connects the two separate parts of “Amanohashidate.” This mysterious natural landscape took thousands of years to create. This location is rated as one of Japan’s three most scenic views. The bridge view has been the subject in many Japanese “Haiku” or “Waka,” and paintings.

The location derives its named from the visual phenomenon, viewing the location from a reverse perspective (view between your legs), which makes the meandering bridge appear as a stairway to the sky or even to the heaven. There are many ways to enjoy there. The most popular is biking or walking across the bridge. It takes 20 minutes by a bike and approximately 50 minutes on foot. You can ride a ferry to enjoy the view of the natural bridge as well.

There is the old shrine and temple  to attend near “Kasamatsu park” where visitors can view the entire bridge.  During the summer, visitors can sun on the white sand beach and swim in the bay. At both side of “Amanohashidate,” there are elevated overlook locations reached by chairlift, cable car or monorail.

It is a great tourist spot where people can visit all year round. Traveling from Tokyo to “Amanohashidate,” it takes about 5 hours by a bullet train and local trains to reach “Amanohashidate” station.

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