Few know Miyazu, but name him “Amanohashidate” to a Japanese and he sure answers you with: ” Oooooh, oh oh oh … Amanohashidate, yes yes, very beautiful, oh-oh”. Is that Miyazu is the town where this natural bridge is that somebody named as “One of the 3 best views of Japan”. Totally subjective said ranking, but enough to make it a popular tourist attraction. Here we discuss our experiences and costs to travel MIYAZU.
Yes, the view is beautiful, but for us, the ignored temples and small streets of the town have much more merit than an expensive and crowded viewpoint. We could not insist that you deviate too much from your way to come to Miyazu, but it was one of the surprises of our trip to Japan.
In travel MIYAZU
Although for us these rankings of ” 3 best places ” they made in Japan do not make much sense, Amanohashidate is practically the only reason why the Japanese travel MIYAZU, in most cases without even knowing the name of the town.
- Miyazu is 100 kilometers from Kyoto.
- 130 km from Tottori.
- 140 km from Osaka.
The place itself is a fantastic natural bridge of sand covered by pine trees that crosses the Bay of Miyazu, with mini-beaches on the entire east coast that are a typical picnic spot. You can walk the 3 km. from one point to the other, but the only way to appreciate it if you can not afford a helicopter to fly over it is from the famous viewpoints. On the way, you can stop at the historic water well Isoshimizu , next to Amanohashidate Shrine , where you can take the water that has been taking out for centuries despite being surrounded by the sea.
At each end of Amanohashidate, there is a village, both inside Miyazu: Fuchu is on the north side and Monju, on the south, each with its viewpoint.
According to those who visited the two viewpoints, the best view is from the south ( Amanohashidate View Land ), where there is also an amusement park. You will see that all the Japanese put their backs to the bridge and look at it face down with their heads between their legs. This is the traditional way, in which supposedly the bridge seems to be “floating in the sky”. Eeeeeeh, well, we left it to your imagination.
Entrance fee: there is no entry fee for the National Park in which Amanohashidate is, but for the viewpoints (cable car / chairlift included).
Amanohashidate View Land costs Y 880.
Kasamatsu Park (north viewpoint) And 660.
How to get there: at each end, there is a train station. The Amanohashidate station is the one in Monju, a few steps from the bridge. As these stations use a private line, which is also not included in the JR Pass, the cheapest way to get there is by micro.
The Tankai Bus company leaves from Kyoto (Kyoto Station, 2 hours) and Osaka (Hankyu Umeda and Shin-Osaka Station, 2 ½ hours) three times a day.
Entering the Chion-ji Temple
At the Amanohashidate (Monju) train station there is a tourist information center, and nearby is the most important temple in the area: Chion-ji , where students come to ask for wishes and make offerings to one of the most revered statues of the “God of intelligence”, although this can only be seen in important celebrations that take place in January and July. In the pines of the park, you will see papers attached, which are the wishes of the faithful (as my mother would say: “If you do not study, it will not help you, God”). The entrance with huge lamps is magnificent, and inside there is a pagoda of two floors of 1500 (the temple is from 808 but most of the construction is from the XVII to XIX centuries). Continue reading: THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR TRAVEL IN DUBAI AT LOW PRICE
Amanohashidate may be what everyone comes for, but for us, the best of the area is in the center of Miyazu, with historic temples, traditional streets and wooden houses, all almost free of tourists:
Temple Street: it is a very picturesque area of small temples in the style ” Temple district ” of Kanazawa , but smaller. The temple that we liked most is Kyo-ou Ji , with its huge dragon painted on the roof that is one of the largest in Japan. These mythological animals, they told us, are koi (Japanese carp) with a dragon’s head that have the mission of protecting the temples, especially the fires since they can attract rain. This power was fundamental at a time when all constructions were made of wood.
Interior of the Church
Travel MIYAZU Catholic Church: this is the oldest church in Japan still in operation, completed in 1896. The fact of being relatively new compared to other constructions in Japan is because Christianity was accepted again only in 1868, with the end of the Period Edo. Check also: http://thecaseyjamesblog.com/11-best-nudist-beaches-world/
The most curious thing is the fusion of local style with European, with tatami floor and sliding windows in the interior and stained glass brought from France. In the pulpit, all the balustrades are the same except for two that are upside down, since according to the Japanese tradition the constructions should not be made perfect. On the contrary, from there everything new will be done in a downward curve, since perfection was achieved.
Moment of appreciating the Japanese garden
Traditional houses: many of Miyazu’s traditional houses were declared National Treasures, such as Imabayashi and Old Mikami.
We were at Old Mikami House (entrance Y 350), invited by the owner of Seikiro Ryokan. If you were never in a typical traditional Japanese house of the upper class, this is a clear example, although the place makes sense if you are with someone who can explain each room. For example, there are curtains that were used to divide when a “normal” person had to communicate with superiors.
The tea room is full of symbolism; A small door that can only be passed kneeling was where the guests had to enter. A mini-tatami covers the place where the bracero goes to heat the tea. For each tatami, there is an exact amount of steps you can give, and even the duration and amount of sips is regulated. A tea ceremony in Japan, with all its rules, is anything but relaxing.
Another room is designed to appreciate the traditional garden. These gardens are not to be used as we would do, sitting on the grass with a lonita to drink mate, but they are made and cared for only for observation. I am sure that in traditional Japan there would also be rules about how to observe a garden. The caretaker is a kind of “Tarzan” of the turtles, which with a couple of applauses made them all around him faster than he had ever seen these animals move.
It will not be a place you are going to tell your grandchildren, but since it does not appear anywhere and it caught our attention, we told you about it. About 400 meters from the Catholic Church there is a bridge that crosses the river, almost at the mouth of the sea. The funny thing is that it has the shape of a yacht, with a mast and cables that would become the sails. In a way sooooo distant, he reminded us of the “Puente de la mujer” in Puerto Madero, but do not come expecting to find anything like that because you’re going to hate us. The locals call it “Yottobashi”.
Our traditional room in Seikiro
Travel MIYAZU, there are several places to choose from, but none very backpacker to say. Most tourists (Japanese, because most foreigners do not come) stay in Monju or Fuchu, but for us, it was the best choice to stay in the “center” of Miyazu, much more traditional and quiet than these armed places for tourism.
We stayed in Seikiro , a ryokan (traditional accommodation) attended by the 13th generation of the family that founded it in 1690 (!). It is a historical place in Miyazu that was declared a museum. The pieces are traditional style, with tatami floor , internal paper doors ( shoji ), futons and coffee table overlooking the Japanese garden.
It is 3 kilometers from Amanohashidate.
Amanohashidate Youth Hostel is the only one of its kind among all hotels and Ryokans. The dorms are the cheapest thing you’re going to get in Miyazu.
As always in Japan, reserving in advance you will have more chances to find offers. In this link are all the accommodation options. Travel MIYAZU with friends and family.
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