When I left Osaka in the morning I took a train to Kyoto but upon arrival at Kyoto Station I didn’t immediately head to my next hostel. Instead I left my backpack in a locker at Kyoto Station and got on a train heading up to the northern shore of Kansai. Two hours later I got off at Amanohashidate. This part of Japan is home to a scenic sandbar that I had seen online when researching my trip and I had determined that I could squeeze in a visit to Amanohashidate before settling down in Kyoto. After exiting the local train station I walked over to a chairlift that would take me up a hill to a spot where I could get a better view of the sandbar.
At the top of the hill I could see why Amanohashidate is considered one of the most scenic views in Japan. The narrow, tree-covered sandbar rambles its way across Miyazu Bay with beautiful blue waters on either side. Amanohashidate’s name translates to “bridge to heaven” and the sandbar is said to be representative of the connecting path between heaven and earth.
Apparently the “proper” way to view Amanohashidate is look at it upside down, between your legs, so that the sea appears to be the sky and the sandbar is a heavenly bridge. I’ve flipped the previous photo upside down so that you can see what that’s like. Part of me suspects this tradition was just made up by the locals so that they could laugh at dumb tourists like me bending over to get the correct view of Amanohashidate.
At the top of the hill with the view of the sandbar is Amanohashidate View Land. This is a small amusement park and it has a few attractions like a carousel, a small Ferris wheel, and mini train ride. Most people come to Amanohashidate View Land for the view of the sandbar but families with children will find a few things here to help keep the kids entertained.
Once I was finished looking around Amanohashidate View Land I rode the chairlift back down to the bottom of the hill. It was now time to cross the sandbar on foot.