Having viewed the Amanohashidate sandbar from on high, it was now time to cross it on foot. After visiting Chionji Temple I started at the southern end of the sandbar and began my trek.
Amanohashidate has some surprisingly nice beaches that line the entire east side of the sandbar. The largest beach is at the southern end and during the summertime these beaches are popular spots for both locals and vacationers.
For the next 45 minutes I hiked along the sandbar, stopping regularly for photos. Amanohashidate is a very tranquil place and this was one of my favorite walks from my entire journey across Japan and Korea. It certainly helped that I was visiting in early November, so there weren’t a lot of other people visiting Amanohashidate that day and I could fully enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the sandbar. Beautiful pine trees shelter the pathway and just on the other side of them are the beaches, so it’s like you are experiencing the forest and the ocean at the same time. A couple small shrines can be found along the sandbar as well as some benches for anyone that needs to take a break. I knew that Amanohashidate was going to be a good place to visit but I have to admit that it completely surpassed my expectations.
Towards the northern end of the sandbar I noticed a few fishermen standing way out in the water. Fishing has never been my thing but I can understand the appeal of being alone in nature and feeling the waters gently moving around you as you wait for a fish to come your way.
There’s another town at the northern end of the sandbar and my plan had been to take a ferry from there back down to the southern end but as I was getting close I saw the ferry departing the pier. I knew didn’t have enough time to wait for the next ferry so after reaching the north end of the path I turned around and started heading south.
My walk back south along the sandbar was a lot quicker than my initial walk north and I didn’t stop that often for photos. I really would have loved to spend more time at Amanohashidate but I couldn’t risk missing the last train of the day going to Kyoto and I’d end up arriving at the station with just two minutes to spare. If I’m ever able to return to Amanohashidate I’ll try to get there earlier in the day and maybe rent a bicycle, which would allow me to cover more ground and explore the region at the north end of the sandbar.
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