Difference between revisions of "Amanohashidate"
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Amanohashidate (天橋立), the meaning of which is roughly bridge in heaven, is a 3.6 kilometer long, pine tree covered sand bar. It spans across Miyazu Bay on the Tango Peninsula, northern Kyoto Prefecture. It is ranked as one of Japan's three most scenic views.
Amanohashidate Tourist Information Centre,314-2 Monju, Miyazu,Kyoto 626-0001(Inside of Amanohashidate train station). Open daily 09:00-18:00. The official tourist information centre has an information in English and helpful staff. FREE WiFi available.Offcial English website of Amanohashidate Tourist Information Centre It is also possible to contact them by email as well. The contact E-mail address is written on the bottom of their front page of the English website.
Direct Hashidate (はしだて) limited expresses run four times a day and connect Kyoto Station to Amanohashidate in 106 minutes (¥ 4,310). Alternatively, connect at Fukuchiyama (福知山) or Nishi-Maizuru (西舞鶴) to the Kita-Kinki Tango Miyafuku Line (北近畿タンゴ宮福線); you can manage the trip with local trains for as little as ¥ 2,200, but this will take over three hours and require several transfers.
The Amanohashidate station is on a spur line off of the main line to Miyazu. Don't be surprised as the train stops completely in Miyazu, changes direction, and then turns onto a separate line toward Amanohashidate. NOTE: Japan Rail Pass holders must pay additional surcharges to visit Amanohashidate.
From Osaka (Hankyu Sanbangai bus terminal 阪急三番街高速バスターミナル):
run by Tankai bus company（丹海バス). It takes about 2.5 hours. Price: 2600 yen (one way, per person),runs 3times in a day. You can also catch this buses from Shin-Osaka (Shin-Osaka bus terminal 新大阪駅バスターミナル), price is the same. There are also two of the buses will depart and drop you off at Osaka・Itami airport(大阪・伊丹空港) which is domestic airport.
From Kyoto (JR Kyoto station bus terminal, platform C2):
run by Tankai bus company（丹海バス). It takes about 2 hours. Price: 2700 yen(one way, per person), runs twice in a day. (Until 31st May 2013, runs 3 times per day.)
The small villages on both the north and south sides of the land bridge are easily walkable by foot, as distances are short. In the village of Monju (文珠) on the south side of the land bridge, the train station is only a few hundred feet from numerous ryokan, noodle shops, dried fish shops, and tourist shops.
One can rent a bicycle at one of the many bicycle rental shops around Amanohashidate to ride across the land bridge and bike to surrounding local tourist spots.
If you prefer motorized transport, small motorboats transport passengers between the north and south sides of Amanohashidate. The boats are inexpensive and take 5-10 minutes to travel the length of the land bridge. On the south side of Amanohashidate, the boats dock near the Shinto shrine.
About the only thing to see in Amanohashidate is, well, Amanohashidate itself. The land bridge is best viewed from the hillside on either the south or north side of it. On the south side, there is a chair lift and cog wheel-type train that one can ride up to a viewing area, where there is a small amusement park. On the north side, there is a chair lift and an electric train/trolley that take visitors up to a viewing area, where there is a small coffee and snack shop. Purchase tickets at the bottom of the lifts. They are well-marked and easy to locate.
The canonical way to view Amanohashidate is to turn your back to it, then bend over and look at it upside down from between your legs — this is supposed to make the bridge appear as if it floats to heaven, and bring good luck.
The rotating bridge on the south side of Amanohashidate is unique, although it is by no means a must-see. Rather than raising like a traditional drawbridge, the middle section of this bridge rotates 90 degrees to allow boats to pass through. The bridge is located near the Shinto shrine and boats that transport visitors to the north side of Amanohashidate
Swim on the sandbar in the summertime while eating dried squid.
Stay overnight so you can get up early (6am in Oct) and watch the cormorants & mist lift with the sunrise to reveal the pristine sandy bar that is the Bridge / Passage to Heaven.
Plus if you're quite lucky - you might meet a sumo wrestler! Be judicious about your hotel or ryokan, there are some with outdoor tubs on a second floor balcony and some with no view at all.
Chie-no-yu (知恵の湯): This is a small hot spring spot located just next to the Amanohashidate train station. No mixed bath. 700yen/person. Open: 14:00-22:00 (weekdays), 12:00-21:00 (weekends&public holidays).Last admission time is always 21:00. Closed: every Wed(except Public Holidays). If you want to just try a bit of Japanese Onsen, you can try Ashiyu (足湯), a hot spring you can just soak your feet in, which is located outside of this place and is free to try! You can hire a towel from them with a little cost.
Amanohashidate-winery (天橋立ワイナリー):This is a young winery since 1999, 10:00-17:00(winery&shop), 11:30-14:00(restaurant),closed on WED. FREE entrance and tasting!! Direction:20mins ride by bus(towards Ine,伊根方面行）from Amanohashidate train station bus stop and get off at "Amanohashidate wainari-mae"(天橋立ワイナリー前).
Uocchikan (魚っ知館): Auarium which has about 300species and 6000 sea creatures you can see. There are also penguin and harbor seal. Feeding time(about 10mins): 11:00/13:15/16:00 Open 9:00-17:00,closed on WED&Thursday(except public holiday). Admission 300yen/person.
Dried seafood, chirimen fabric, sake flasks made from a dried squid.
Oil sardine from Takenaka kanzume(竹中罐詰) High quality and beautifully packed sardin in a tin. You can eat it simply without adding anything or even you can use for pasta, salad as well. The oil sardine is also well-known as nibbles when people drink alcohol in Japan. [[File:http://www.amanohashidate.jp/mise/takenaka0.jpg]
Crab(Matsuba-gani松葉がに): One of the most popular cuisine from this area in winter season between beginning of Nov to end of March. Many Japanese people travel to eat this crab. Expensive but tasty!
Japanese amberjack(Kanburi寒ブリ): Many different way to eat this fish, but in this area especially eat as Shabu-shabu(しゃぶしゃぶ)is popular. Only in winter.
In the summer, don't miss the melon ice from the little snack shop on the northern slope's viewing area.
(Chie no mochi)智恵の餅/Sweets: It is a sweets, rice cake with red bean paste. By eating this sweets, believed to give wisdom to people.
There are some local wineries.
Abundant ryokan serving local seafood. Ask at the Amanohashidate train station's tourist information stand for information or to make a reservation. Prices range between 10,000 and 25,000 yen per person per night.
Amanohashidate Youth Hostel Non-member of youth hostel:2950yen/night(over 16 years) in dormitory (4-8beds dorm, no mixed dorm room). If you want to hire entire room for your group, it costs extra 2000yen per night per room. You can also take breakfast(600yen) and dinner(950yen)(reservation required). Rental bicycle is available at the hostel. You can contact them in English.