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The Amanohashidate Sandbar (天橋立), is a beautiful, three kilometer long isthmus that spans the mouth of Miyazu Bay in northern Kyoto Prefecture. Amanohashidate roughly translates to "bridge in heaven", and it is said that the sandbar resembles a meandering pathway connecting heaven and earth when it is viewed from the mountains at either end of the bay. This famous view has been admired for centuries, and is counted among Japan's three most scenic views alongside Miyajima and Matsushima.

The narrow sandbar, which measures as little as 20 meters across at its narrowest point, is lined with nearly 8000 pine trees and is considered among Japan's finest pine tree spots. Some of the trees exhibit unique shapes and have been given names such as Meoto Matsu (Couples Pine), Nakayoshi no Matsu (Friendly Pine), and Chie no Matsu (Wisdom Pine).

A tranquil dirt road runs underneath the trees for the length of the sandbar and takes about 45 minutes to walk end to end. Alternatively, it takes about 15 minutes to cross by bicycle. Rental bicycles are available from shops and hotels around Amanohashidate Station. A handful of small shrines, the occasional shop, public toilet and rest houses are also scattered across the sandbar.

The eastern coast of the Amanohashidate Sandbar is lined by white sand beaches, which are popular swimming spots in summer. The beaches, combined with the deep blue water and lush green pine trees, make for some beautiful scenery that can also be enjoyed from the water via a variety of sightseeing cruises that are offered around the bay. These cruises depart from the dock next to Chionji Temple.

The sandbar is best viewed, however, from parks located in the hills on either side of the bay. Amanohashidate View Land lies on the south side of the sandbar behind Amanohashidate Station. This small theme park is accessed by chairlift or monorail and features a variety of amusements, such as a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, go-karts and mini golf. There are several viewpoints from which to look out over the sandbar. Many consider this the better view as from this perspective the sandbar is said to resemble a dragon flying up to heaven.

On the mountain slope on the opposite side of the bay lies Kasamatsu Park which is accessible by chairlift or cablecar. From here the sandbar is said to look like the kanji for "one" (一). The traditional way to view the sandbar is to turn your back towards the bay, bend over and look at it from between your legs. Called "matanozoki", this practice originated at this park, and visitors to Amanohashidate have been following it for over a millennium. The park is also the departure point for shuttle buses to Nariaiji Temple further up the mountain.

Getting there and around

The southern end of the sandbar is reached in about a five minute walk from Amanohashidate Station.

How to get to and around Amanohashidate

Hours and Fees

Chairlift/Monorail to Amanohashidate View Land

Hours

Closed

Admission

Chairlift/Cablecar to Kasamatsu Park

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Amanohashidate

Top rated in Amanohashidate
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    • Fairfield by Marriott Kyoto Amanohashidate
      Mid-range
      Situated in Miyazu, 2.8 km from Amanohashidate Beach, Fairfield by Marriott Kyoto Amanohashidate features accommodation with free bikes, free private parking, a shared lounge and a terrace. With free WiFi, this 3-star hotel offers a shared kitchen and a 24-hour front desk. The property is non-smoking and is set 2.7 km from Chionji Temple. The rooms are fitted with a private bathroom with a shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer. All rooms will provide guests with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV. Yumikiro Castle Ruins is 6.9 km from the hotel, while Itanami Plate Row Park is 7.1 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tajima Airport, 55 km from Fairfield by Marriott Kyoto Amanohashidate.
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    • Amano Hashidate Hotel
      Mid-range
      Featuring 3-star accommodation, Amano Hashidate Hotel is set in Miyazu, 700 metres from Amanohashidate Beach and 600 metres from Chionji Temple. With a garden, the 3-star ryokan has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Free private parking is available and the ryokan also offers bike hire for guests who want to explore the surrounding area. The units in the ryokan are equipped with a kettle. All rooms come with a TV, and certain units at Amano Hashidate Hotel have a sea view. A continental breakfast is available every morning at the accommodation. Amano Hashidate Hotel offers 3-star accommodation with a sauna and hot spring bath. Yumikiro Castle Ruins is 5.7 km from the ryokan, while Itanami Plate Row Park is 6 km away. The nearest airport is Tajima Airport, 54 km from Amano Hashidate Hotel.
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    • Hotel & Resorts Kyoto-Miyazu
      Luxury
      Hotel & Resorts Kyoto-Miyazu features a spacious public bath and a sauna for guests to enjoy their stay. The Western-style rooms include a flat-screen TV. A free shuttle is available from Miyazu Train Station and is about a 15-minute drive away. The air-conditioned rooms feature sea views, a seating area with sofa, a fridge and an electric kettle. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer and Japanese Yukata robes. Free wired internet access is available in some rooms. The hotel has a karaoke room, and an outdoor swimming pool that is open during the summer. Guests can purchase local gifts at the souvenir shop. Laundry and photocopying services are available at the 24-hour front desk. Japanese dishes are available at Matsubashi, and French cuisines at Celeste Port. Chinese foods are served at Starlight, and a bar and tea lounge are available as well. Hotel & Resorts Kyoto-Miyazu is a 20-minute drive from the famous Amanohashidate and a 60-minute drive from Ine-no-Funaya boat garage. Tango Uocchikan Aquarium is a 10-minute drive away.
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    • Seikiro Ryokan Historical Museum Hotel
      Luxury
      Seikiro has served guests for 320 years and is a registered cultural landmark. Featuring hot-spring baths and a 100 year-old garden, it offers Japanese-style accommodation a 5-minute drive from Amanohashidate. The air-conditioned rooms at Seikiro Ryokan feature traditional Japanese bedding and tatami (woven-straw) floors, and some have a private bathroom. Guests can enjoy garden views with a cup of green tea. Miyazu Church, the oldest Catholic church in Japan, is a 5-minute walk away. Mikami Residence is also just a 5-minute walk. Amanohashidate Land Bridge is about a 5-minute drive away, and Kono Shrine is a 20-minute drive. Guests can relax with a massage, enjoy the in-house museum or simply appreciate the ryokan’s antique decor. The gift shop offers souvenirs and unique items. Japanese Restaurant Seiki serves Japanese dishes made with fresh local ingredients.
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    • Auberge Amanohashidate
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Miyazu, within 800 metres of Amanohashidate Beach and 600 metres of Chionji Temple, Auberge Amanohashidate offers accommodation with a restaurant and free WiFi as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The property is located 5.9 km from Itanami Plate Row Park, 8.2 km from Tango Kokubunji Ruins and 8.3 km from Tango Regional Museum of Contemporary Art. The property is non-smoking and is situated 5.7 km from Yumikiro Castle Ruins. All rooms in the hotel are equipped with a TV. The units at Auberge Amanohashidate feature air conditioning and a desk. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Guests at Auberge Amanohashidate will be able to enjoy activities in and around Miyazu, like fishing and cycling. Myouryuji Temple is 9.1 km from the hotel, while Daijyouji Temple is 9.1 km away. The nearest airport is Tajima Airport, 54 km from Auberge Amanohashidate.
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