Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Amanohashidate – One of the Top Three Scenic Places in Japan

Amanohashidate (天橋立), one of the Three Views of Japan (日本三景, Nihon Sankei), is one of the celebrated scenic sites in Japan that most Japanese have on their bucket list to visit. The place is just stunning throughout the year. There are cherry blossoms in spring and maple leaves in autumn, and the area is even more beautiful in winter when the sandbar and the surrounding area are covered in white snow!

The 3.6 km sandbar with 5,000 pine trees growing on top is what makes Amanohashidate so famous. When you view it from the observation decks on top of the hill, Amanohashidate looks like a flying dragon and a Bridge to Heaven when seen upside down. Other ways to explore the charm of Amanohashidate can be cycling on top of that dragon or taking a boat ride to see it from various angles.

Read on to find all the information you need about this gorgeous part of Kyoto! But before we introduce all the attractions at Amanohashidate below, let’s talk about how you can get there first. It isn’t close to Kyoto’s city center, after all!

Table of Contents

Amanohashidate Hotel and Fairfield by Marriott Kyoto Amanohashidate are great accommodation options if you want to stay overnight at Amanohashidate!
☛ Refer to HERE for how to get around Amanohashidate and the Discounted Passes.

Explore Amanohashidate With a Guided Tour

If you prefer a guide to introduce you to the charms of Amanohashidate, how about joining one of the below tours?

How to Get to Amanohashidate

There are several ways to get to Amanohashidate from Kyoto or Osaka. Depending on how you get there, the time required is around 2 – 3.5 hours.

Please refer to our Guide to How to Get to Amanohashidate article for more information. There is also information about the sightseeing train you can take!

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Amanohashidate’s Brief Profile

Amanohashidate is a sandbar at Miyazu Bay (宮津湾) in northern Kyoto. The 3.6 km long sandbar, with a width ranging from 20 to 170 meters, was created by crustal movements, connecting Miyazu Bay’s north and south end.

The land created by the crustal movement slowly has grass growing atop. Gradually, trees appeared, and a pine forest was formed in Amanohashidate.

Nowadays, various types of birds call Amanohashidate home. If you visit it in summer, you might be able to see a couple of seasonal birds.

From the ancient myth recorded in the Tango (丹後) area’s documentation, Amanohashidate was the ladder used by gods named Izanagi (イザナギ) and Izanami (イザナミ) when they visited the Earth from heaven. One day, when Izanagi was taking a nap, the ladder collapsed and became Amanohashidate when it landed on Earth.

How to Travel Between Amanohashidate’s Attractions

To get a clear view of such a geographical spectacle, if you don’t make your way up to the observation decks at Amanohashidate View Land and Kasamatsu Park, you will have a pretty hard time persuading your families and friends that you have been to Amanohashidate!

So refer to our How to Travel Between the Attractions in Amanohashidate for more information!

© 海の京都DMO

Amanohashidate’s Discounts Transportation Tickets

The Convenient Tourist Services at Amanohashidate

Like Kinosaki Onsen, Amanohashidate also has a couple of services that you may find convenient.

  • Next to the station’s main exit, there are umbrellas you can borrow for free. Please return it to the station before leaving Amanohashidate.
  • Coin-operated lockers are available at the station.
  • The souvenir shop in front of the station offers luggage storage service. The cost is lower here. You can also leave your belongings with them for a couple of days.
    • The shop closes on Wednesdays.
    • Refer to the 3rd photo in the IG post.
  • Amanohashidate’s car rental shop is diagonally opposite the station.
    • Refer to the last photo in the IG post.

Tip: If you have purchased one of Amanohashidate’s sightseeing passes mentioned above from klook, exchange it at the counter next to the station’s ticket gates. You can refer to the 2nd photo in the IG post.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Chie no Yu Hot Spring (智恵の湯)

© 海の京都DMO

Just next to Amanohashidate Station, there is this public bathhouse – Chie no Yu. If you aren’t staying overnight at Amanohashidate, you can make this spot the last attraction of the day to rejuvenate in their onsen before you head to the train station.

Note that the onsen pools at Chie Hot Spring aren’t spacious. If it gets crowded, you might want to give it a pass.

Tip: Grab one of the coupons from Amanohashidate View Land or Amanohashidate Sightseeing Information Center in Amanohashidate Station to get a 100 yen discount (50 yen for primary school students) on the admission fee.

Chie no Yu Hot Spring’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information

  • Chie Hot Spring is open from 12 am to 9 pm daily except Wednesdays.
  • The admission fee is
    • 700 yen for adults
    • 350 yen for elementary school students
    • Free for one pre-school child per adult

Amanohashidate View Land (天橋立ビューランド)

© 海の京都DMO

If you have limited time and can only go to one of the two observation parks, we recommend going to Amanohashidate View Land. It is closer to the station, and from Kasamatsu Park, the sandbar just looks like a straight line.

For more information, refer to our article on Amanohashidate View Land!

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Chionji Temple (智恩寺)

Chionji Temple is ranked first of the three temples in Japan dedicated to the Monju Bodhisattva (文殊菩薩). It is the third closest attraction to Amanohashidate Station. The Monju Bodhisattva is known as the bodhisattva who has the most wisdom. So many objects, including food on the temple’s ground and the surrounding area, have “wisdom” in their name. For example, the wisdom pine or even the wisdom mochi/rice cake.

For more information, refer to our article on Chionji!


Wisdom Rice Cake (智恵の餅) and Hikobee Chaya (彦兵衛茶屋)

© 海の京都DMO

Close to Chionji Temple’s main gate, a couple of cafes and restaurants sell the local specialty, Chie no Mochi or Wisdom Rice Cake, in English.

The cafe we recommend the most is Hikobee Chaya (彦兵衛茶屋). They sell the best Chie no Mochi in Amanohashidate. You will hardly miss it when you walk towards Chionji’s Sanmon Gate. The large lady figure in Kimono is really eye-catching.

For more information, refer to our article on Chie no Mochi and Hikobee Chaya!

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Amanohashidate Sightseeing Boat (天橋立観光船)

While it might seem to be a cliche, when you visit Amanohashidate, boarding the sightseeing boat is highly recommended. Unless you hate birds and don’t want them to be near you, you will enjoy your time on the Amanohashidate Sightseeing Boat very much. Not only can you see the famous sandbar from various angles, but the seagulls surrounding the boat are the best highlight during the boat ride.

For more information, refer to our Amanohashidate Sightseeing Boat article!


Chienowa Stone Lantern (智恵の輪石灯籠) and the Rotating Bridge (廻旋橋)

Before you set your feet on Amanohashidate, check out two of the popular photo spots in the area. You can get to them by exiting Chionji Temple through the side gate facing the sea.

In the past, along the waterway, the Chienowa stone lantern was originally installed to ensure the safe sailing of the ships around the shore.

It is now a monument relating to Chionji Temple. Rumor has it that you will be blessed with wisdom if you manage to pass through the lantern three times. This excludes inserting your body through the ring. So whether the blessing will come or not, after you figure out your way of doing it, we are sure you will become wiser than before!

Close to Chienowa, there is a red bridge with pine trees at the sides. It is a great spot for some photos full of the traditional Japanese atmosphere. And if you are lucky enough, you might able to see it rotating to allow ships to enter the waterway on the other side of Amanohashidate.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Amanohashidate Beach (天橋立海水浴場)

© 海の京都DMO

Just a 7-minute walk from Amanohashidate Station, the Amanohashidate Beach is especially popular with families with young kids. The open beach from late July to mid-August for you to enjoy all sorts of beach activities.

Essential facilities such as change rooms, shower facilities with warm water, toilets, a first aid room, and cafes are all available for you to utilize when needed.

If you are driving, there are car parks close by, but you will have a hard time securing a parking space if you arrive late in the morning on weekends and public holidays.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Amanohashidate Shrine (天橋立神社)

Going north from Amanohashidate Beach, you will soon find this shrine in the pine forest.

The shrine was originally built as a guardian shrine for the Chionji Temple that we mentioned before. Nowadays, it is a shrine that is said will fulfill your prayers relating to romantic relationships.

Isoshimizu (磯清水)

The most amazing thing about the shrine is this well, called Isoshimizu.

Locating in the middle of the sea, the water coming out of the well is surprisingly not salty at all! This is why the spot was chosen to be one of the 100 Selection of Japan’s Famous Water Source (日本名水百選) and the reason why pine trees can grow on the sandbar.

The water is a layer of rainwater stored underground. So if you want to drink it, it is recommended that you boil it first, just in case.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Amanohashidate Fuchū Beach (天橋立府中海水浴場) and Amanohashidate Activity Center (天橋立アクティビティセンター)

© 海の京都DMO

The beach at the northern part of Amanohashidate, which is also open from late July to mid-August, is called Amanohashidate Fuchū Beach. This is the beach you want to be at for those who want to do SUP and/or sea kayaking.

The Amanohashidate Activity Center, with all the necessary equipment, is just next to the beach. Even if you have no experience, they have well-trained instructors who can guide you throughout the session.

Be aware that pre-school children won’t be able to participate in either of the activities. And if you don’t feel well, don’t force yourself to participate either because they won’t accept you anyway.

Activities’ Pricing and Reservation

  • SUP
    • 3,000 yen for adults, 2,000 yen for elementary school students
    • 2 sessions, one at 7 am, one at 4:30 pm
    • Each session lasts for 60 minutes, including an introduction.
    • If you would like to do it during the day, feel free to check with them for their availability.
  • Sea Kayak
    • 6,000 yen for adults, 4,000 yen for elementary school students
    • 2 sessions, one at 9:30 am, and one at 1:30 pm
    • Each session lasts for 120 minutes, including the introduction.
    • There are also two 60 minutes sessions held at 7 am and 4:30 pm.
      • The cost is 4,000 yen for adults, 3,000 yen for elementary school students
© 海の京都DMO

During your session, they will also help you take photos.

To make a reservation, you can either book online on their Japanese website or call them at +81-90-9047-5896. If you check the below links through Google Chrome, the browser should be able to translate the page to English for you by clicking the Google Translate icon at the right of the address bar.

Important: Please note cancellation fees apply if you cancel within 5 days of your booked session. If they have extra capacity, they will also take walk-in customers.

Tip: You can also ask the staff at your accommodation to make the phone call to reserve on your behalf.

Amanohashidate Activity Center’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • The center is open from 9 am to 6 pm.
  • From Amanohashidate Station, it is a 35-minute walk
  • From Kasamatsu Park, it is a 15-minute walk
  • If you are taking a bus from Amanohashidate Station, get off at Amanohashidate Kono Jinja Shrine (天橋立元伊勢籠神社).
    • Refer to HERE for the timetable.
  • If you are taking the sightseeing boat, Motoise Kono Shrine is just a one-minute walk from Ichinomiya Ferry Terminal.
    • Refer to HERE for the timetable.
    • From the ferry terminal, it is around a 3-minute walk.

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Motoise Kono Shrine (元伊勢籠神社)

If you are trekking or cycling your way to the north of Amanohashidate, you will go past the Motoise Kono Shrine on your way to Amanohashidate Kasamatsu Park. The shrine is the highest-ranked shrine in the San-in region and was the home of the god in the famous Ise Jingū (伊勢神宮) in Mie Prefecture.

The shrine also has a few rare shrine features.

For more information, refer to our article on Motoise Kono Shrine.


Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Amanohashidate Kasamatsu Park (天橋立傘松公園)

© 海の京都DMO

Amanohashidate Kasamatsu Park is where you discover another face of Amanohashidate. The view from here is called Shōryū-kan (昇龍観), meaning ascending dragon.

Compared to Amanohashidate View Land, Kasamatsu Park is a better place for natural scenery. On the way to the top of the mountain, the surroundings are covered by cherry blossoms in spring and bright-colored leaves in autumn!

For more information, refer to our article on Amanohashidate Kasamatsu Park!

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Nariaiji Temple (成相寺)

Among all the attractions in Amanohashidate that have lookouts and observation decks, Nariaiji (成相寺) is the one we enjoyed the most. It is the most scenic place in the area throughout the year, especially in the autumn foliage season from early to mid-November. Locating further up from Kasamatsu Park, you might see the fantastic sea of clouds scenery from the observation deck in the early morning. In addition, the temple is the 28th temple of the 33 Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage.

For more information, refer to our article on Nariaiji!

© Tango Kairiku Kotsu

Click HERE to return to a list of attractions in Amanohashidate.

Ajikōbō Mamaya (味香房 ままや)

If you plan to visit one of Japan’s Three Views, Amanohashidate and are unsure where to head for dinner, how about Ajikōbō Mamaya? The restaurant is conveniently located close to the Rotating Bridge, which is easy to get to from the station. Sitting at Ajikōbō Mamaya’s window seats means enjoying the waterfront view while enjoying mouthwatering food.

Specializing in Kyoto’s traditional home cooking (Obanzai), Ajikōbō Mamaya’s menu is filled with Kyoto’s fresh vegetables. In fact, the restaurant looks different from a well-maintained traditional private house. So from the point that Ajikōbō Mamaya is in your sight, it would feel like you were going to dine at your Japanese friend’s place!

Important: We have confirmed with them that Ajikōbō Mamaya uses non-vegetarian broth.

Tip: It is best to make a reservation by calling +81 772-45-1800 a day in advance.

Ajikōbō Mamaya’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Ajikōbō Mamaya is open daily from 6:30 pm to 11 pm.
  • The restaurant is a 5-minute from JR Amanohashidate Station (天橋立駅).

Events, Festivals, Cherry Blossom, and Autumn Foliage Season at Amanohashidate

© 海の京都DMO

Please refer to the official website HERE for a list of current and upcoming events and festivals.

You can also refer to their event calendar HERE.

  • The cherry blossom season at Amanohashidate is usually from early to mid-April.
  • The autumn foliage season usually peaks in mid-November and can last till early December in some years.

Ine Bay (伊根湾)

Extend your exploration of Japan’s rural landscape from Amanohashidate to Ine Bay! There is a quiet fishing village located in the northern part of the Tango Peninsula (丹後半島). Along Ine Bay, where the waves are calm, a unique townscape is formed by the type of private houses called Funaya (舟屋).

For more information on how you can enjoy this fishing village, please refer to our article on Ine Bay Funaya!

© Tango Kairiku Kotsu

Discover the Charm of Kyoto’s Summer Resort – Kurama and Kibune

Click the photo to find out more about Kurama and Kibune!

The Kurama and Kibune area is the perfect place to escape the summer heat in Kyoto city center. Up in the mountain, enjoying Japanese cuisine on the platform above the river, and visiting the famous Kurama-dera Temple and Kifune Shrine is the best way to enjoy Kyoto’s summer!

For more information, please refer to our article on Kurama and Kibune!

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