A 3.5-kilometre sandbar stretching south across the Asoumi Sea from the town of Miyazu, Amanohashidate’s beaches are located around 100 km northwest of Kyoto on Japan’s main island of Honshu.
Just a few metres wide in places, it comprises one of the Three Views of Japan, which have been celebrated since 1643. Part of the Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park, its length is typified by a forest of pine trees to its western side, and white sands to its eastern one.
Translating to “heavenly bridge”, the sandbar’s natural beauty can be enjoyed on foot or by bicycle, with the one-way journey taking around 45 minutes when walked. No motor vehicles are permitted to cross. Perhaps best viewed from one of the surrounding mountain viewing platforms, the sandbar includes Shinto and Buddhist shrines, as well as a small amusement park.
The individual coves which make up Amanohashidate’s beaches are popular with swimmers during the summer months, although you’ll find no amenities such as sun loungers or umbrellas for rent. It’s also possible to explore the sandbar without getting wet by taking one of the regular cruises around the bay from the dock beside the Chionji Temple.
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