The most 3 scenic view of Japan – Matsushima, Miyajima and Amanohashidate.
On the previous to Japan, I visited 2 out of these 3: Miyajima and Amanohashidate. Matsushima, unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it there because it was quite out of the way for me. While I really really like Miyajima, I prefer Amanohashidate. I saw a lot less tourists except for a few local visitors. It is not straightforward to reach but it is a good day trip option from Kyoto and Osaka; the latter being easier to reach with a direct express train service.
If you are planning to visit here, please go from Kyoto and take the direct JR express train. It is reachable from Osaka but it involves changing trains a few times and these are local hourly trains. So, if you miss the train, the waiting time can be pretty long.
After almost 3 hours of taking train ride, waiting for the connecting trains and walking around, I reached Miyazu and made my way up up to the hill. The view from the hill definitely is stunning.
After admiring the view, I went down from the hill to the town center; about 500 meters walk. There were quite a few restaurants and souvenir shops on the main shopping street and Chionji temple at the end of the street.
I guess it probably isn’t a mainstream tourist town when most of the shops only offers Japanese menu. I had Udon with vegetable tempura for lunch at a nearby restaurant and enjoyed the serene atmosphere over green tea.
After lunch, I slowly walked toward the beach and walked across the sandbar. It was one of the most peaceful, beautiful and tranquil moments that I have ever had. I could just sit down there whole day with some books and won’t get bored at all.
Riding bicycles across the 3 km-long sandbar is one of the things you have to do when you visit. Walking is definitely an option if you want to have a slow-paced enjoyment. There are so many pine trees on the sandbar so when I walked down, it was breezy and filled with the fragrance from the pine trees. Beach, sand, cold sea breeze and the smell from the pine trees – what else can you ask for more and not think that this is heaven on earth?
It is a really romantic place to bring your partner, walk or bicycle along the pine tree boulevard, occasionally going out to to beach outside of the trees to enjoy the sun or dip your feet into the water.
My admiration toward Japan went up a notch higher – mankind and nature seems to co-exists and well-preserved; the harmonious balance between tradition and modern landscape.