Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I am one of those people who really likes lists.  Grocery lists, to-do lists, books to read lists, etc. Currently, the one list I think about a lot right now is my “Things To Do Before Leaving Japan” list. 

We will be in Japan for a while longer yet, but I am also a planner.  I constantly find myself thinking about the future and planning. 

During our time studying at Yamasa in Okazaki we were able to cross off some big things from the list: climbing Mount Fuji, exploring Kyoto more thoroughly (more on that later), and seeing Amanohashidate.

There are three places in Japan considered to be the most picturesque in the entire country.  The torii of Itsukushima Shrine, Matsushima, and Amanohashidate.  Two down, one to go!

Amanohashidate is a natural sand bar along the sea of Japan on the north side of Kyoto. Its natural shape is absolutely fascinating. 

We rode up a lift to reach the best viewing point.  It was stunning.  Supposedly, if you turn upside down and look at it through your legs, the sandbar will look like "A bridge to the heavens."  

Chion-Ji Temple entrance.  This temple is very close to one of the ends of the sand bar.
Bad fortunes are left at the temple.  If you get a good fortune, you take it with you.

After coming back down the lift, we rented some bicycles and explored the area.  It was lovely.  I wish we had had time to take a swim.  The water looked amazing. 

Motoise Kono Shrine on the opposite end of the sandbar as the Chion-Ji Temple.
Biking across Amanohashidate
Though difficult to access by public transportation, I highly recommend seeing Amanohashidate.  With its natural shape and beauty, it’s no wonder that it on the most beautiful places in Japan list!

Do you have any suggestions for my "do before leaving Japan" list?  Leave me a note if you do! 
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  1. Those lifts looked really fun and they must have had a great view. It makes me want to go skiing, well, if there was snow there.

  2. It looks amazing and I bet the view from the top of the lift is breathtaking. Have you also visited the other two - Miyajima and Matsushima?

    1. I have only seen Miyajima and Amanohashidate. Hoping to make it to Matsushima sometime this year.