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Welcome to my blog!



If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place my friend.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years before becoming a mom of 2 beautiful girls and i love sharing about Beauty, fashion and everything about Japan because i'm currently based in Kyoto!
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Amanohashidate | Kyoto Heaven’s Bridge

Shot taken with my Canon EOS M10, slightly edited the colors because it was a wee bit cloudy & was about to rain, thankfully it didn't!
Always check the weather forecast before planning any outdoor trips.

Ever wonder what it’s like to be so close to the heavens that it feels within your reach? I’m not joking, in Kyoto (yes in this pitiful crater city) it’s possible to experience that lol. That’s what it felt to me at least la, maybe to you guys I might sound like I’m exaggerating because that’s what most bloggers do right, “berdrama lebih-lebih” lol. Everyone who has travelled to Kyoto whether first or multiple times would often skip this location because firstly it isn’t that famous among foreigners (more locals visit this place) and secondly it’s abit far from the city, takes about 2 hours bus ride to reach from Kyoto station. Yes, there’s actually a direct route underneath your nose; a bus platform facing Kyoto tower offering rides from Kyoto station to Amanohashidate daily which can be easily overlooked.

But did you know it’s considered one of the TOP 3 SCENIC SPOTS IN JAPAN? Also known as “Kyoto by the Sea” and also home to one of the power spots in Kyoto which I’ll explain more later in this post.


During spring sakura blooms are all around

Even if you love visiting Kyoto because of its unique cultural atmosphere, after a while it gets boring too because you have seen most of the “must visit” tourist spots, and there isn’t much to do except probably go around neighboring cities in Kansai area like Osaka, Hyogo, Shiga, Wakayama, Okayama, Nara, Mie, etc.

Where the bridge between earth and the heavens meets

I’ve stayed here in Kyoto for about 4 months already, and currently in that bummer situation lol but if I look closely instead of further there are actually more hidden gems in Kyoto like Amanohashidate. I first came across its name a year ago from one of the YouTubers I followed, she usually highlights least visited locations around Japan (she’s a foreigner too!), if you have not followed her please do- Internationally ME!

Her vlogs are natural, awkward and funny, not staged like most YouTubers these days, I understand the need to keep up a “professional” standard but somethings can’t be captured staged, it really kills the mood like speaking in a weird accent lol. It’s okay to not sound “American/ British” because we are Asians despite spending more than a decade learning English, I mean not everyone can pull it off naturally, if you can that’s an amazing skill but otherwise it sounds like you are faking it. ­

Lol, back to the travel topic..

Kasamatsu Park Amanohashidate's Mascot- Kasabo-chan, he is actually a conifer cone and his birthday is in the month of June just like me lol

Since Autumn is finally here, there’s definitely gonna be a major increase of tourists visiting for the Autumn Foliage in Kyoto it’s also a good time for me to finally share this post (trying to justify my posting procrastination lol typical arisa). So if you have some time to spare after visiting the major tourist spots (honestly you can skip some of it because the amount of tourists flocking it makes the visit unpleasant & suffocating like Kinkakuji Temple), do head up to get a good view of the Heaven’s bridge and also walk/ cycle around the beach. It’s not every day that you can see the sea within Kyoto vicinity lol, really a “jakun” moment for me because over here the closest thing to a sea are just massive river banks lol. Lots of water alright, but no sea breeze and soft sand to walk on.


VIDEO


Made a simple walkthrough video in case you are lazy to read lol, enjoy!
Make sure to click "HD" for better viewing quality, and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Highway bus

From Kyoto station to Amanohashidate

This short one day roadtrip was considered a “date” when I was down in Tokyo for work during Spring earlier this year before we headed down to Kyoto (since I was flying back from Kansai airport), even then the danna (previously boyfriend) has not been to Amanohashidate before so both of us can play tourist for a day lol. I was wondering how to get there as I have not done any research since it was rather an impromptu trip, that’s where I learned a direct bus from Kyoto station was available, it’s also a cheaper commute compared to the direct train which costs double and takes roughly the same amount of time to reach lol. There are also supposedly “cheaper” train options but it requires several exchanges and takes over 3 hours, so best to just skip that option unless you don’t mind the view lol.

  • Direct Train: 4500 yen (2hrs) 
  • Direct Bus: 2800 yen (2 hrs) 

Really convenient, but you’ll need to check the schedule ahead since there’s only 3 buses going up & down daily, you also wouldn’t want to miss the last bus back down to town unless your plan is to stay overnight in Amanohashidate.

The bus platform is C2 (facing Kyoto tower),  you will see a signboard that states the route to  Miyazu/ Amanohashidate/ Taiza.

This is the bus schedule from Amanohashidate to Kyoto station

The bus will make a stop at one of the highway rest stops if you need to use the bathroom, stretch your legs or get something to eat before reaching its destination and one thing I love about the bus rides in Japan is that their roads are so smooth, hardly any bumps despite passing by such rural areas (literally in between mountains & forests) meanwhile imaging my bus ride in Malaysia all the bumps and road holes every couple of meters is enough to make one throw up after 30 mins into the journey. It’s amazing how Japan maintains its roads so well!


Getting Across 


Information building

Once we arrived at the drop off point which is infront of the Amanohashidate ticketing & information counter everything is within walking distance, the port, temple, eateries, etc. There are 2 ways on how you can reach the connecting island to reach the top of the mountain for the “floating heaven’s bridge view”. Either you can cycle there or board the ferry, I would highly advise you guys to rent a bike and ride across and take the ferry back especially if it’s towards evening as it can get rather chilly & dark to ride 3.6km. But if you are a quick visitor to go up & down with good stamina, cycling both ways can also be an option at least it’s a scenic pine trees and beach view, plus more flexible in terms of timing.

Got our tickets from the information building

I was 4 months pregnant at that time, with the morning sickness and fatigue I couldn’t ride the bike despite insisting like a small kid lol, the danna wouldn’t allow so I guess that’s something to do with #lilpenguin when she’s older the next time we come up here again with my parents.



Taking the ferry (530 yen one way) is no doubt a faster and more family friendly option (for elders & kids), there is a schedule available HERE (click to view)

There are some bicycle rental shops near the port and rates from 500 yens+ for 1 day rental, you can opt to drop it back at the place you rented it from or it’s drop off location opposite (If you are riding the ferry back).

Waiting for our ferry ride


Getting up the Observatory



Seems this trip is full of options, either this or that like the coffee or tea question lol and I’m not making it up too!
To get up here, it’s 850 yen for adults and 450 yen for children 6 years and above, kids below 6 is free.



There are 2 ways to hitch a ride up the observatory deck, one is on a covered tram while the other is just a floating chair. Not advisable for children below 12 years old and those who are afraid of heights lol though there is safety net beneath you. I was feeling adventurous and how often do you find rides like this? Covered ones are super common so this was a fun experience though I was kinda scared that I might accidentally drop my camera or phone while recording & taking photos lol, luckily none of that happened! So proud of the danna for being brave enough to follow me on this ride though he insisted on taking the covered ride (and I was fine riding this alone) haha, this is what I call true love! 


Matanozoki  (MUST DO!)


Once you are up the observatory, this is one of the activities & photo taking opportunity you must do! Looking in between your legs is called the “MATANOZOKI”, It’s really a unique experience because there’s a bench specifically made for you to stand on to bend down and look in between your legs. Then only you’ll finally understand why Amanohashidate is called “Floating Heaven’s bridge” lol.

The long connecting sand bar when viewed upside down, looks like it’s part of the sky!

TIP: I would highly advise for girls NOT TO wear skirts up here because it can get really windy and you gotta pull up your skirt in order to get a good view of the bridge, in that case other people will also get a good view of your butt lol. 
Lesson learnt the hard way haha!

This is what you'll see in between your legs

Up here you can get a snack at the souvenir store and you’ll find tons of gifts posing in the “matanozoki” position lol including famous landyards from sanrio like the “gotochikitty”, was kinda sad that they don’t have the shobon version here :’(

The danna managed to score, he has better aim than me lol.

Aside from looking in between your legs you can also purchase some clay pieces to throw into the hoop that’s probably a meter away. It’s said if you managed to score a shoot, your wishes will come true. Again I can’t vouch for its validity but in a way buy purchasing those clay pieces you are indirectly supporting the maintenance of this place lol, tourism gimmick :P

I was doing live Instagram stream during this trip, it was all thanks to my trusty pocket Wifi from Roaming Man, super affordable! It's less than RM20 a day with unlimited data and it lasts throughout the whole day for me (single user). I'm surprised even this far from the main city my 4G connection was still decent lol. 


Power Spot



As promised earlier that I’ll explains about the “power spot”, in Japan it’s believe certain areas there are local Gods residing in them, and this place is where your wishes or prayers would most likely be heard by them. You can find tons of major power spots throughout Japan, and Amanohashidate so happens to be one of them lol. There is a post box right here, so you can post a letter/ postcard home which includes the God’s blessing in it. Of course, I’m not exactly sure whether it reaches the recipient a 100% (because you know postal (and human) errors do happen even in Japan) but no harm trying to send some blessings home lol. You can get beautiful postcards and stamps from the surrounding souvenir shops, usually international airmail postcards require 70 yen stamps meanwhile within Japan is 60 yen only.



I’ve sent one to my mom in Malaysia, promising to bring her here one day before she gets too old to travel and I wondered if she received it or not because she hardly updates me on the postcards she receives from Japan lol. Even if she did, she has probably forgotten about it, in our family the girls are notorious for short term & selective memory haha.

Alley filled with rearrests and souvenir shops

Must Eat - Chikuwa



What else tastes good near the sea, fish obviously! These large Chikuwa (roasted fish cakes) on bamboo sticks is something you must eat if you are not vegan/ vegetarian. It’s made fresh and compared to the normal fish cakes we have in the city, this tastes like actual fish (not fish flavored lol), it’s so good that I had 2 sticks on the spot and bought another 3 more to bring home. Considered Amanohashidate’s food specialty, and just typing about it makes me crave for one right now lol and you can’t get these anywhere in Kyoto except here which I’m considering to take a 4 hr trip in total just to get my chikuwa lol.


Stuffing my face with glorious Chikuwa lol

This store!

Once you are done with this part of the island you can take a slow stroll along the sand bay covered with pine trees, it’s seriously empty you can take tons of photos and videos here without worrying about being photo-bombed or chased away and during summer it’s apparently a popular swimming spot!


Map of the bay's route


But do watch your timing as you might accidentally miss the last ferry and bus back to the city, one can easily get carried away while enjoying the tranquility here XD


 Chionji Temple


And before leaving Amanohashidate, don’t forget to get your fortunes predicted at Chionji Temple! It’s walking distance around the mainland and their unique hanging fortunes (shaped of a traditional paper fan), makes a memorable souvenir to bring home and if you get a bad luck reading, you can always leave it behind hanging on one of the pine trees surrounding the temple. Pine trees with hanging sensu(s) looks like Japanese Christmas tree lol.

Usually all over Japan, temples have these fortune reading papers sold at 100-200 yen (funds collected supports the temple), major ones have them in English as well while it’s more commonly written in traditional Japanese characters on a simple piece of folded paper while Chionji Temple’s version is in a form of a sensu!



Really enjoyed my day trip here and I do look forward to come back again, because it’s away from the tourist crowd something hard to escape from especially in central Kyoto :P Japan is filled with many travel worthy hidden spots, just need to know where to look sometimes, they might not always be easily accessible by public transport but it makes the trip worthwhile even if you have to drive all the way out there like what I did for my babymoon trip to Yamaguchi prefecture (which I have yet to blog about lol).

We had late lunch in town after coming down from the observatory, quite yummy tempura udon set for only 1000yen, super filling and the hot soup is great especially on a cold day 

The shop's name is Suginoya

Hope you guys enjoyed this entry! 
More details or inquiries of the place you can visit their official website: http://www.amanohashidate.jp/lang/en/ (english ver)

Here, have a conifer/ pine cone! 

Oh nearly forgot about this, you can enjoy a free foot bath at this hotel!
Saw this poster next to the bus stop that's heading back to central Kyoto.


Do check out my other entries on Kyoto here:

1 comment:

  1. Great writeup of Amanohashidate! This is definitely one of our fondest place in Japan. Have you visited the other 2 spots too? Dropping our link here in case you want to read about it :)
    https://jrvacation.com/top-three-views-of-japan/

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