September 07, 2018 Fri
A wintry view of Amanohashidate

Amanohashidate - which very loosely translates as the ‘Bridge to Heaven’ - has long been a part of the Tango region’s heritage, dividing the inland lagoon of the Aso Sea from the deeper waters of Mizayu Bay. Though administratively part of the town of Mizayu, Amanohashidate was formed over thousands of years from sediment deposited into the sea from the Noda river, which runs through Yosano. It might have remained a simple geographical curiosity were it not for the legend surrounding its origin. According to one version, the god Izanagi used the bridge to see his lover, the goddess Izanami, in heaven. However, one day the bridge fell down to earth as he was sleeping, and Amanohashidate, the Bridge to Heaven, was born. In more recent history, Amanohashidate was designated as one of Japan’s three most scenic views by the 17th century scholar Hayashi Gacho, and tourists have flocked to the pine tree-covered spit of land ever since. Although Yosano does not directly benefit from Amanohashidate’s tourist infrastructure, the spit nevertheless draws tourists to an otherwise under-explored region of Kyoto prefecture, with many of the region’s towns dependent on the extra yen tourists are willing to spend.

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