Kyoto by the seaThe source of Japan

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The source of Japan

"Kyoto by the sea" is where civilization blossomed before any other region in Ancient Japan, as a result of culture from the Asian continent crossing the sea to this bountiful, nature-blessed land. That is, this is the origin of Japan.

Visit "Kyoto by the sea" and experience a yet-undiscovered Japan.

What to see

A Shinto and Buddhist Sanctuary

Near "Amanohashidate", one of Japan's three most famous scenic views, are numerous sacred sites worshipping the archetypal deities and buddhas of Japan, such as "the God of Food and Textiles", "the God of the Sun", and "the Buddha of Wisdom."

Also located in this area is "Chirimen Street" where lingers the vestige of a modern town that flourished as a major producer of "Tango Chirimen", a fabric used in high-end Japanese kimonos.

A-1Amanohashidate

"Amanohashidate", one of Japan's three most famous scenic views, is a naturally-formed geographical feature that is narrow and long, with a total length of about 3.6 km. Legend has it that the god who created Japan used a ladder as a means of traveling back and forth between heaven and earth.
One day, this ladder fell and became Amanohashidate.
This spectacular and mystical landscape can be viewed from two observatories.

A-2Chionji Temple

Enshrined in Chionji Temple is one of Japan’s three important statues of Monju: "Monju Bosatsu", the Buddha of Wisdom. Wisdom in this case refers to the ability to make correct judgments and respond appropriately. According to legend, "Monju Bosatsu" bestowed wisdom upon a dragon that was wreaking havoc in the region. The repentant dragon is said to protect this region to this day.
Many worshippers visit Chionji Temple to receive wisdom. It is said that eating the "Chie-no-Mochi" rice cake, sold in front of the gate on the grounds of the temple, will bring even greater blessings.

Amanohashidate Sightseeing Boat

Connecting the two ends of Amanohashidate in approx. 12 minutes, the sightseeing boat offers passengers a view of Amanohashidate from the sea.

Rental Bicycle

In addition to walking, visitors can rent a bicycle at a nearby shop for a ride across Amanohashidate.

Recommended Souvenirs
Oil Sardines of Takenaka Canning

Sealing in the true flavor of the fish, this popular canned item of fresh small sardines carefully cleaned by hand and packed in oil is a masterpiece.

A-3Nariaiji Temple

Nariaiji Temple is located on the side of a mountain overlooking Amanohasidate. The principle image is the "Migawari Kannon (Self-sacrificing Kannon)" who, according to legend, saved people from starvation by carving off her own flesh. This buddha is also known as the "Bijin Kannon (Beautiful Kannon)", who is said to bestow worshippers with beauty of the body and soul. Nariaiji Temple is also a popular flower-viewing spot, with cherry blossoms and rhododendrons in the spring and maple leaves in autumn.

A-4Motoise Kono Shrine

Since ancient times, Motoise Kono Shrine gave worship to "Toyouke-no-okami", the God of Food and Textiles, which is the ancestral god of this region. The shrine also enshrined, for a time, "Amaterasu-omikami", the God of the Sun, which is the ancestral god of the Imperial Family. Because these two gods are currently enshrined in Ise Shrine, this shrine is referred to as “Motoise (Original Ise)”.
Due to its background, Motoise Kono Shrine is of high prestige. The main hall has the same architectural style (shinmei-zukuri style) as Ise Shrine. The Suetama balls of five colors on the balustra are a treasure allowed only in Ise Shrine and this shrine.

A-5Manai Shrine

The Okumiya (inner shrine) of Motoise Kono Shrine, Manai Shrine is where the god who created Japan, as well as numerous other gods, such as "Toyouke-no-okami" and "Amaterasu-omikami", were enshrined in ancient times. The ancient site of worship from approx. 2,500 years ago still remains on the grounds of the shrine. The gods are said to have traveled between heaven and earth using the ladder, "Amanohashidate", erected at this location.

A-6Mt.Oe

Motoise shrines, such as "Motoise Naiku Koutai Shrine" which enshrined "Amaterasu-omikami" and "Motoise Geku Toyouke Daijinja Shrine" which enshrined "Toyouke-no-okami" can also be found on Mt. Oe, famed in oni (demon) legends.
On cold early mornings in autumn, visitors may catch a view of an "unkai (sea of clouds)" from "Onitake Inari Shrine" near the top of Mt. Oe (only accessible by car).

A-7Chirimen Street

"Kyoto by the sea" is the hometown of "Toyouke-no-okami", the God of Food and Textiles, and can also be considered the "Birthplace of Textiles".
In the modern age, this region prospered as a major producer of "Tango Chirimen (a fabric imparted with an uneven surface by a special technique)" that is the silk fabric used in high-end Japanese kimonos.
A townscape with the modern atmosphere of this period still remains at Chirimen Street, a perfect backdrop for a stroll in a rental kimono.

A-8Old House of the Bito Family

Built in 1863, this former residence of an old family of chirimen merchants showcases a blend of Japanese and Western designs. The family's furniture and accessories are on display, creating a retro-style atmosphere.

Recommended Souvenirs
Chirimen Accessories

A variety of accessories created from silk “Tango Chirimen” fabric can be purchased at the tourist information center.

A Lush Land of Nature’s Gifts

Highlights include the 230 funaya boat houses that line the bay in "Ine", as well as the blue waters and sheer cliffs along the coastline (geopark) of Tango Peninsula.
Hot springs and fresh seafood are particularly abundant in this area.

B-1Funaya Boat Houses in Ine

"Ine-no-Funaya (the boat houses of Ine)" are constructed such that the first floor is a garage-like space for boats, with living quarters upstairs. The row of approx. 230 boat houses surrounding the waters of Ine Bay is a unique sight found nowhere else in the world.

Recommended Souvenirs
Sake from Mukai Shuzo (open every day)

In the sake business for approx. 260 years since establishment in 1754, Mukai Shuzo is currently headed by a female master brewer. The brewery’s hit sake, "Ine Mankai", is created from an ancient variety of rice, which gives it a red color, and has a fruity flavor.

B-2Ine Bay Boat Tour

The "Ine Bay Boat Tour", an approx. 25-minute tour of the Ine Bay, offers a view of the boat houses that cannot be seen from land. Birdfeed is available for purchase at the pier and inside the boat. Hold some out from the boat and watch the seagulls gather.

Rental Bicycle

Take a leisurely ride around Ine on a rental bicycle.

B-3Tateiwa

Located on Nochigahama Beach, "Tateiwa" looms at a height of 20 meters, creating a spectacular contrast with the blue sea.(Nearest bus stop is “Tenki-tenki Mura”)

B-4Kotohikihama Beach

Sand constantly cleansed by the sea water and daily clean-up by the locals result in an amazingly beautiful beach. Unmarred by impurities, the silky sand is called "Naki-suna (singing sand)". Enjoy listening to the "squeak-squeak" as you stroll along the beach. (Nearest bus stop is "Kotohikihama")

B-5Yuhigaura

A fantastic spot for sunsets, the golden reflection on the sea surface just before sunset is known as "sun mirror". Take time out to sit on the bench and enjoy the sunset. Yuhigaura is also great for swimming in the summer. (Nearest train station is "Yuhigaura-kitsu-onsen")

B-6"Shoku-no-Miyako" Tango Kingdom
(Free admission, closed Tuesdays in winter)

On the vast grounds are a market selling fresh vegetables as well as restaurants that serve dishes using plenty of local ingredients such as seafood. Savor the "food culture" of "Kyoto by the sea".
Shuttle buses available from Amino Station and Mineyama Station. (Free of charge)

B-7Gosho Inaba Honke
(Free admission, closed Wednesdays)

Gosho Inaba Honke is the house of a wealthy merchant who built his fortune in the early modern period, using ships for coastal trade. Try the local favorite eats, “Bara-zushi” and "Bota-mochi". (Nearest train station is "Kumihama")

An Exploration of Early Modern and Modern Relics

The red-brick structures of “Maizuru”, which prospered as a port town. The castle town of "Fukuchiyama" built by Akechi Mitsuhide, a feudal warlord.
The townscape of "Ayabe", which evolved together with the global textile manufacturer "Gunze". Enjoy the unique atmosphere of each town.

C-1Maizuru Brick Park
(Free admission)

Red-bricked structures can be found throughout Maizuru, which developed as a port town in the modern age. In particular, the red-bricked warehouses at Maizuru Brick Park are brimming with retro charm and have also been designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan. Another highlight is the 5,300-year-old dugout canoe that was excavated in Maizuru and is considered one of the oldest in the world.

C-2Maizuru World Brick Museum

The theme of Maizuru World Brick Museum is the various bricks from around the world. Also part of the group of red-bricked warehouses, this building is a great treasure even among the other brick structures currently in existence.

C-3Harbor Sight-seeing Cruise

The sightseeing boat for a tour of Maizuru Bay departs from the pier on the east side of the Maizuru World Brick Museum. Catch a close-up view of the Self-Defense Force vessels on a stopover at the SDF base.

C-4Gorogatake Park
(Free admission)

The view from Gorogatake Park, a prime spot for an expansive view of the entire Maizuru Bay and its complex geography, was selected the best among the 100 famous landscapes of the Kinki region. Climb the “Goro Sky Tower”, which soars towards the vast sky, for a fantastic 360-degree panoramic view.

C-5Maizuru Repatriation Memorial Museum

Kyoto Maizuru Port served an important role in the "repatriation" of Japanese people who remained overseas after the end of the Second World War. The historical materials on display in the museum continue, today, to tell of the past. Of the museum's collection, 570 items became part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2015.

C-6Fukuchiyama Castle

Fukuchiyama Castle was built by the feudal warlord, "Akechi Mitsuhide". The three-layered, four-storied castle tower is beautiful in its practical design and presents a stately appearance. The stone walls created by ruggedly-stacked stone pagodas, in addition to natural rock, is also a sight to see.

C-7Yurano Garden

An expanse of lawn situated just near Fukuchiyama Castle, Yurano Garden is lined with shops serving lunch, coffee, and sweets. It’s the perfect place for a stroll.

C-8Goryo Shrine
(Free admission)

Enshrined in Goryo Shrine is the spirit of Akechi Mitsuhide, who is revered by the local residents to this day for his wise governance, such as carrying out construction to protect the town from flooding from Yura River. "Kanae Ishi (granting stone)", which is said to reward worshippers for their endeavors, can also be found on the grounds of the shrine.

C-9Ayabe Gunze Square
(Free admission, closed Tuesdays [or the following day if a holiday falls on a Tuesday])

At this spot, together with the nearby Gunze Memorial Hall (former Head Office of Gunze), buildings that are designated Heritage of Industrial Modernization convey the history and culture of the region, which prospered as a town of sericulture and silk reeling.

Gunze Museum

Housed in four repurposed cocoon warehouses built in the 1910s, Gunze Museum features exhibits highlighting Gunze’s technological advancements and more.

Ayabe Tokusankan

Available for purchase at Ayabe Tokusankan are local specialties such as produce, rice, sake, snacks, Japanese tea, and craftwork. Also available are accessories crafted from handmade washi paper (Kurotani washi). Pour yourself a cup of Gyokuro or other Japanese tea at the cafe, and enjoy.

Gunze Memorial Hall (Former Head Office of Gunze)
Ayabe Rose Garden

Planted in Ayabe Rose Garden are 1,200 bushes of 120 types of roses. The "Rose Festival" is held during the rose season, for about a month from late May, and for about a month from mid-October. Don't miss "Anne’s Rose", cultivated from a seedling received from Anne Frank's father.

C-10Oomoto-no-Shin-en
(Free admission)

Oomoto-no-Shin-en is the sacred grounds of a folk religion that strived to realize world peace. With rows of numerous invaluable buildings, such as the "Miroku-den", a shrine that is a Registered Tangible Cultural Property of Japan, "Chosei-den", one of the largest wooden structures of the 20th century, and "Konohana-an", an Important Cultural Property of Japan, Oomoto-no-Shin-en is a spiritual power spot.

Recommended Souvenirs
Kurotani Washi

Kurotani washi is famous as washi paper made using a traditional hand-crafting technique that has been passed down for 800 years. Not only is the washi paper so strong, it's untearable by hand, it is also said to last a thousand years.

Japanese Tea

The valley of Yura River, which runs north to south through "Kyoto by the sea", is known among connoisseurs as "a renowned producer of Japanese tea". The extremely high-quality tea produced here is a consecutive winner at National Tea Fairs.

Hot Springs and Gourmet Ryokan Inns Galore

This area is home to numerous hot springs, as well as ryokan inns that serve "Japanese cuisine" featuring fresh seafood.

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Food

"Kyoto by the sea" is also well-known as the hometown of "Toyouke-no-okami",
the God of Food and Textiles,
marking this area as the "birthplace of Japan's food culture".

Taiza Crab
(From November through March)

The quintessential winter delicacy of "Kyoto by the sea" is the Matsuba crab. Of the Matsuba crabs, Taiza crab is famous as the Matsuba crab of the highest quality. The freshness of Taiza crab, landed at Taiza Fishing Port on the Tango Peninsula, is kept high by day fishing.

Tango-produced Koshihikari

"Kyoto by the sea" is said to be the first place in Japan where the God of Food (Toyouke-no-okami) planted rice. The quality of "Tango Koshihikari", carefully grown on such land, is of the highest rank (Special A).

Photo courtesy of Kyoto Prefectural Fishery Cooperation

Tango Torigai (Cockles)
(From May through June)

The giant Tango Torigai cockles, which at their largest has a shell of about 10 cm in diameter, are significantly larger and thicker than typical cockles. Consistent production and availability of such large cockles is possible only in "Kyoto by the sea"..

Chie-no-Mochi

Chie-no-Mochi, a soft rice cake covered with a heap of sweet bean paste, is available at four shops, all established in 1690 and located in front of the gate, on the grounds of Chionji Temple in Amanohashidate. "Monju Bosatsu" bestowed the method for making Chie-no-Mochi upon a worshipper in a dream, thus starting the history of Chie-no-Mochi. It is said that a person who eats Chie-no-Mochi will be blessed with wisdom from "Monju Bosatsu".

Nikujaga (Stewed meat and potatoes)

Maizuru is the birthplace of “nikujaga”, beloved throughout Japan as the taste of good old home cooking.
"Nikujaga" came into being when, in an attempt make beef stew that the founding Commander-in-Chief of the Old Navy in Maizuru had in England, Japanese condiments (such as soy sauce and sugar) were used.

Ine Buri (Yellowtail)
(From December through February)

Ine is home to one of Japan's three biggest yellowtail fisheries, allowing visitors to enjoy fresh, fatty yellowtail. While yellowtails are very tasty as sashimi with a dip in soy sauce, "Buri Shabu", a hot-pot dish of thinly sliced yellowtail swished in steaming, flavorful dashi broth, is a marvel.

Fukuchiyama Confections

Fukuchiyama is one of the top producers of large, high-quality chestnuts called "Tamba Kuri", black beans called "Tamba Kuromame", and red beans called "Tamba Dainagon". Various sweet shops offering confections abundant with these ingredients and more can be found throughout Fukuchiyama.

Sake (Local sake)

"Kyoto by the sea" is also the birthplace of sake. There are 13 sake breweries in the area, each creating their own unique sake, while on a small scale. Such a region is rare even in Japan.

Bara-zushi

Loaded with toppings like flakes of sweet-and-savory braised mackerel and shredded egg omelet, this sushi has long been served in most of the households in the Tango Peninsula area.

Fruits

Cultivation of various types of fruit, like melons, watermelons, pears, peaches, strawberries, grapes, and blueberries, thrives in the Tango Peninsula area. The use of sandy soil with excellent drainage results in fruits that are sweet and juicy.

Access

Approx.2 hours
from Kyoto Station to Amanohashidate Station!!

Getting to "Kyoto by the sea"

Highway bus

*Travel time is subject to change depending on operating conditions, buses used, traffic conditions, etc.

Railway / Fixed-route bus

  • 00indicates required travel time (minutes). Travel time is subject to change depending on traffic conditions, etc.
  • *From Osaka International Airport to Takarazuka:30 From Osaka International Airport to Osaka:30
  • *Travel time refers to the minimum amount of time required when Limited Express and Rapid train services are used
    (excluding lines with very limited operation).