I'm living in Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken for an undetermined amount of time and teaching English as a second language at a local high school. This journal is to document my experiences, thoughts, and to stay connected with others at home and abroad.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Amanohashidatte (天橋立)

I wish I could say that I thought of this one myself, or that these were my photos. I actually lifted them from a Japanese guy––sorry! Many years ago someone (I'm guessing a monk or a drunk because no one else would be so creative) discovered that by looking at this land bridge with your head between your legs enhanced the view and made it appear as if the long stretch of pine trees were a dragon's tail bridge reaching into the sky. Absolutely astonishing! It seems that people several hundred years ago had just as much free time they didn't know what to do with as we do now! I feel a little less alone in the universe (big hug for everyone!) Looking between your legs is so popular that is has a special name (Mata nozoki=またのぞき) That is what the pair in picture 2 are performing--they are not reminiscing their more 'youthful' or 'jailbird' days.

This is Amanohashidatte, 天橋立, or the "bridge to heaven" more or less. According to tourist information and wikipedia (I am working hard you see), 天橋立 is a 3.6 kilometer sandbar that extends across a small bay, separating it from the Sea of Japan. It is located in the northernmost part of Kyoto Prefecture, but just below the Tango Peninsula. Apart from being an incredibly unusual geographical feature, and one of Japan's famed 三景 (the three most attractive places in Japan), it has between 8,000-10,0000 pine trees and a natural spring/well that dips down into an aquifer below sea level. Drinking from it was odd, because I was not salty like I expected.

For being one of the top 'tourist' places in Japan, I was quite impressed with 天橋立. Unfortunately Katie and I only stayed for about 3/4 of a day; we were a little beat from playing ultimate frisbee in a typhoon the days before. I would love to go again, take my travel bicycle and ride around the town and the Tango Peninsula for a few days. It was a quiet, laid-back place, and even on a holiday (we actually visited on Marine Day 海の日) and it wasn't too crowded. I'd love to see the day on any normal Wednesday when no one is around. Plus there are several great little Japan-style inns (旅館ーwhat other kind, this is Japan!).



Blogger Patti said...


4:48 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home