Coastal beauty and grace
Between sea and mountains, dunes and forests, the coast of San'in stretches along the shore of theJapanese Sea on the borders of the prefectures of Shimane and Tottori, and as far north as Kyoto. San'in, "north face of the mountains", refers to the Chūgoku mountains.
On the Sea of Japan in Hyogo Prefecture, Kinosagi Onsen has been receiving the blessings of the water for 1,300 years. The charming spa with 7 hot springs is built on a river fringed by willows.
Further east, around Kyoto Prefecture, the fishing village of Ine is renowned for its funaya, a local architectural feature, in between fishermen's houses and boathouses. The lower floor, open to the water, is devoted to the equipment warehouse, while the upper part is reserved for living areas.
Another coastal curiosity is he pine forest of the Amanohashidate sandbank ("sky bridge") spans Miyazu Bay. Thrown into a bay open to the Sea of Japan, this arm of land connects two mountain ranges. The mythological site, Amanohashidate is considered as one of the most picturesque see sights in Japan.
In terms of craftsmanship, Tano, in the Kyoto region, has been producing Tango Chirimen, also known as silk crepe, since the Edo period. This flat-woven silk fabric is used in the manufacture of almost 60% of the fabric for kimonos.
The beautiful boathouses of Ine are a unique sight, where the seaside wooden boathouses appear to be floating. The area maintains a traditional Japanese fishing town atmosphere.
Located on the Sea of Japan, Kinosaki Spa is a historic hot spring that has been in use for over 1,300 years. It is one of Japan’s most famous Onsen hot spa towns where you can enjoy the traditional inn’s indoor baths or the communal outdoor baths.
Tango, in the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture, has long been a home of textiles. The area’s silk fabric known as Tango Chirimen has around 300 years history, and is characterized by the presence of fine irregularities called "shibo" on the surface of the fabric.
In the northern districts of Kyoto is the stunning sight of the Amano-hashi-date sandbar. Seen from the Hiryu-kan on the hills above, it resembles a dragon soaring into the sky, and from Kasamatsu Park on the opposite side, it appears as a diagonal line.
The Moto Ise Kono Jinja shrine is called Moto-Ise, or “Former Ise” because of the legend that the dieties Amaterasu and Toyouke, now enshrined in the Ise Jingu, originally dwelt here. It became Tango Province’s first shrine in the Nara period over 1,200 years ago, and remains the regions’ most sacred shrine.
Known as the Torttori Desert, the majestic Tottori Sand Dunes along the Sea of Japan are one of the largest sand dune ranges in Japan. The reflective, wind rippled sand and azure blue skies contrast with the Sea of Japan. Red evening sunsets lead to mysterious starry nights in this spectacular region.
The World Heritage listed San'in Kaigan Geopark allows you to experience 25 to 70-million year-old geology and topography. See Cape Kyoga, with its spectacular 140-meter-high cliffs, topped with a white lighthouse, and the many oddly-shaped folding screen-like rocks of Tango Matsushima.