Kyoto by the Sea: Explore “power spots” in Amanohashidate! A relaxing train journey away from the crowds of the center of Kyoto

Wouldn’t you like to stretch your legs and escape the center of Kyoto, a bustling tourist area, to go to a place in the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture known as “Kyoto by the Sea”? att.JAPAN Editorial Team members hopped on a sightseeing train on the Kyoto Tango Railway to enjoy a one-day trip through Kyoto Station, Nishi-Maizuru, and Amanohashidate! We’ve put together a recommended travel itinerary that lets you visit “spiritual power spots” and enjoy spectacular views at your own pace. You’re sure to discover sights you won’t forget.

Do you have a Kansai WIDE Area Pass (12,000 yen), a five-day pass for unlimited train rides? It not only gives you access to Kansai International Airport, Osaka, and Kyoto but also to Maizuru City facing the Sea of Japan. You can even go to Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture, a city that has been all the buzz since the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Use this sample one-day itinerary as a reference point when planning a productive trip with your Kansai WIDE Area Pass.


Kyoto Station → Nishi-Maizuru Station (Limited Express MAIZURU)

It’s possible to go directly from Kyoto Station to Amanohashidate by taking the Limited Express “HASHIDATE,” but only a few run throughout the day. In fact, there is another route that includes a ride on a retro sightseeing train that goes through Kyoto Station → (Limited Express MAIZURU) → Nishi-Maizuru Station → (Kyoto Tango Railway) → Amanohashidate Station.
First, to get from Kyoto Station to Nishi-Maizuru Station, you must take a direct, 1.5-hour drive on the Limited Express MAIZURU. The Limited Express MAIZURU will depart from Platform 31 at JR Kyoto Station.
JR Kyoto StationPlatforms 30 and 31 of JR Kyoto Station

Nishi-Maizuru is a city with a long history. Enjoy the townscape of a bygone era at the fishing village Yoshihara Inlet, also known as the “Venice of Japan.”
Yoshihara InletSince we had time before our next train, we ate a super fresh seafood bowl for lunch at “Totogen Nishi-Maizuru,” just a three-minute walk from the station!
Outside Totogen Nishi-MaizuruOutside “Totogen Nishi-Maizuru”

Check the articles below to learn how to get from Kansai International Airport to the Kansai area, from Kyoto Station to the North Kansai area, and how to book reserved seats.

Nishi-Maizuru Station → Amanohashidate Station (Kyoto Tango Railway)

After devouring lunch, it’s time to start the journey to Amanohashidate. To get from Nishi-Maizuru to Amanohashidate, you must take the Miyamai Line or Miyatoyo Line (down train) on the Kyoto Tango Railway. We boarded the “TANGO AKAMATSU,” a sightseeing train that generally only operates every Tuesday and Wednesday (online reservation only)
【make reservations here】
In addition to the train fare, there is a boarding fare (550 yen)
train提供:WILLER TRAINS(京都丹後鉄道)

From sofa seats to counter seats, you’ll find a variety of seating arrangements on the train. You can take whichever seat you want, which means you’ll be more likely to get your preferred spot by boarding 10-20 minutes before departure.

Refreshments like coffee are served on the train, so you can sit back and gaze at the view outside the window. The train runs a little slower than regular trains for passengers to soak in the scenery along the railroad tracks. We also recommend taking pictures of the tracks and view from the window at the far end of the train!

More ways to enjoy! Yuragawa Kyoryo, an Instaworthy photo spot

When passing Yuragawa Kyoryo, located between Tango-Kanzaki Station and Tango-Yura Station, you’ll find a popular Instaworthy spot showcasing the enchanting contrast of the train and the ocean.
Yuragawa KyoryoThe extraordinary feeling as though your train is gliding over water is one way to enjoy the trip. But if you’re traveling with a rental car, you can take pictures of the trains going across Yuragawa Kyoryo! While there are several photo spots, we snapped a picture from National Route 178. It’s best to check the train timetable beforehand so you know when the trains will be passing through.
Yuragawa Kyoryo

Best ways to cross Amanohashidate

We arrived at Amanohashidate Station roughly 50 minutes after departing Nishi-Maizuru Station. Amanohashidate is known as one of Japan’s Three Most Scenic Spots. It is a beak-shaped sandbar formed by accumulated sand brought in by the ocean currents, and it is about 3.6 km long. The three main ways to cross it are via a sightseeing boat (approx. 12 min.), via rental bike (approx. 20 min.), and on foot (approx. 1 hour).

To the “power spot”! Visit Tango Ichinomiya Motoise Kono Shrine and Manai Shrine

Cross the Amanohashidate sandbar and head to the Kono Shrine. It is also known as “Motoise” (“original Ise”), as legend has it that Amaterasu Omikami and Toyouke no Okami, the major deities enshrined at the Ise Jingu Shrine in Mie Prefecture, were relocated from this location. Going further, you’ll find Manai Shrine. On the shrine grounds is “Ame no Manai no Mizu,” a spring of sacred water that visitors from far and wide come to collect.
Kono ShrineKono Shrine
Manai ShrineManai Shrine
Manai no MizuManai no Mizu

Paying respects at both shrines on new moon and full moon days is called “Musuhi Mairi.” It is only on these days that a special amulet known as “Musuhi Mamori” is available (1,200 yen). Visitors receive a black amulet on the new moon and a white amulet on the full moon. When the two are placed side-by-side, they spell out the character “明” meaning “brightness.” Since we visited on the full moon, we received a white amulet. Next time, we hope to come on a new moon day.
Musuhi MamoriMusuhi Mamori, a white amulet only available on the full moon
amuletsThere are other amulets, such as Kagami-mori and Magatama-mori
Check the official website for the 2024 Musuhi Mamori calendar:

Business hours 7:30-16:30 *Varies throughout the year

How to enjoy sightseeing boats

Since we were tired after walking to the shrines, we took a sightseeing boat on the way back.
Ichinomiya SanbashiSightseeing boat boarding area “Ichinomiya Sanbashi”
tickets at the machineAfter purchasing our tickets at the machine, it was time to board!
Boarding the boat, you can enjoy a different view from riding a bike or walking on the land. You can also buy food for the seagulls and feed them while feeling the sea wind.
 food for the seagullsFor good-value tickets of boat ride and cable lift combined, see

An elegant afternoon at the stunningly scenic "Café du Pin"

We returned to Amanohashidate Station and decided to rest. About a five-minute walk from the station is “Café du Pin,” a cafe where you can see an expansive view of the Amanohashidate pine trees. We sat by the window and had a roll cake made with rice flour. Although we didn’t order it this time, one of their most popular dishes is their hamburger!
Café du PinCafé du PinThey also have an open terrace
Café du Pin

While you could do a day trip and return to Kyoto Station, we recommend spending the night back at the Nishi-Maizuru Station area and visiting the port city of Maizuru the next day. You could even go to Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture or further west to Kinosaki Onsen and Kami Town in Hyogo Prefecture.

Check this article for sightseeing spots in Kami Town and along the Sea of Japan:

Access 5-minute walk from Amanohashidate Station
Business hours 9:00~18:00
Regular holiday No fixed holiday

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