KYOTO
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NATURE & PARKS

How to Spend an Unforgettable Day at Kyoto by the Sea

Grab life by the handlebars and shift into high gear, traveler. Discover a world of natural wonder and adventure in Kyoto by the Sea, the vast, picturesque coastline of northern Kyoto Prefecture, home to the Amanohashidate sandbar, magnificent waterfalls, and quaint traditional Japanese boathouses, all explored best by two wheels.
Amanohashidate

INDEX

Sing-day itinerary for Kyoto's picture-perfect coast

  • Begin your journey at Kyotango City’s Shotenkyo Beach
  • Explore Kirifuri Falls
  • Stop for a fresh seafood lunch at Funaya Shokudo

Parks and Falls

  • Ride the chairlift or cable car to Kasamatsu Park
  • Visit Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park
  • Refresh at Kanabiki Falls
  • Imafuku Falls

Everything you need to know about cycling in Kyoto

  • Renting a bicycle in Kyoto
  • Parking your bicycle
  • Cycling etiquette and safety tips

Plan the journey of a lifetime to Kyoto by the Sea today

Sing-day itinerary for Kyoto's picture-perfect coast

Cycling

• Kyotango City, Shotenkyo Beach
• Kirifuri Falls
• Funaya Shokudo
• Kasamatsu Park
• Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park
• Kanabiki Falls
• Imafuku Falls

With its scenic views, natural wonders, and popular traditional and historical attractions, Kyoto’s expansive coast is truly a sight to behold. All that makes for a lot of ground to cover in a single-day excursion. Luckily, the area of Kyoto by the Sea offers accessible cycling paths, and its bike-friendly culture allows travelers like you to see the coast by way of two wheels.

Begin your journey at Kyotango City’s Shotenkyo Beach

Shotenkyo

Notably one of the longest stretches of beach in the region, Kyotango City’s Shotenkyo Beach is the perfect place to begin your two-wheeled adventure.

Ranking among Japan’s top 100 beaches, Shotenkyo Beach is complete with white sands, a tree line brimming with lush green pines, and its shallow sky blue sea is ideal for wading.

Getting there: Kyotango Beach and Shotenkyo are accessible by car via the expressway or by train by way of the Osaka and Kyoto regions.

Explore Kirifuri Falls

Kirifuri Falls

Kirifuri Falls is one of the many natural waterfalls near Kyoto Prefecture. Tucked away in the rugged landscape of the Kirifuri Highlands, Kirifuri Falls is a two-tiered waterfall that stands at 75-meters tall.

The name Kirifuri translates to “falling mist” and was given to the natural wonder for the effect that the water has when it reaches the bottom of the falls. And that’s exactly what you’ll encounter as you witness the water crash against the rocks at the base of the lower falls. The best view of Kirifuri Falls is from the observation deck, which is easily accessible by way of the mostly-paved walkway.

Stop for a fresh seafood lunch at Funaya Shokudo

Funaya Shokudo

After a morning of outdoor excursions, bring your appetite to Funaya Shokudo where you can savor the local cuisine. Funaya Shokudo is just as charming as the town where it resides, the fishing village of Ine. The Ine Bay area features numerous Ineno Funaya, charming traditional boathouses, that line its shores.

Funaya Shokudo is a restaurant-meets-inn that is located just off of the shoreline of Ine Bay that opened in 2018. The popular spot is known for its delicious, fresh seafood as well as its traditional vegetable and rice dishes and provides travelers with an authentic Ine Funaya experience unique to Kyoto.

Parks and Falls

Ride the chairlift or cable car to Kasamatsu Park

Kasamatsu Park 

Take the journey to Kasamatsu Park where you can take in panoramic views of Amanohasidate, one of the Three Views of Japan, a trio of the country’s most acclaimed scenic sights — more on that in a moment.

Kasamatsu Park offers unbeatable views of the surrounding landscape, which includes unobstructed views of the iconic Amanohasidate sandbar, and has a gift shop, terrace restaurant, and an array of great lookouts where you can pull out your camera and snap a photo to preserve the moment.

Visit Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park

Amanohashidate

Located within Kyoto’s northern Prefecture, Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park features a number of scenic sites, including the popular destinations of Mount Ōe and the Amanohashidate sandbar. Amanohashidate, nicknamed the Bridge to Heaven, is a vast sandbar that is covered in thousands of green pine trees and is one of the Three Views of Japan. The other two being the Matsushima islands and Torii at Itsukushima Shrine. Amanohashidate links both sides of the Miyazu Bay and is a must-see when exploring the northern Kyoto Prefecture.

Travelers can see the natural bridge from the nearby mountains and scenic lookouts. And you can even bicycle across the 3-kilometer sandbar at your own pace, encountering Kono Shrine on the northern side and Chion-ji Temple at the opposite end.     Amanohashidate, like its other two scenic counterparts, has a designation as one of the country’s Special Places of Scenic Beauty and has been protected for centuries and remains a place of preservation today.

Refresh at Kanabiki Falls

Kanabiki Falls

Ranking among the top 100 waterfalls in Japan, Kanabiki Falls has a history that spans over 1,000-years and has long been a site for religious practices, training, and Takigyo, a traditional Japanese waterfall meditation.

Kanabiki Falls is 40-meters tall and 20-meters wide, and its location in the heavily forested mountains makes it an ideal stop to refresh and cool off on a warm summer day. Not just great for the summer season, Kanabiki Falls is open year-round and delights visitors as the seasons change.

The area is outfitted with a gazebo, benches, and a shrine that’s said to bring worshipers financial prosperity.

Imafuku Falls

Imafuku Falls

Not too far outside of the forested outskirts of Miyazu City and located nearby Kanabiki Falls, Imafuku Falls has a tranquil, peaceful atmosphere that can set you at ease. The magnificent seven-tiered waterfall is one of Kyoto Prefecture’s registered natural landscapes and makes for an ideal spot to wrap up a daytime excursion.

Everything you need to know about cycling in Kyoto

Miyazu

Kyoto City has a reputation as one of the top cyclist-friendly cities in Japan. With miles of bike paths ideal for riders of all levels and abilities, conveniently designated bike parking lots, and rental shops within proximity of many of Kyoto’s popular sightseeing districts, it’s no wonder why the Eternal City ranks as one of the best places for biking, not just within the country, but all of Asia.

Renting a bicycle in Kyoto

There’s so much to see in Kyoto—it’s hard to see it all on foot. With a rented bicycle, you can discover all that the coastal region along the Sea of Japan has to offer.

The most common rentals you’ll find are called mamachari, or mom’s bicycle. These bikes are ideal for leisurely cruising and are generally outfitted with a basket, kickstand, easy-to-use lock, and a single gear. While these bikes are the norm, other more advanced options are also readily available.

Bike rental shops can be found across the region and are generally located in popular, well-trafficked areas as well as public transportation sites like train stations and bus stations, which makes getting around the area a breeze.

In most cases, bicycles can be rented by the hour or by the day, and most bicycle rental shops do not provide overnight rentals.

Parking your bicycle

In heavily populated areas or larger cities, it’s not uncommon to encounter bicycle parking lots where rows and rows of bikes are stored when not in use.

Generally, there are lots available, but if you wish to park your bicycle outside of a designated lot, be sure to park in a location where your bike will not be a hindrance to others and avoid no-parking zones.

Parking illegally could result in a fine, and you may find that your bike has been removed by the local authorities.

Cycling etiquette and safety tips

In addition to following the local parking guidelines, you will also want to be aware of the posted bike rules. Generally, cyclists are supposed to use the streets; however, in some areas, signs may indicate that cyclists can use sidewalks.

Additionally, helmets are optional, and this piece of safety equipment is not often provided by rental shops.

Plan the journey of a lifetime to Kyoto by the Sea today

While Kyoto does not have an airport, finding your way to the Eternal City is easy with Japan Airlines. The closest airports to Kyoto are Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Itami Airport (ITM) in Osaka.

When traveling by way of Tokyo, travelers can expect an estimated travel time of 1-hour 15-minutes to Itami Airport in Osaka and an estimated travel time of 1-hour 30-minutes to Kansai International Airport when flying with JAL Japan Explorer Pass.

And, with the JAL Japan Explorer Pass, you’ll have access to over 30 cities across the JAL domestic network. And perks like in-flight Wi-Fi keep you connected, so you can share your adventures with your family and friends, wherever your trip takes you.

Getting There