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Friday, December 28, 2012

Amanohashidate - One Of The Three Most Scenic Places In Japan

Here is a photo from my personal collection from 1930s Japan. This is a winter scene of Amanohashidate (天橋立), known as one of the best three most scenic vistas in all of Japan.

Japan likes to provide lists for its people detailing the top three things for people to go and visit. Like the scenic vistas, it also does castles, waterfalls, places to buy salami. I'm kidding about one of those things.

Anyhow, this area is famous for the 3.5 kilometer long sandbar in the middle of the photo that is covered with about 7,000 pine trees. It is located in Miyazu Bay in Kyoto.

Of course, I never saw it while I was in Japan, even though I visited Kyoto twice with different women. Of course, I never got laid by either woman while I was in Kyoto with them. Apparently I never got laid in Japan while I was on vacation. Now I am unsure if I ever want to go and visit Amanohashidate.

It is beautiful, though.

Anyhow, Amanohashidate is known as the Bridge To Heaven because it looks as though it is floating in the sky - towards heaven - if you look at it from the right perspective.

So... what is the right perspective?

Well... from up high - like about where the photograph was taken from, you are supposed to turn your back to the sandbar and then bend forward and peer at it through your legs. Now the sandbar looks like a bridge to the heavens.

For real.

Kind of makes you wonder just who the hell came up with that one and how much did they have to drink at that moment?

But it works...
For your viewing pleasure, here is a fantastic ukiyo-e drawn by master artist Utagawa Hiroshige I of the  Amanohashidate sandbar. The scene is from 1837, one hundred years earlier than the photo above. 

And... just because you must be curious to see what it looks like now... here's a winter shot. It certainly looks a lot more built up nowadays. I like my photo better.

Andrew Joseph

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