It was in the early Edo period Hayashi Gahou who is a sun of the philosopher Hayashi Razan, a great adviser to the Tokugawa shogunate, wrote in his book "Nihonkoku Jisekiko" introducing the three most beautiful scenic spots in Japan. These views are Matsushima Bay (Miyagi), Amanohashidate (Kyoto) and Miyajima (Hiroshima); and still deserve today their traditional ranking.
Located the north of Sendai-shi in Miyagi Prefecture, Matsushima Bay can be reached by Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo in about three hours. When you face the bay, the landscape is superb, punctuated by more than 200 islands and islets covered with maritime pine forests, on rocks of bright white waves reflecting on the best days of the year. In spring, we can admire cherry blossoms of the Saigyo Modoshi no Matsu Park on a hill with a grand panorama mixing the pink color of the Sakura flowers, lush pine trees against the ocean blue background. Matsushima is also a place full of sites of interest, retaining many cavities and caves formerly sanctuaries of Buddhist monks. During the period when Kamakura was the capital of Japan (1192-1333), the monks used these cellars as cinerarium until the Edo period (1606-1867). It is a sacred place of considerable importance in Japan such as Mount Kōya, where one prays for the passage into the pure world of the next life.
Click here to see our trip to Nikko and south of Tohoku, Matsushima.
Amanohashidate is located in the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture. The famous view of Amanohashidate is a gigantic natural sandbar that crosses Miyazu Bay. On the white sand lies a forest of more than 7000 pines forming a veritable green bridge in the middle of the sea. The view is observable from the top of a mountain. From there, you will have the impression of admiring a bridge that connects the sky and the earth. Many visitors enjoy the scenery upside down between their legs to have the impression of seeing this natural bridge cross the sky. It is also often nicknamed "the heavenly bridge". You have to walk about 45 minutes to cross it, and you can enjoy on the way to one of the many fine sandy beaches that border it or a nice cruise in the bay.
Miyajima has been venerated since the 12th century, the island has many famous temples such as Itsukushima Shrine and its floating torii. When we approach the island by boat, we can see little by little the vermilion Torii a height of 16 meters appears on the sea. Arrived on the island, we see many deers walking freely like the park of Nara. From the seaside, several paths lead us inland where we can admire many sublime temples such as the Buddhist temple Daishoin, founded in the 12th century and surrounded by magnificent statues. The highest peak of Miyajima is an altitude 500 meters of Mount Misen. It offers incredible views of the many islands of the Seto Sea. It is accessible by cable car or on foot, through a path in the heart of nature.
Click here to see our "Yacht Cruise around Naoshima" tour
Click here to see our tour "Island Hopping around Naoshima, Himeji, Miyajima, Kurashiki"