In 2004 I took a trip to Amanohashidate (天橋立) with some friends. Amanohashidate is in Kyoto. It is considered one of the three most beautiful places in Japan. The big three “scenic spots” in Japan or, “Nihon Sankei”(日本三景) are, Matsushima (松島)in Sendai, Itsukushima or Miyajima (厳島) in Hiroshima, and here, Amanohashidate.

Amanohashidate Welcome Sign

I asked a Japanese friend if he really thought it was one of the most beautiful places in Japan, and he could only shrug. I thought it was pretty nice… I have also been to Miyajima, which is also interesting with the Torii gate in the water.

Amanohashidate Sunrise
Amanohashidate Sunrise

We started our trip from Osaka extremely early, leaving in the middle of the night and driving all the way there. We arrived in time to see the sunrise.

This area is most famous for the view you can get of the land bridge while looking between your legs in a bent-over rear-in-the-air fashion… Check the picture.

People come from far and wide to bend over backwards from the specially designated view points to get a glimpse of this land bridge upside down. A friend of mine even turned her 2004 cell phone upside down and took a picture. (You could take the picture regularly and show your friends the phone upside down right??) Anyway… Not to be outdone… Behold.

Amanohashidate Upsidedown
Amanohashidate Through the Legs

This bending over backwards is called “matanozoki”. “Mata” 股 meaning “thigh” or… “crotch”, and “nozoki” meaning look. You can even buy some Matanozoki goods if you feel like it…

Amanohashidate Poster 2004

Go visit! It might be fun!

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