Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Japan 2015 - Day 10 - Miyazu to Tottori

April 16, 2015: Amanohashidate; Tottori Sand Dunes

Breakfast on this morning was KARAZY crowded. They had warned us that there would be a line, but me and Sweetie never expected it to be as long as it was. Thank you to Glennis for coming back downstairs to the lobby area to let us know. That was so thoughtful of you.


Departure time was at 8:30 in the morning.  Our first destination was Kasamatsu Park to view the Amanohashidate (Bridge to Heaven) in Northern Kyoto. Amanohashidate is a pine-covered sandbar that spans the Miyazu Bay.

But first, we visited the purification fountain in Kasamatsu Park. You're supposed to rinse your hands, then rinse your mouth and spit the water out next to the fountain. Sweetie drank the water. I did that too when I visited a shrine in Kyoto with Leslie a couple of years ago. Luckily, neither of us got sick.

We caught a chairlift up the hillside to the top.


This is Kasabo, the mascot for Kasamatsu Park.

He's kinda everywhere in the park.

This is how you're supposed to view "the bridge to heaven". 

Amanohashidate is ranked as one of Japan's three most scenic sights.

I turned the photo around for you so that you don't hurt your neck trying to see what it's supposed to look like upside down. Does it look like it's reaching to heaven?

You can buy small discs to throw through this hoop.  It's said that if you are successful, your wish will come true. 





After about an hour (or maybe 1/2 hour) it was time to go down.

There were vendors lining the roads at Kasamatsu Park.



I didn't realize it at the time, but this is chikuwa . . . the tube-like fishcake with the puka in the middle. I never knew that this is how they make it.

The lady who was selling these puffer fish was so cute that I gave her some chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. 

She quickly ran to the back of her store and brought out a bag of fruit-flavored hard candies and shared some with me and Sweetie. So cute yah. I'll always remember her because of that.

On our bus ride to our next stop, Tomiko taught us how to make this origami hat. Cute, yah.

We stopped to pick up lunch.  This is Sweetie's.

This is mine. 

Our next stop was the Tottori Sand Dunes along the scenic San-in coast. The dunes were HAYUGE.  Can you see the people at the top of the dunes on the right side of the picture?

For 1300 yen you could ride a camel.  For 200 yen you could take a picture of the camel.  I took this for free and got stink eye in return.  Hey, I didn't know at the time. I only realized later.

That's Sweetie waaaaaay off in the distance.  No way was I gonna go walk that far . . . or that high . . . in the sand. I get bum hip.

I took pictures of nearby grass stalks instead.



Sweetie actually looked refreshed after her walk.

As soon as we got to our hotel me and Sweetie beelined it to Seria, a hundred-yen store. 

I scored this $1.00 watch at Seria.  Back home I usually use my phone to tell the time, but I didn't bring my phone with me on this trip. I ended up having to hold my iPad everywhere. It was not at-a-glance convenient. I needed a watch badly, and this worked perfectly. Later when I returned home I gave it to my 4-year-old nephew.  He loves it! 

Our hotel in Tottori was the Hotel New Otani Tottori.

Dinner was American buffet. What can I say but food, food and more food.







Dd said...

Holy Moly.... those shells in the picture mentioning the vendors at Kasamatsu Park...are those REAL ?? WOW!!! AND ..OMG OMG...are those shisamo on those skewers ....I am SO getting those for Sunday !!

jalna said...

Those hanging shells were REAL, Didi! I think those were shishamo.

1DecentApple said...

Awww...You're so sweet to give that cute lady Mac nut candy. I'm sure she'll remember you because of your kindness, generosity and cuteness too.

Lorna said...

It looks like you and your sister (and the other members of the tour group) had a whole bunch of wonderful experiences. You sure know how to make the best of everything, even though your trip was plagued by wet weather! I hope when I go in October (we are heading south to Kyushu) it's DRY and cool!

Kay said...

I didn't know that's how they made chikuwa too.

You rode a CAMEL in Japan? Goodness! Who would have guessed you could do that?

Ahhh... So you bring those macnut candies for gifts too...

K and S said...


Anonymous said...

j: never thought of how they made chikuwa. Japan, I swear, is made for eating. I no longer have family in Kobe since obaachan died - mom and late bro went to visit her while she was alive. The rest of my family we're not in touch with no longer, couple cousins in Kobe and her sister in Yokohama. I preferred staying in hotels, inconvenient on the family so always gotta buy, make and clean-up after meals. Our neighbor down the road, her local husband, loves Japan. They go ever few months and stay for for 3 months as they bought a condo (or manshon) in Hokkaido. Cuz of his tourist VISA they always return. Good life, no? -N

jalna said...

Al, Sweetie got a tub of the mac nut candy from Costco. We give it to people we meet. Got the idea from Leslie.

Ohhh Lorna, I'm so excited for you. Japan in the fall!

Kay, I didn't actually right the camel myself. I'm too cheap to pay $$$ for the ride.

Thanks Kat.

N, I would feel the same way and would stay at a hotel too. I wish my husband was like your neighbor and would buy a condo in Hokkaido. Ho, that would be so awesome.

Leslie's pics said...

sand dunes? In Japan? Who woulda thought?!?! So neat! I would rode the camel :)

jalna said...

That's exactly what Landon said, Les . . . that's Japan?I can imagine you riding the camel. They kinda look like alpacas to me. Same kine face.

Mark Shelby said...

Wow! Awesome! You two are non stop Fun!

You are like the Energizer Bunny tourists of Japan!...hehe! ; )

jalna said...

We just went with the flow, Mark. And everything was just go go go.

Nippon Nin said...

I still remember this sand dune but not camel...I don't think there were camel back then (in 70's).

What a great trip!

jalna said...

So surprising to see the camel, Akemi.