Travel Reports

Miho-no-Matsubara and Tokinoshumika Winter Illumination

By LIHUA ZHAO. Posted on December 21, 2014

Miho-no-Matsubara (三保の松原, Miho Pine Grove) is a World Heritage site in Central Japan and is part of the Fujisan Cultural Site. It's located in the Shimizu Ward of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. There are 54,000 pine trees that grow along 7 km of seashore. Miho-no-Matsubara is famous for its beautiful view of Mt. Fuji over Suruga Bay. 

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The pine tree lined path is called "Kami-no-Michi" (god's road), which leads to Hagoromo-no-Matsu (羽衣の松) from Miho Shrine.  Miho-no-Matsubara is known as the site of the legend of Hagoromo ("The Feathered Robe"), which is based on the traditional swan maiden motif. The story is that a celestial maiden dropped down to this coast because of the beauty of the white sand, green pine trees, and sparkling water. She removed her feathered robe and hung it over a pine tree to swim in the sea. This pine tree was named "Hagoromo-no-Matsu", and became a popular tourist site. A fisherman named Hakuryo took her Hagoromo and refuged to return it until she performed a heavenly dance for him. She had to comply with his request because she could not return to the heaven without her Hagoromo. Each year, the Noh play "Hagoromono" is performed by firelight (Takigi Noh) on the second Saturday and Sunday of October. 

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On New Year's Day, many people crowd around the pine tree to watch the first sunrise of the new year. Due to its beautiful scenery and pine groves, Miho-no-Matsubara has been designated as one of the New Three Views of Japan, and it has also been selected as one of the top 100 white sand beaches and green pine groves of Japan. You can also taste fresh seafood near Miho-no-Matsubara or Shimizu Station. 

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If you visit Miho-no-Matsubara during the winter, don't miss the free winter illumination at Tokinosumika. The Tokinosumika winter illumination for 20142015 started on 7th November, and it will last until 15th March (16:30  22:00). (These photos were taken in Jan, 2014.)

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I really liked a place called Books & Cafe, where you can read books and have dinner. There are many wooden sculptures and benches for customers to rest on. Unfortunately, the cafe closes early at 19:00. There are many restaurants and shops in the illumination area where you can enjoy the view while having dinner. 

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Besides restaurants, there is also a lot of street food sold in the Tokinosumika illumination area. They sell many kinds of food, such as grilled beef skewers, baked sweet potatos, baked rice cakes, and ramen.

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Transportation tips:

1. To Miho-no-Matsubara

If you visit Miho-no-Matsubara during the season when Seishun 18 passes are available, it costs 2,370 yen per day to take any number of local JR trains.  

By Shinkansen, you can easily reach Shizuoka station from Nagoya. Then you can take a local bus to Miho-no-Matsubara from JR Shimuzu Station (about 24 minutes).

For more details on Miho-no-Matsubara, please see the Shizuoka City Tour Guide Website.

2. To Tokinosumika Winter Illumination

There are free shuttle bus services from JR Gotenba Station (御殿場駅), Susono Station (裾野駅), Iwanami Station (岩波駅), and Mishima Station (三島駅). 

Free shuttle bus timetable in Japanese

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LIHUA ZHAO

Lihua Zhao has been living in Japan for 6 years as a researcher in computer science. She loves travelling and hiking in Japan. Now she started to explore the Shoryudo region of Japan (Central Japan).

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