Amanohashidate means 'bridge to heaven' and this narrow sandbar covered in some 5000 pine trees has long inspired poets and painters. It's also billed as one of Japan's 'top three views', along with Matsushima and Miyajima, which means it's fated to underwhelm – especially with all the tourist trappings at the entrance. Still, the 3.5km-long stretch running across Miyazu-wan is lovely, with white-sand beaches for swimming on the eastern side. It takes about an hour to cross on foot, 15 minutes by bike.

To reach the bridge from the train station, take a right, walk along the main road for 200m until the first light and then take a sharp left.

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