Amanohasidate, road to heaven and sandwiches

Our stop after the tropics of Okinawa was Amanohasidate, which is one of top three scenic views in Japan. It a 3,3 kilometre long sandbank with approximately 7000 pine trees. Many people go to Amanohasidate to see the view of the sandbank from top of a mountain, as it appears like a road to heaven. Two hour drive or train ride away from Osaka, it’s quite easy to access.

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Both locals and tourist stroll along the sandbank and admire the sea stars and jelly fish swimming about. There are also quite a few girls dressed as geishas around.

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By the time we arrived to Amanohasidate, we’d been in Japan for a week. We’d been indulging in Japanese food for days.. sushi, ramen, miso soup, rice, seaweed pancakes, green tea and so forth. I’d never experienced it in my life, but I had become desperate to eat some plain solid bread. As it seems to happen in Japan, whenever you desire something, for example you’d need a taxi to pick you up or you can’t find a bin, so the shop keeper runs out from the shop to take your rubbish and dispose it, it somehow appears. As such, only a couple of  houses away from our ryokan, we discovered the most amazing coffee shop in Japan – The Jou Jou cafe. There were fresh fruit juices, bagels, freshly made bread and muffins. And coffee.

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Brother, sister and mother trio manage this little cafe. The coffee making skills have been acquired in San Francisco and the bread making skills have been learnt over years. I have never in my life enjoyed a ham, lettuce, egg and tomato sandwich as much as I did then. There was a note on the blackboard at the restaurant saying ‘We want to make a wonderful life for you with coffee and bread and we are always looking forward to seeing you.’ I could not have agreed less, that’s exactly what they did.

If you visit Amanohasidate by car, then a place worth to visit is Ine. Small fishing town, it’s full of ancient houses and men depending their livelihoods on fishing. We were welcomed by a grandfather with his grandson, showing us a photo of a huge tuna fish they had recently caught.

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As always in Japan, as we were leaving Ine and thinking of taking out some cash, we spotted a cash machine taking international cards in a small fishing village. Only in Japan.IMG_20150417_172832

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