Miho no Matsubara
The Pine Trees Beach With a Unique View on Fuji-san
Miho no Matsubara is a beach bordered with pine trees in the east of Miho peninsula, on Suruga Bay in Shizuoka City in Japan. The evergreen grove, whose highlight is the famous Hagoromo-no-Matsu, stretches on 6 kilometers along the coast with a view on Mount Fuji in the north-east. The beauty of the scenery inspired many Japanese artists, and the site was listed in the Unesco World Heritage.
When arriving by public transportation, the visit starts at the small and peaceful Miho-jinja shrine connected to Miho no Matsubara seacoast by Kami no michi ("God’s Path"), a beautiful pedestrian alley protected by pine trees on each side. A couple of shops, restaurants and ice cream stalls are available near the end of the path. At the entrance of the site, you can go to the building on the left to collect English-language documentation on the history of this picturesque place and watch a few short videos.
The centuries-old pine trees forest stretches along the coast and makes a pleasant walk to reach the beach 🏖 when the sun is beaming.
A site of mythological significance
Protected by wooden fences, Hagoromo-no-Matsu is an old pine tree testimony of a Japanese folktale. According to the legend, a celestial nymph descended on earth to bath in the sea. She hanged her hagoromo feathered kimono 👘 on a branch of the tree. A fisherman found it, but refused to give back the celestial maiden her mantle, unless she danced for him. When she explained she needed the cloth to dance, the man, skeptical at first, eventually returned it. The nymph then danced for him before ascending to the sky. This tale is also featured in a famous Noh theater play.
The iconic view of Mount Fuji
Then, the grove ends and leaves way to the beach, highlighted on clear weather days by the iconic view of Mount Fuji 🗻 in the background. The landscape, a combination of vegetation, black sand, wave movements and the perfect shape of the mountain, is worthy of a master’s painting. It is highly recommended to take the time to walk on the beach and admire the beautiful scenery. Aside the Golden Week and summer time, Miho no Matsubara is not overcrowded, except for the few fishermen on the concrete embankment and local families on a leisurely stroll.
Miho peninsula was such an inspiration for Japanese artists that it became extremely famous in the archipelago as well as overseas. Its landscape was often pictured in famous woodblock prints, by Hokusai or Hiroshige for example. The beach was, as a matter of fact, listed in the Unesco World Heritage in 2013 as a "sacred place and source of artistic inspiration," along with Mount Fuji and twenty-five other surrounding sites. Miho no Matsubara is a must-see when exploring the area and looking for one of the most beautiful views of Fuji-san.