Everyone who comes to Japan wants to view Mt. Fuji, but for some personal time with Japan’s most famous icon, it can be ideal to steal off to a less known site, where you can have Mt. Fuji all to yourself. Located in Shizuoka prefecture, about 1-2 hours away from Tokyo, we find Miho No Matsubara, a 7-kilometre long black sand beach. It is part of the Mt. Fuji UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a relatively less crowded spot from which to enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji, as well as the natural coastal beauty of Shizuoka.
Getting to Miho No Matsubara is not too difficult and can easily be done in half a day. From Shizuoka city, take a local JR train to JR Shimizu station - about 10 minutes away. You can then take the bus to Miho no Matsubara Iriguchi and then follow the clearly marked path to the beach. You will know that you are close when you reach a long boardwalk flanked with pine trees on either side. It is an enjoyable and easy stroll to the beach. There are a few local snack shops and souvenir shops along the way to the beach. However, if you are hungry, we recommend that you enjoy a meal at the Shimizu fish market close to Shimizu station before heading to the beach. It is within walking distance from the station, and houses a number of restaurants serving nothing but the freshest catch from the Suruga Bay. You can choose from sushi to seafood rice bowls, all of which are delicious and reasonably priced too!
So beautiful is Miho No Matsubara that according to legend, a celestial fairy descended here, drawn by the natural loveliness of the site. She hung her heavenly robe on one of the pine trees nearby and went to bathe and frolick in the blue waters of the sea. Sadly, what happens next is a little less romantic. A fisherman stumbled upon the celestial maiden and stole her robe, refusing to return it until she performed a heavenly dance for him. This legend has inspired a traditional Noh play, and visitors to Miho No Matsubara can also visit the tree on which the celestial fairy supposedly hung her robe. Interestingly, the sand at Miho No Matsubara used to be white but is now black due to the natural weathering of volcanic rock. A different type of beauty, and perhaps even more unique.
Mt. Fuji stays a little out of sight as you first approach the coast. What greets you is the incredible expanse of the sea, sand, and sky. Soft, fine black sand meets blue waters, shaded by an extensive grove of pine trees. As you stroll along the coast, you will soon notice a shy Mt. Fuji starting to peek out from behind the pine trees. Before long, she comes into full view, and if you are lucky, she is dressed up in her white crown of snow. There are many places to view Mt. Fuji, but if you have been longing for a chance to have Mt. Fuji all to yourself, Miho No Matsubara is the perfect scenic site to visit for a quiet, reflective viewing of Mt. Fuji.
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