Explore The Trails Along The Sea of Japan in The San’in Kaigan Geopark
If you enjoy long nature walks and natural sceneries, this article is for you.
This is a unique trail along the Sea of Japan where you can learn about the history of the earth formation, enjoy scenic views, and emerge with the local culture and lifestyle.
Although the whole trail is very long and would take weeks to cover the whole Geopark, you can plan your own trails and make smaller sections to cover only the spots of your liking!
I hope this article is useful in guiding you on your own fantastic journey! 🥰
The Areas Introduced in This Article
Kyogamisaki Cape → Takashima Auto Campsite → Byoubu-iwa Rock → Tateiwa Standing Rock → Onaru Burial Mounds → Roadside Station Tenki Tenki Tango → Yuhigaura Beach
Hasakari Rock → Frog Island → Okami Park → Michinoeki Amarube → Hamasaka Station → Shiroyama Park
Tottori Sand Dunes Visitor Center → Takigaiso → San’in Kaigan Geopark Museum of the Earth and Sea
Japan Sports Agency
These trails are being implemented as part of the Japan Sports Agency’s “Global Content Creation Through Sports” project.
📍 Kyogamisaki Cape (経ヶ岬)
Kyogamisaki Cape consists of the romantic Kyogamisaki Lighthouse which stands at 148 meters above sea level on top of a cliff. The cape is located on the most northern point of the Tango Peninsula, the northernmost tip of the Kansai Region!
The white color and texture of the Lighthouse’s architecture contrasts perfectly to the blue ocean and blue sky backdrop which makes it the perfect photo spot!
📍 Takashima Auto Campsite (高嶋オートキャンプ場)
This campsite is located on Takashima beach at the tip of the Tango Peninsula and there are no shops or rental facilities!
It is truly a place for people who want to escape from the bustling city life to the quiet countryside nature and relax by the clear sea. I would like to invite you to come here to see the fishes swim, the sunset over the sea, the mountains, the starry night sky, the clear morning air, the sound of ocean waves and seasonal insects.
📍 Byoubu-iwa Rock (屏風岩)
There are so many cool and interesting things to stop and see on this trail and the Byoubu-iwa Rock is one of them! This rock is magma that has solidified around 15 million years ago creating a scene that looks like a big rock have emerged from the surface of the sea.
This peculiar rock is stronger than the other rocks surrounding it, leaving it uncut and looking close to how it looked like when it was formed. Observing the scene from a distance, you’ll feel closer to the history of the earth and its formation!
📍 Onaru Ancient Burial Mounds (大成古墳）
Onaru Ancient Burial Mounds are a series of ancient tombs built from the end of the sixth century to the beginning of the seventh. The tombs are made of stones and are dug into the hillside like rooms. During the spring, it is a beautiful place to see the cute blooming white flowers!
📍 Tateiwa (Tateiwa Rock) (立岩)
Being twenty meters tall, it is one of Japan’s largest monoliths. It is made up of hardened magma that emerged and accumulated over 15 million years ago. Since it is a rock that emerged from beneath the earth’s layers, it is stronger than other rocks and withstood erosion better than the surrounding rocks.
Legend has it that when a prince killed a demon at this spot, the demon became trapped inside the enormous rock. It is said that on nights when the wind is strong and the waves are high, the cries of the demon can be heard!
📍 Road Station Tenki Tenki Tango (道の駅てんきてんき丹後)
Be sure to stop by at Tenki Tenki Tango to gather information from the various Geopark exhibitions, enjoy delicious food, and buy some interesting souvenirs!
📍 Yuhigaura Beach (夕日ヶ浦)
This is a beach with white sands stretching for miles and miles and is famous for its exquisite sunsets. The moment right before the sun disappears, the golden colors reflect the ocean surface like a mirror. Located along the shoreline is the Sunset Path (Yuhi No Michi) where you can relax on benches and fully enjoy the fantastic sunset scene.
📍 Hasakari-iwa (Hasakari Rock) (はさかり岩)
This exceptionally peculiar rock formation is definitely an interesting sight to see. The interesting sight is formed by a sea cave collapsing, creating what looks like a huge rock is sandwiched between two walls. It almost looks like a claw that has caught a ball, or chopsticks holding onto a piece of food!
The interesting stuff does not just end there. This extremely rare rock that was perfectly caught and did not fall to the bottom represents a metaphor for ‘not falling’, making this place a power spot where people come and pray for luck!
📍 Kaeru-jima (Frog Island) （かえる島）
Not only does this island resembles a frog, but it is also a spot that has been adored by locals since the ancient times. Aside from its cute sight, Kaeru-jima is also known to grant wishes!
“Kaeru” in Japanese means frog, but the same sound can also have other meanings such as ‘go back’, ‘return’, and ‘change’. Legend says that in ancient times, men who went out on a voyage would come here to pray for a safe return. People also come here to pray for the return of lost things, and wish for making some changes in their life.
Aside from superstition, this area is a bay with relatively calm waves so it is great for enjoying a swim or even snorkeling!
Children love it here because the water is clear and the transparency is high, allowing them to see various creatures living and swimming near the rocks.
📍 Okami Park (岡見公園)
Okami Park is another place on the trail with spectacular views. From here, you can see Kasumi beach which is designated as a national scenic spot!
Come here to see the magnificently unique views of cherry blossoms by the Japan Sea in the spring! It is said that the sunset here is exquisite all year-round. So many wonderful things in one place!
📍 Michinoeki Amarube (余部鉄橋「空の駅」と道の駅あまるべ)
After walking and traveling, this is one of the places to take a break and relax. The uniqueness of this location is that the train runs about 40 meters high from the ground, and the station is located in such manner that it faces the beautiful Sea of Japan!
Around the Amarube village, fresh seafood from the Japan Sea and local agricultural goods can be purchased! Find meals that make the best use of Japanese seafood here while enjoying the uniquely beautiful scenery! 🦐
📍 Around Hamasaka Station (浜坂駅周辺)
Take a walk around Hamasaka Station for souvenirs, cute shops, and feel like you’ve been transported into a vintage time in Japan!
📍 Shiroyama Park (城山園地)
Shiroyama Park is a great spot for overlooking the Sea of Japan. Not only is the view here spectacular during the day, but it is also equally exquisite in the evening when the sun starts to set.
No wonder this place is said to be on of the popular date spots for young couples!
📍 Hotel Kinparo
When visiting the area, Hotel Kinparo is a good choice for your stay. After a long day of hiking, a comfortable room and hot spring baths with fantastic panoramic ocean landscape is just what you need. The hotel also offers fresh and delicious seasonal seafoods for you to indulge in and fully appreciate the abundance of the Japanese Sea!
📍 Tottori Sand Dunes Visitor Center (鳥取砂丘ビジターセンター)
Here, at the Tottori Sand Dunes Visitor Center, you can find various exhibits and shows that presents the charms of the sand dunes. There are also guides who will answer all of your questions and give you all the information you need before you go out to explore the amazing dunes!
The Tottori Sand Dunes are a great place to explore and learn about the diversity of the plants and insects that survive in the harsh environment of the sand dunes.
There are also many outdoor activities you can do in the area!
📍 Takigaiso (滝ケ磯)
This unique rock formation caused by magma that have cooled and solidified. When it rains, water slides from the top creating a spectacular sight that resembles a waterfall!
📍 San’in Kaigan Geopark Museum of the Earth and Sea (山陰ジオパーク海と大地の自然館)
This museum introduces the charms of the San’in Kaigan Geopark through a variety of interesting and hands-on exhibits! There are many interactive activities that you can engage in to learn about the Geopark and the earth including lectures, nature watching sessions, and aquariums etc.
Come here to find out more about why the Geopark is such an amazing place!
This trail is very diverse and interesting in a way that there are many things to see, explore, and learn about the earth! Although in this article, the trail starts from Kyoto and and ends at Tottori, this is not a fixed route. You can plan your own route that starts and end in a completely different location according to your likes!
Use the link below to see and plan your own route and share your experience with us!
- How to meet Geiko and Maiko in Kyoto
- New Year’s Eve/Day in Kyoto 2022/2023
- Back alleys of Ponto-cho, Kyoto