Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tango Hanto Tour

As much as Matt and I love to travel, finding interesting things around our own town is also something we crave. Unfortunately, the weather doesn't like to cooperate on the weekends most of the time. However!! Somehow the rain cleared out on Friday afternoon, and brought us gorgeous blue skies for yesterday. We decided to drive around the peninsula, since we haven't done so before.

Our goal destination? Kyogamisaki Lighthouse. If anything, I wanted to take advantage of the photography opportunity, but also do a little tour of Tango Hanto on video. Tango Hanto (prounounced TAHN-GO HAHN-TO) is the peninsula where we live in Kyoto Prefecture. It juts out into the Sea of Japan and is ~150km away from Kyoto City. This area is well known for its beautiful beaches, hot springs, abundant snowfall in winter, fresh crops & dairy products, CRAB, and chirimen silk. It also has Amanohashidate, the #3 scenic view of Japan!

Many Japanese come to this area to vacation, especially for the beaches in late summer, and to enjoy crab in the winter. Supposedly tourists will be flocking to the area within the next month or so. Otherwise, it's a pretty quiet place to live. I feel a lot of foreigners don't know about it, though. When I tell people that I live in Kyoto-fu, they immediately assume I'm in Kyoto-shi! Which is a lovely place and all, but there's more to the prefecture than just one city.

Many family and friends have become increasingly curious about my new home in Japan, so here you go. By no means is this a complete guide to Tango Hanto! Matt and I were only able to cover a small area in one day. I could easily turn this into a 4 or 5 part series of posts.

Enjoy! ( Click the link below to read the rest! )

Dairy Farm Kitchen Sora
 Our adventure started out at Sora in Kumihama, which I did a short blog about in September. Last time we went when they were about to close, so we didn't stay very long. This time, Matt and I really got to take in the scenery and enjoy our ice cream out on a deck overlooking mountains and rice fields, met some cows, etc. They have some interesting flavors of ice cream, too... satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potato), macha (green tea), and bitter caramel, off the top of my head.

Kotobikihama Beach
 Next we stopped at the famous Kotobikihama, located right outside Amino. I kept hearing about how amazing this beach is, and really wanted to see for myself! Sadly, Matt and I missed the swimming season since we didn't have a car at the time. This looks like a promising place to enjoy next summer, though. I'm a difficult person to please when it comes to beaches since I hail from Florida. This one looks nice and the sand looks cleaner than others I've seen in Japan.

The cliffs of Tango
 Right outside the town of Tango (yes, there's also a specific TOWN. Confused yet? Good.) we stopped off to get photo and video coverage of these scenic cliffs. I believe the area was called Biobuiwa. It's really interesting how the landscape changes so drastically within just a few kilometers.

Mountaintop view.
After reaching the tip of the peninsula, we had to do a bit of hiking to get to the lighthouse. A busload of tourists had arrived right before us, so Matt and I went off the beaten path up the mountain instead. It was quite a steep climb, but quick, and the view from the top was worth it. There was also a quaint little picnic area for enhanced enjoyment of the views.

Kyogamisaki Lighthouse - Northernmost location in Kyoto-fu.
At long last, we finally reached our goal! The lighthouse itself was pretty small, and there wasn't really an area for us to walk inside the building, but the views of the mountains, sky, and sea made it worthwhile. I was a little disappointed that there weren't any omiyage shops to buy souvenirs (actually, there wasn't even a vending machine! Unheard of, for Japan!) but maybe that would have cheapened the experience.

At the edge of the world.

I do believe so, yes.

The photo doesn't do this view justice!

Please enjoy the video tour as well! ◕ ◡ ◕
More posts to come!

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