Miho no Matsubara (Miho Pine Grove) is a famous scenic beach in Shimizu, Shizuoka city, Shizuoka. You can't go take a dip there, because the beach is littered with sharp rocks, but you will be in awe all the same by the view of Mount Fuji, Izu Peninsula, as well as the Suruga Bay all in the same turn! That's not all, behind you is a whole other scenic view, that of a beautiful pine grove and the sight of Hagoromo no Matsu (the Feather Mantle's Pine).
The Hagoromo no Matsu draws on the a legend of a heavenly maiden coming down to Earth to take a bath, hanging her feather robe on a pine tree nearby, only to have it stolen by a fisherman. Without her heavenly robe, she is unable to return to heaven and thus, is forced to marry the fisherman. Yes, the manga and anime Ayashi no Ceres by Yuu Watase (author of Fushigi Yuugi and Zettai Kareshi) is based on this Hagoromo no Matsu story.
Either way, if this story sounds familiar to you, it's because the legend is a rather popular one across the Asian continent with slight variation from one culture to the next. For example, in China and Vietnam, this legend is known as story of the Herdsman and the Weaver Girl, or Niulang (牛郎, Ngưu Lang) and Zhinu (織女, Chức Nữ). The difference is that in China and Vietnam, this legend is clearly a mythical story where as in Japan, Hagoromo no Matsu is supposedly "the" pine tree where the heavenly maiden's feather robe was hung and the nearby Miho Shrine supposedly even preserves a "piece" of this robe. Too bad we didn't go into the shrine so I couldn't verify whether there was actually a piece of feather robe there :P
Further down the path.
Watch this video for a panoramic view of Miho no Matsubara. Sorry for the loud windy shuffling. Also, perhaps I was misinformed about why the sand at this beach is now black and no longer white. I was told it was due to industrial run-offs but the wikipedia page gave 2 entirely different theories. Go figure.
The very first thing I noticed at the pine grove was that many of the pine trees lean in an odd and striking manner. Because of the strong wind by the shore, perhaps?
Yes, that's supposedly "the" pine tree where it all happened.
It was a great day to wear Crocs, I tell you. Because dumping the sand out of my Crocs was infinitely easier than cleaning the sand out of hubby's expensive and fragile pair of sneakers. Tsk tsk tsk.
My sister and I found this neat little pile of flat round stones and promptly added our personal touch to it xD
Parts of the shore have wave barriers, literally a bunch of gigantic cement jacks piling onto of each other into a humongous barriers that break up big waves.
Yep, that's how big these cement jacks are, and even then some of them are almost completely buried underneath the sand. Crazy!!!
See the faint outline of Mount Fuji? Too bad it was a gray and cloudy day, but of course I can't have my cake and eat it too.
It was so fun climbing up the cement jacks and let out our inner monkeys :P
- Hat: JCrew
- Camisole: Aeropostale
- Shirt: Banana Republic
- Jacket: JCrew
- Purse (on my shoulder, the leafy handbag next to me is my sister's): Nine West
- Belt: JCrew
- Jean: homemade, by my aunt ^.^
- Shoes: Crocs
After spending all after at the beach, we celebrated the day with all-you-can-eat shabu shabu. It was gooooooooood....