Introduction
Miho Pine Grove's History
Hagoromo Legend and Miho Pine Grove
Recommended spots at Miho Pine Grove
Miho Pine Grove Events
Access
Conclusion
Nearby Destinations (1) Nihondaira
Nearby Destinations (2) Kunozan Tosho-gu
Nearby Destinations (3) Toro Ruins

In 2013, Mount Fuji was designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. While most of us know that, many don’t know that it isn’t just the mountain that was awarded the title. As a World Heritage Site, UNESCO describes Mount Fuji as a “sacred place and source of artistic inspiration, and observes 25 sites in total, each being relevant to Mount Fuji in terms of artistic and poetic inspiration. One of the 25 is the Miho Pine Grove, located in the city of Shizuoka. The grove is chosen as one of the three major pine groves in Japan, and the view of Mount Fuji from it is amazing.

History

Miho as an Island

The Miho area used to be an island made of sediments and gravel. It is unclear when the island became attached to land, but it is said to be around the Warring Periods (1467 - 1603).

Edo Period (1603 – 1867)

The Miho area had completely attached to land by the beginning of the Edo period. There were no roads on the land, and the only way to access the area was by boat. Since these times there was already an abundance of pine trees in the area, and feudal Tokugawa shogunate government protected the grove.

During this time, many writers and artists wrote and drew Mount Fuji and the Miho Pine Grove together. A famous example is Utagawa Hiroshige’s ukiyo-e painting, picturing the Suruga Bay, Mount Fuji and the Miho Pine Grove together.

Meiji Period and on (1868 – now)

Entering the Meiji period, the Miho Pine Grove was sold to a private owner. During this time, the forest became deforested mostly for commercial use. In 1922, the grove was designated as Japan’s very first scenic site, and once again was under heavy protection.

Before the Second World War, 90,000 pine trees were estimated to be in the grove, but with the war and commercial usage of the pines in recent years, the number has gone down to approximately 30,000 trees in 2014.

“Hagoromo” Legend

The Miho Pine Grove is where the famous Japanese legend of “Hagoromo” is set in. In the legend, a celestial dancer loses her “hagoromo”, or a robe of feathers. A fisherman finds it, and demands the dancer to perform a dance if she wants it back. One of the pine trees in the grove, called the “hagoromo pine”, is said to be the tree in the legend which the robe of feathers was found on by the fisherman.

Hagoromo Pine


Hagoromo Pine Tree

The Hagoromo Pine is a Japanese black pine, estimated to be around 650 years old. This is actually the third Hagoromo Pine – the original burned down and the second withered.

Recommended spots at Miho Pine Grove

The Coastline View


View of the grove, the coast and Mount Fuji

This view, with the Miho Pine Grove, the coastline and Mount Fuji, is the one that inspired artists and poets for centuries. This site can be said to be one of Japan’s most famous and representative views, and is like seeing a postcard photo in real life.

Shimizu Lighthouse (Miho Lighthouse)


The Shimizu Lighthouse

Right at the end of the pine grove on the coastline, you can see the Shimizu Lighthouse. It is the first lighthouse made in concrete in Japan, and was made in 1912. On the upper area of the lighthouse, there is a weathercock inspired by the Hagoromo legend.

Miho Shrine


Miho Shrine

The Miho Shrine is also one of the 25 spots included in the World Heritage Site. In the shrine are documents from the Heian period (794 – 1185). The shrine was worshipped by fisherman for safety on sea and for a successful fishing trip. In current years, people come to the Miho Shrine to wish for luck in matchmaking and safe childbirth.

Kami no Michi (God’s Road)


Kami no Michi, or God’s Road

The 500 meter road connecting Miho Shrine and the Hagoromo Pine Tree is referred to as Kami no Michi, meaing “God’s Road” in Japanese. The road has pines on both sides and has a celestial feeling to it. During the evening, the road gets lit up and creates an extra dreamy effect.

Events

Hagoromo Festival – 羽衣まつり (Oct.)

Hagoromo Festival has been every October held since 1984. The festival honors Elene Giuglaris, a French woman who dedicated her life to the Noh performance of “Hagoromo”. The play is performed on a special stage built in front of the Hagoromo Pine Tree.

Access

Nearest station: Miho no matsubara entrance (bus stop)

From Tokyo Station東京駅

【Tokyo Sta.】Tokaido Shinkansen / for Nagoya
→ 【Shizuoka Sta.】JR Tokaido Main Line / for Atami
→ 【Shimizu Sta.】Shizutetsu Just Line Local Bus / for Miho-shakomae
→ 【Miho no matsubara entrance】 → about a 10-minute walk

From Shizuoka Station静岡駅

【Shizuoka Sta.】 JR Tokaido Main Line / for Atami
→ 【Shimizu Sta.】Shizutetsu Just Line Local Bus / for Miho-shakomae
→ 【Miho no matsubara entrance】 → about a 10-minute walk

From Shizuoka Airport 富士山静岡空港からのアクセス

【Shizuoka Airport Sta.】Airport bus / for Shizuoka Sta.
→【Shizuoka Sta.】 JR Tokaido Main Line / for Atami
→ 【Shimizu Sta.】Shizutetsu Just Line Local Bus / for Miho-shakomae
→ 【Miho no matsubara entrance】 → about a 10-minute walk

A Centuries-old View of Mount Fuji

As you travel throughout Japan, you’ll find many different views of Mount Fuji. The one at Miho Pine Grove is one that hasn’t changed in centuries, and continues to awe and inspires people today. It’s a class view of Mount Fuji, and one that is sure to capture many’s hearts for years to come.

Information

Address
Miho, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka
Phone
054-251-5880
Hours
Open 24 hours
Closed
Open year-round
Fee
Free

Nearby Destinations

Nihondaira

Nihondaira is a view point where you can see Suruga Bay and Mt. Fuji all in one scan. The origin of the name comes from references in the Kojiki (Japan's oldest historic records). This spot is popular for its 360 panoramic view from the observatory deck. In addition, you can try making your own tea with the famous Shizuoka tea leaves at the Nihondaira Tea Hall.

Category: Nature / scenery

Nihondaira

1500-2 Mabase, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka
54-335-1134

Kunozan Tosho-gu

This shrine is located in Shizuoka city of Shizuoka prefecture, and has enshrined Prince General Hatsuyo Ieyasu Tokugawa of the Edo period. You can either take the ropeway to the shrine, or hike up about 1100 stone steps.

Category: Shrine / temple

Kunozan Toshogu Shrine

390 Negoya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka
054-237-2438

Toro Ruins

The Toro Ruins are believed to have been colonized during the later half of the Yayoi period. It has been designated as a special historic landmark because of the long history regarding farming culture. You can view many artifacts and documents from the ruins at the Shizuoka Toro Museum, which is next to the actual ruins.

Category: History

Toro Ruins

5-10-5 Toro, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka
054-285-0476