This pine forest, the peninsula of Miho and the beach of Matsubara have become a World Cultural Heritage in the company of Mount Fuji in recent times. With all its pine trees (as it’s name indicates) is also the home of a very ancient and famous legend all over Japan: The Legend of Hagoromo!
If you are not one of the visitors coming in one local bus or a crowded tourist coach take the time to enter the forest past the big shinto torii gate and walk along a wooden path
The monument marking the entrance of the “Path of the Gods”
Take your time and take a rest if need be
The whole path is lined with venerable pine trees
This park of pines and its legend was already mentioned in the “Wagasode Journal” written in 1899
Naturally the Legend of Hagoromo is also explained on the same type of traditional Japanese announcement board but I will be able to explain in detail with pictures soon
An incredibly shaped pine tree
The Legend of Hagoromo, “Hagoromo (羽衣)” means veil or garment. One day a local fisherman discovered a veil hanging on a low branch of a pine tree.
Just as the fisherman was going away with the veil a lady deity appeared and told him it was her veil and to give it back to her.
The fisherman asked for a dance in exchange for her treasure without which she wouldn’t be able to go back to heaven.
Playing on her lute she performed the “Dance of the Moon”
But after the fisherman returned her veil she disappeared in the sky
You will find a Hagoromo Hotel by the entrance of the pine Forest
Naturally the hotel has a statue commemorating the legend
There are also bilingual boards at the entrance of the pine tree forest
Every year a Traditional Noh Theater play is performed inside the forest to relate Hagoromo’s legend of the Celestial maiden and her veil.
Very good English explanations
The legend says that the pine tree is 650 years old
The very pine tree and its low branch
More information but only in Japanese
The Matsubara Pine Tree Forest
The Noh play takes place there
Don’t worry, the park has plenty of shops for food and refreshments – and facilities
Visitors come from all over Japan
The pine forest has it own minuscule shrine called “Haguruma”
Many people of course visit the beach
The beach overlooking Suruga Bay
From the beach and during the colder part of the year you can enjoy an incredible view of Mount Fuji
But it is still too early for the bathing season
Of course you may play on the beach as much as you want[cft format=0]