For those that would like to deepen their understanding of Japan. The origin of the ancient tales: a journey to discover the road where demons were, and the truth of the Urashima legend


For those that would like to deepen their understanding of Japan.
The origin of the ancient tales: a journey to discover the road where demons were, and the truth of the Urashima legend

The northern part of Kyoto, also known as Tango. It is by the sea, and abundant with products from the ocean, and also has a strong agricultural background. Here once existed a powerful ancient civilization called Taniha. Its territory covered a wide range of area from the north of Kameoka of Kyoto to the coast of Japan Sea.
There are various opinions on the origin of the name “Taniha”, the dominant of which, suggested by Kono Shrine, is that it was named after the delightful word said by Toyouke no Omikami, the goddess of agriculture and industry in the Shinto religion, when she came down to the earth and saw rich paddy fields there.
 Taniha with unique natural features open towards Japan Sea had a strong trading network with the Asian continent. Their high technology of ironworks between the 3rd century B.C. to the 6th century A.D. contributed to making Taniha the richest and most advanced nation of the time, being the hub of production and distribution. In fact, many large ancienet tombs that were accompanied by gorgeous grave goods are excavated in this area.
 The government of the following period in history, the Nara period, had local officers edit ” the book of Tango area” to know the situation of the countryside. The book however contained many legends which are obviously the prototype of those that Japanese people know today, such as the story of Amanohashidate, the original version of Urashima Taro or The Clothes of Goddess. Extermination of Ogre is written in other books that are even older. Much is written about Taniha too – all of which suggest the wide variety of culture that this area enjoyed, largely influencing other regions.
 This tour connects the historical events and legends in the region for an integral understanding of it. Though dispersed, visits to those places connect the thousands of years of the region with modern times. Through such communication you will come to feel the essence of Kyoto by the sea.

Seionji Temple

It is said to have been established by Prince Maroko who lived in the late 6th century. The horse saddle dedicated by the prince to the temple at its erection still exists there. The picture scroll handed down for generations in the temple tells the story of Prince Maroko heading to wipe out ogres by royal command. This is the oldest existing work that conveys the legend associated with Prince Maroko and a must-see.


Tanaka Japanese Paper Factory

While there used to be as many as nearly 200 factories of handmade paper in Oe Futamata district during Edo period, Tanaka Japanese Paper Factory is the only one that is still in operation. The 5th generation of the factory, Mr. Tanaka, sustains the traditional method of making paper. He grows "kozo" trees for the material for his paper at a local farm and makes paper using the water from the local Futamata river. Please touch and feel his paper at the shop attached to the factory. Appointed as Important Intangible Cultural Property of Kyoto.


Himurogatake Worshipping Place

The place to worship Mt. Himirogatake is located on the approach path to Motoise Shrine. The mountain is beautiful when see from up close there. Known as a powerful energy spot, it has been attracting many worshippers from all over the country. On the day of summer solstice, if you look up to the mountain from the worshipping place, you can observe the sun setting at the very summit. Please take the opportunity to visit.

The rice terrace at Kehara

Rice terrace at Kehara utilizes the steep slope of a mountain. Each season has its own beauty, especially during rice planting and harvesting, all thanks to the local community that is making a large effort to maintain it and its surrounding environment. Selected as one of the 100 most beautiful rice terraces of Japan.


Japan Oni (ogre) Exchange Museum

This museum exhibits materials related to goblins at different parts of Japan as well as those about the legend of the wiping out of ogres at Mt.Oe. It also collects old and contemporary decorative ridge-end tiles made in the likeness of ogres. Drawings and photographs with the theme of ogre are shown at the museum hall.


Urashima Shrine

A 10-minute drive from the houses by the bay in Ine takes you to a quiet, traditional fishing town. There is a small river there called Tsutsu River that flows to a dynamic, deeply indented coastline with a beach called "Honjo Beach". This is the location of a story called the "Legend of Urashima"; which is a little different from the well-known " Tale of Urashima Taro". Urashima Shrine here has the key to unlock the truth of this tale - it deifies this "Urashima" since 825. The chief priest will show you the picture scroll painted in the middle of the 14th century on the story of how he became the god of this shrine while giving a full explanation. A gorgeously decorated black lacquer ware is also on display.


Ine Bay

The development of Ine Bay started with the building of a place to dry fish in order to utilize the small difference of ebb and flow of the tide and the narrow space between the mountain and the sea. The famous view is of 230 buildings stand in a row surrounding the bay as if floating on the sea. In the old days the buildings were mainly thatched bungalows though most of them turned into two-storied buildings whose ground floor functions as a garage for a boat and fishing goods. Upstairs is used as a house or a spare room.
Appointed as an Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings on July 22, 2005.


Funaya Biyori

Standing in a row as if floating together in the sea are the garages of boats, known as "funaya". Buildings on the hillside right behind funaya are used as housing or storage. Funaya Biyori is located there as a small hub to welcome travelers.

The catch of seasonal fish vegetables picked in Ine that very morning. Homemade dry fish and local sake that that are part of people's everyday lives. Please enjoy your meal while enjoying the view that has been a part of their lives as time has slowly flowed by.


Kono Shrine

Kono Shrine is the most important shrine in Tamba and Tango area, which was appointed as the shrine of the first rank of the region in 719. It deifies Amaterasu Omikami and Toyoukeno Omikami, who are also the gods of Ise Jingu Shrine. It has an important collection of art, some of which are appointed as National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties. The statues of the guardian lion-dogs are from the 13th century. The grand architecture of the front shrine with a formal shape is wrapped with a solemn atmosphere. Its garden called "Miare no Niwa" is composed of the natural rocks collected from various sacred mountains and places in Japan. The buried earthen jar in the garden makes a beautiful sound when sacred water drips on it. This tour makes an official visit to this shrine and see its private treasures.



Amanohashidate is one of Japan's three most famous scenic views. According to a legend, a god in heaven Izanagi built a ladder so that he would be able to go to the earth and come back freely. However, it fell down to the earth while he was asleep, eventually to become Amanohashidate (Heaven's Ladder). The area is now a sacred place and often visited along with temples and shrines there. Amanohashidate is considered as an approach to those religious institutions as well and it was thronged with pilgrims at its highest time in the middle of the 19th century. A ladder that once conncted the heaven and the earth will leave another good memory in you.


Plan Detail
Meeting place Oe station
Duration  1 October 2017 - 31 March 2018
Excluded dates 29 December 2017 - 4 January 2018
Timing 2 days
Group size 6 people
Minimum no. of participants 2 people
Price 55,000 yen per person
Contact for reservation Kyoto by the sea DMO Tour Center 0772-68-1355
Application deadline 7 days in advance of the departure date
Cancellation terms In accord with Terms and Conditions (20% fee is charged for a cancellation received by 20 days before departure, 30% by 7 days, 40% by the day before, 50% by departure time, 100% if not showing up without contact)
Special gift  Original clear file
Fees included in price Chartered taxi, local guides, entrance to museums, donation to temples, lunch (once), tax. Expense for the stay is excluded.
Age No limit
Weather Cancelled in case of a bad weather with warnings
Other Route may change depanding on the road conditions
〇Day1 "Journey through the road where goblins inhabited"
12:15 Oe station→12:30 Seionji Temple→13:30 Tanaka Japanese Paper Factory→Himurogatake Worshipping place→Rice terrace at Kehara→Japan Oni (ogre) Exchange Museum→Go through the old trail to Miyazu Amanohashidate and stay there overnight
〇Day 2 "Exploring Ine and the truth of Japanese legend" "To the origin of Japan and Shinto religion, Amanohashidate"
8:50 Leave the hotel→9:15 Urashima Shrine→10:30 Explore Ine town by the sea→12:00 Lunch at Funaya Biyori, a tourist facility in Ine→14:30 Official visit to Kono Shrine→Go up to Amanohashidate View Point→16:30 Finish at Amanohashidate station
Local guides will attend at each area. While on tourist taxi, its driver will guide the leg.