No.3 Cycling in Nagato ～The Challenge to Motonosumi Shrine～
Shooting date：2021/09/29 (Wed) Author：Yamaguchi University, Faculty of Global and Science Studies students
Hello! We are students at the Faculty of Global and Science Studies at Yamaguchi University.
We are cooperating with Sports Field Yamaguchi Promotion Council to spread the attractions of Yamaguchi Prefecture to foreigners.
We make cycling videos in various areas around Yamaguchi Prefecture and provide useful information and details in Web articles.
The video is here ↓
This time, we cycled in Nagato City, located in the northwestern part of Yamaguchi Prefecture!
Nagato City is surrounded by nature, including mountains and the sea, and there are many tourist spots. In particular, Motonosumi Shrine, located in the northwestern part of Nagato City, was selected as one of the 「31 Most Beautiful Places in Japan」by the American news broadcast CNN. There, you can enjoy the view of 123 bright red torii gates stretching over 100 meters. The blue of the Sea of Japan, the green of the mountains, and the red of the torii gates make for an overwhelming sight.
The following is how to get to the Senzakitchen, the starting point for this tour.
On this day, we rented bicycles at the Tourist information center YUKUTE in the Senzakitchen, a 25km route to our final destination, Motonosumi Shrine, with two international students from Nepal, Mr. Achyut and Mr. Suresh. It was the first time for the two students to try sports cycling.
The best part of this cycling course is the spectacular view that you can see after overcoming the road to Motonosumi Shrine. There are many steep hills, and the route is quite challenging, but the sense of accomplishment and exhilaration you feel when you overcome them and go down the mountain is something that only a bicycle can provide. I hope that everyone can experience this sense of accomplishment and exhilaration, so please give it a try!
Google map cycle route is here ↓
Ⓐ Rent bicycles at Tourist Information Center YUKUTE
Tourist Information Center YUKUTE is located on the Senzakitchen.
Some people can speak English in the tourist information center.
We went inside the tourist information center…
As you enter the facility, you will see an array of pamphlets on the right side. There are English and Traditional Chinese of the Nagato City Tourist Guide Map in the rightmost row. It’s free, so why not compare them and create your sightseeing route?
The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, and counter seats are available for you to relax.
Free Wi-Fi is also available.
You can choose the bicycles from 5 types of bikes at the Tourist Information Center YUKUTE.
The fee for each bike is as follows.
Cross bikes are available in different sizes to suit different heights. Mountain bikes for children are also available, so you can enjoy cycling with your family.
There are three points to note when renting bicycles.
- Bicycle rental is only available by reservation on the day of rental.
- Bicycle rental hours are from 9:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
- You need to pay a deposit of 1,000 yen[10$] per bike is required before renting (refundable upon return).
There is an English version of the usage guidelines. There is other information about renting bicycles, so read it carefully.
This time I rented a cross bike.
Helmets and bike keys can be rented for free!
|Tourist Information Center YUKUTE|
|Opening hours||9:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
(Regular holiday: New Year’s Day and the second Thursday of December and February)
Then we’re off!
Ⓑ Refresh yourself at Sawayaka Beach
The first spot is Sawayaka Beach. It is located about 5 minutes by bicycle from the Senzakitchen.
Nepal is landlocked and does not face the sea, so the scenery of endless ocean moves international students.
Also, taking pictures here is bound to look good! As you can see in the photo below, we recommend putting your bike down and taking a photo with the ocean in your background.
The Sawayaka Beach is a great place to enjoy the clear air during the day, but it is also a great place to watch the sunset and remember the day’s trip.
Lunch is a time to play, and evening is a time to remember the trip. Why don’t you stop by at both times and compare the scenery while feeling the different moments?
Next, we’ll head to Ojiyama Park on Omi Island.
The Omi Bridge, which leads to Omi Island, is on a slope, so the distance was longer than expected. It was a bit of a challenge, but the international students did their best to climb it. The bridge was painted blue, the same color as the sky on the day, and it was beautiful.
In Japan, bicycles are required to keep to the left side of the roadway. Please be careful of cars.
Ⓒ Ojiyama Park offers a panoramic view of the city of Senzaki.
We arrived at Ojiyama Park on Omi Island. You can find it on the left after crossing the bridge. Here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the town of Senzaki! Senzaki was a bustling port town in the Edo period. The international students praised the scenery from Ojiyama Park, saying it was like coming into heaven.
Senzaki is the birthplace of Misuzu Kaneko. Misuzu Kaneko is a Japanese female nursery rhyme poet who was active from the end of the Taisho era to the beginning of the Showa era (1903-1930). One of her representative works, A Bird and a Bell and I, is so famous that it appears in Japanese elementary school textbooks. Please read it. There is a poem about the scenery seen from Ojiyama Park here among Misuzu Kaneko’s poems.
Ⓓ Lunch with a view of the ocean at Senzakitchen
We went back to Senzakitchen again and bought some lunch.
This time, we had bowls of rice topped with sashimi called kaisen-don.
The large slices of sashimi melted in my mouth the moment we put them in! The combination of sashimi, rice, and soy sauce is genuinely outstanding. The combination of sashimi, rice, and soy sauce was great, and some of the members even ate two bowls of kaisen-dons…
At Senzakitchen, you can eat fresh fish from the Sea of Japan. In addition to seafood, there are other restaurants as well.
They also sell local products, so you are sure to find the souvenir you are looking for. We highly recommend this place, so please stop by and check it out.
|Opening hours||9:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
(Regular holidays: New Year’s Day and the second Thursday of every month［Except holidays and August］)
Ⓔ Cycling to Motonosumi Shrine for a spectacular view
After lunch, we headed for our final destination, Motonosumi Shrine!
It’s about 20km from Senzakitchen to Motonosumi Shrine.
After passing through the urban area of Nagato City, the road gradually becomes mountainous.
It’s a gentle slope, but the distance is a bit long, so make full use of gear adjustments to get through it.
We took a break at a convenience store along the way. The actual convenience store where we took a break is pinned on the Google map. This course has a lot of elevation changes, so it’s a good idea to check where you can take a break beforehand. Please don’t forget to hydrate frequently.
Now, we’re halfway there!
After taking a break and riding lightly on a beautifully paved road, we came to a road that crosses railroad tracks. When crossing railroad tracks in Japan, both cars and bicycles must pause before crossing.
This is where the best part of the route comes in.
From here on, the road gets narrower and narrower, and there are cars on the road, so you have to be more careful.
We had to get off our bikes on the way because the hills were so hard.
The slope was much steeper than we had imagined, and we struggled to climb it. However, every time we crossed the steep slope, we were rewarded with beautiful scenery. Take this photo, for example.
When you come out of the mountains and into the open, the sea, sky, and mountains fill your vision. Feeling the breeze as you go down the hill is very refreshing.
Now, we’ve finally arrived at Motonosumi Shrine! We’ve done it! We can’t help but say, “I’ve done it!
We still remember how impressed we were when I saw the beautiful contrast of the red of the torii gate, the blue of the Japan Sea, and the green of the mountains.
The following photo is for a memorial, so please park your bicycles in the bicycle parking lot.
We parked our bicycles and quickly entered the Motonosumi Shrine.
The Motonosumi Shrine was founded in 1955 as by a white fox. It offers various blessings such as prosperity in business, great fishing, safety at sea, good fortune, children’s treasure, good luck and good luck, good fortune and good luck, traffic safety, academic achievement, and fulfillment of desires.
Next, we challenged to use a money-offering box, which is the most difficult to insert in Japan.
Usually, offering boxes are placed at a height you can reach, but at Motonosumi Shrine, money boxes are placed at about 5 meters height. It is said that if you can put your money in this money box, your wish will come true.
There are many theories about the meaning of money offered, but people used rice to thank the gods for the rice harvest. Nowadays, money is provided instead of rice, and it is said that throwing money into the bowl has the meaning of exorcism.
This time, we threw in a 5 yen coin (0.05$) to symbolize good fortune.
All three of us were successful.
Next, we went to see the Dragon Spout!
The Dragon Spout is a phenomenon in which seawater is blown up through a hole we meter long and 20 cm wide. It can be up to 30 meters high and looks like a dragon ascending to the sky, which is why it is said to have been widely worshipped as the work of the Dragon God.
|Opening hours||7:00 A.M.~4:00 P.M. (Charge: Free)|
|Phone number||0837-26-0708 (Tourist Information Center YUKUTE)|
In the end
The route to the Motonosumi Shrine has many steep slopes, and we encountered many situations where we felt it was too hard. However, when you arrive at the Motonosumi Shrine, you will feel a sense of accomplishment like never before. Please visit Nagato City and challenge yourself to ride a bicycle to the Motonosumi Shrine!
We’re waiting for your challenge!
Unreleased video information
Have you ever had yakitori?
Yakitori is chicken that has been grilled with sauce and salt and is a popular food among Japanese people.
Nagato City is one of the top cities in Japan in terms of the number of yakitori restaurants per 10,000 people!
his time, we had yakitori from Yakitoriya Chikuzen! This time, we had yakitori from Yakitoriya Chikuzen. The saltiness of the yakitori here is exquisite, and the savory smell of the chicken is mouth-watering.
|Yakitoriya Chikuzen Senzakitchen|
|Opening hours||10:00 A.M.〜5:00 P.M. ※Last order 4:30 P.M
(Closed: the second Thursday of the month and New Year’s Day [exception: open in August and on national holidays])
This is a land of grassland spread out on a high plateau 333 meters above sea level. The view from the table is spectacular and very pleasant, but the road to this place is challenging. It’s a steep slope, so if you’re confident in your stamina or like cycling, you should visit! It’s located near the Motonosumi Shrine. It is pinned on Google Maps.