Miho no Matsubara's Gnarly Trees

Fine Spot for a Picnic

 By James Holford   Aug 10, 2012

Miho no Matsubara is renowned as the setting of the fairy tale: 'Hagoromo Densetsu,' wherein a beautiful (aren't they all?) angel alights and hangs her feather robe on a pine tree while she bathes. The robe is subsequently swiped by a local who wants something from her before returning it. I guess the moral of the story is: unless you're really sure, leave your clothes on.

I like to make a pit stop here for a picnic. As you enter the grounds and ascend the paved slope, to your left is a gazebo with a large table designed just for that. The setting is tranquil with a long, sandy stretch that leads down to the beach where the waters are calm and visitors like to bathe their feet. On a clear day, there is a most excellent view of Mount Fuji.

The attraction here is the ancient pines, which include the grandad of them all where the errant angel allegedly hung her robe. As I munch down my stale convenience store lunch, I like to reflect on the twists and turns of the boles and branches, much the same way I would see shapes in the clouds.

The 'Bhagavad-gita' claims that in the life-death cycle trees symbolize lust: no conscious and a will imprisoned by illusory delights. Rather than displaying seductive symmetries however, these trees more resemble tortured water-souls storming the beach. Besides, Iggy Pop claims that 'lust for life' is a good thing, and I prefer to go with that.

If you are in the mood for a stroll among the pines, there is a paved, winding walking path to your left and unpaved ones to your right, or you could return down the slope to the parking lot where you'll see a long, straight boardwalk leading away through the pines. To reach Miho no Matsubara: head southeast from Shizuoka or Shimizu station, the latter has bus service, and go out the main road on the peninsula. If you miss the sign telling you where to turn right, just ask one of the locals.

Written by James Holford
Japan Travel Member

Join the discussion

Wouter Thielen 5 years ago
Thanks for sharing the Fuji picture, Tyra! It is indeed a magnificent view, looks like it is towering over you, despite being 45kms away!
Tyra 'nell Pille-Lu 5 years ago
Haha, funny article you have there! =) Indeed, it's a nice place to be. I've been there twice! What's gotten into the mind of the angel for taking off her robes... lolz. Anyway, the pine trees' formation is intriguing. Cool! Here are few photos I took from this place... =)