On every road in Japan, there is always a roadside attraction. Whether it is the World’s Longest Bench (which is actually the third longest bench, but has yet to change its sign) or the hidden Bird Park tucked away behind Tatsurahama Station, there is always somewhere to go.
And what better than a little adventure warm the blood when the winter chill gets too much?
Along the western coast is a National Park seperated into many different areas. The biggest is Ganmon, nicely situated on the cliffs next to a sleepy little town that crawls up a mountain from the bay. The town itself is a enchanting place to walk around, even on the most blustery of days.
The cliffs at Ganmon are known for being suicide cliffs, which in Japan always translates to beautiful nature. It is split into two different parks. The first is the actual tourist attraction, complete with stores and delicious omiyage. Here, there is a cave, many great photo opportunities, a fantastic bridge with a gorgeous view, and a boat ride available from Spring until Fall. The best time to visit here is when the tide is coming up, so you can walk across the rocks with the waves crashing all around you.
The second park is further up the road towards Togi, and a little out of the way. Here, there is a path that leads through the bamboo forest (it feels a bit like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) until it reaches the very end of the cliff, where a rope is provided for you to climb down. It’s hairーraising to be sure, but a fun experience nonetheless.
Directions: By car, Ganmon can be reached by taking the 249 to the 36, no matter which direction you are coming from. Then, just follow the signs. The Kanji reads 巌門. For those without a car in the south, take the train to Hakui station, and the bus to Togi. Get off at Ganmon! However, only half the busses go to Ganmon, so make sure it’s the right bus!! The park will be up the hill, away from the tunnel, and is a good five minute walk away. Turn left at the golden statue dedecated to traffic safety (交通安全）.