Recently, because of winning of a big lottery prize in a nearby betting shop, Zenigata-Sunae(sand picture) received new attention. This sand picture was known as the exterior shots of the costume drama Zenigata Heiji, and was used as the background of the drama’s title scene. It is said that looking atthe sand picture will “make people healthy and live long, meanwhile far from money worries”. The sand picture here attracts many tourists. Today, we will introduce the Zenigata-Sunae under the illumination, the way to observatory and the nearby attractions.
The way to Kotohiki Park
Zenigata-Sunae located in Kotohiki Park, a national scenic spot. The park is consisting of Zenigata-Sunae, vast Ariake-Hama Beach, and Kotohiki Mountain with an observatory, from where you can see the whole Zenigata-Sunae.
Either driving a car or taking a train is OK to go to Kotohiki-Hama Beach. If you have a car, you need to drive down the freeway from Sanuki-Toyonaka Interchange, then it will takes about 15 minutes to reach the destination. If you go there by train, you should get off at JR Kanonji Station and take a municipal bus for about 5 minutes, then walk for about 3 minutes. There are free parking lots in Kotohiki Park and the park is free entrance.
Ariake-Hama Beach is a white sandy beach, the contrast of the white sand, blue sea and green pines are really beautiful and the sunset here is also known as a breathtaking view.
Close observation to the sand picture
The overlooking of Zenigata-Sunae is very famous, but now that since we’re here, it is worth taking a close observation to the sand picture. Going through a place flourishing with green pines, you will see a sand ground with many holes, and sign-posts with “Sand Pictures No Entry” are erected around there. That is Zenigata-Sunae itself. From close range, it is difficult to see the Chinese character “寛永通宝 Kaneitsuho” clearly, but the impact will make you couldn’t help looking at it. I suggest you to take a good look at the deep trench.
If near enough, you will see the sand might be little scattered because of exposure to wind and rain. In fact, this sand picture will be repaired by people who are interested in it (volunteers) after a typhoon or a heavy rain.
The way to the observatory
Next, in order to see the sand picture clearly, we will show you the way to the Zougahana Observatory on the Peak of Kotohiki Mountain.
You can go to the observatory by car or on foot. If you have a car, please note that the street is one-way only. The entrance of ascent is in the south of the park, beside the Kotoji-Ike Pool. Be cautious that you couldn’t go to the peak from the Neagari Pine in the opposite side. Large cars cannot pass this way because the road is narrow, and there are also many curves and tunnels.
Once you reach the top, you will find two parking lots there. One is just in front of you, the other is a little far from the exit of the road. You could park your cars there and walk to the observatory. In the case of walking to the peak, there is a footpath to observatory near to the “Yamaguchi’s Well” in the photo. You can go into the driveway after walking a while. It will take about 15 minutes to reach the top from “Yamaguchi’s Well”.
“Yamaguchi’s Well” at the entrance of footpath is digged by Kobo-Daishi. He built it for nearby drought stricken residents in the past. Although now we can’t see the well from here, the well water is available at a water supply point. The well is near to the coastlines, but it is a fresh water well. The well provided drinking water to nearby residents until early Showa era. But today, people don’t drink the well water directly. (The sign-post says it will become drinkable after boiling)
Zenigata-Sunae emerges in a dark night
Even appearing in costume drama，Zenigata-Sunae is a symbol of Kanonji City. Looking from the observatory, the sand picture is a circle. But by using perspective, we could know that it is an oval long 122m wide 90m in fact. The origin of Zenigata-Sunae dates back to A.D. 1633 (the 10th year of Kanei), the fourth Lord of Takamatsu Domain, Ikoma Takatoshi came here. It is said that in order to welcome him, his people built this sand picture throughout one night. There are also many other stories about the origin of this sand picture.
Compared to day time, the sand picture under the illumination looks more fantastic and powerful, may be it also has a better effect of “making people healthy and live long, while far from money worries.”
Precious Experience! Another Must-see, Neagari Pine
Lastly, we will introduce you to a must-see scenic spot for people come to Zenigata-Sunae.
At the exit of the driveway, you could see A signboard says “Neagari Pine” at “Ichiya-An”. Go upstairs as the signboard says, you will see a miraculous pine there. As the name implies, the roots of the pine is above the ground. The roots exposed in the air are even 3 meter high. Nicknames “Martian” or “Tentacle of octopus” can be seen on the web, it is undeniable the roots actually supports the trunk as legs. Moreover, the name “Neagari Pine” sounds very much like “waiting for a price rising” in Japanese Language. People who own stocks believe that this miraculous pine has the effect to increase the price of their stocks.
Welcome to visit Zenigata-Sunae! We wish Zenigata-Sunae bring you good luck!
How did you like it? Today, we only introduced Zenigata-Sunae in the light, but without doubt it’s also great to see the sand picture in day time. There are also many other scenic spots in Kotohiki Park, please feel free to visit and have a great time here!
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