Koibitomisaki is a popular spot to find fulfillment of your love wishes. There is another place with the same name in Izu city, Shizuoka prefecture, but the one in Kashiwazaki, Niigata prefecture, is a holy spot for people praying for love in front of the splendid view of Japan Sea! I will now introduce this place which is popular among couples and female tourists.
Depart from Nihonkai Fisherman’s Cape!
Koibitomisaki is right next to Nihonkai Fisherman’s Cape, located about 10 minutes’ drive from Hokuriku Highway’s Yoneyama IC. Visitors coming with a car can park nearby.
There you will find “Japan Sea Fresh Fish Center”, as well as plenty of souvenir shops offering a vast array of marine goods. Some restaurants offer a barbecue with fresh fish, so they are ideal to visit after seeing Koibitomisaki.
The day I went they were offering free seafood miso soup. You can also look around the souvenir shops for the popular Niigata spice “kanzuri”. A walking trail begins behind the parking lot and leads to Koibitomisaki in about 15 minutes. There are some stairs and hills to climb, so bring comfortable shoes. If you get full by treating yourself with delicious seafood in advance, climbing might be a trouble!
The routine at Koibitomisaki! Make your wish and ring the bells
The famous bells of Koibitomisaki! There are two more on each side of the bell seen on the photo, so a total of 5 bells. You can ring one or two, or all of them. Couples and travelling girls often come here to make their wish and ring the bells.
What you see behind the bells is the vast Japan Sea! In clear days with good weather you can even see Sado island in the distance. The day I went was a bit cloudy so I couldn’t see the island, but the view of the calm Japan Sea was very enjoyable! Do you see how the fence under the bells has turned pink? Looks like a bunch of tropical flowers, but in fact these are pink heart-shaped wish plaques. Lovers put a lock on the fence wishing for longevity of their relationship, and that is how there are so many plaques locked. You can really feel the love power of all the couples. Wish plaques are on sale in the nearby shop.
Find the scenic spot! Yoneyama in the distance
If you turn left at the bells and walk a little further, you will see an excellent view! On this photo you can see Mt. Yoneyama in the distance and the red Yoneyama Oohashi bridge. Rock cliffs continue all the way from Koibitomisaki to the bridge.
Kashiwazaki’s cape Koibitomisaki is part of Sado-Yahiko-Yoneyama Quasi-National Park and its official name is actually Kamomegahana. It is a really popular spot where you can enjoy the view of the cliffs hanging over the calm blue Japan Sea and Fukuura coast, while seagulls soar in the sky above you. You will be mesmerized by the panorama view. The view from this observatory is especially great at sunset! The view of the red sky and the setting sun in Japan Sea is splendid, romantic and ideal for couples.
The origin of Koibitomisaki’s name
The Love Legend of Sado is behind the name of Kashiwazaki’s cape Koibitomisaki (Lovers Cape).
“The Love Legend of Sado” This is the love story of Oben who lived in Ogi, Sado island, and the shipwright Tokichi. Tokichi went for work to Sado and fell in love with Oben. However, his work finished and he had to return back to Kashiwazaki. Oben was very sad, and as she was looking at the sea one night, she noticed the distant lights of cape Banjinmisaki in Kashiwazaki, which reminded her of Tokichi. Suddenly Oben started craving for Tokichi’s love, rode the wooden tub-shapped boat “taraibune” and crossed the sea. She arrived to Kashiwazaki successfully and after enjoying her short time with Tokichi, she rode on the boat and returned back to Ogi. As Oben continued to visit Tokichi regularly, he started fearing her passionate feelings and one night he turned off the cape’s lights exactly when Oben was in the middle of the sea. The next morning Oben’s injured body was found floating near Omigawa. Tokichi deeply regretted his action. He became a monk, held a memorial service for Oben , after which he committed a suicide by jumping into the sea. The local people buried Oben at cape Banjinmisaki and planted a pine tree there. That pine tree stays strong even in rain or wind and still reminds of the tragic love between Oben and Tokichi. Kashiwazaki’s cape Koibitomisaki is related also to Guam’s Koibitomisaki. There is a similar tragic love legend in Guam too and now many couples pledge their love at the cape.
I recommended walking from Nihonkai Fisherman’s Cape, but if the weather is bad you can even drive close to the cape, so check the signs at the parking lot. In case of good weather and if you are in a good shape, definitely try the walking path in the nature! The panorama view from the little hills midway is fantastic too!
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