Japan's Version of Paris's Love Lock Bridges ― on a Cliff
It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the amount of pink and red love locks here. With an endless view of the Sea of Japan below, this spot is easily your next stop to vow for eternal love.
Unlike Paris’s love lock bridges, Lover’s Point is located high up on a cliff in the outskirts of Kashiwazaki City, Niigata Prefecture. The spot doesn’t get lots of human traffic, so you can enjoy a leisure stroll and soak in the joyous atmosphere of the area. Whether you’re coming with a significant other or not, you can, like many others, buy a heart-shaped plate, write your wishes, and hang it on the fence. Couples from Guam, Korea, Italy, America and Taiwan — to name a few — have done the same.
When you first arrive at the park, you will be welcomed by a bell and numerous fences filled with heart-shaped plates. Walk further and you’ll even see grass groomed with heart shapes. It doesn’t take long to finish strolling in the park, but do take some time to admire the solemn 3,255-foot-tall Mount Yoneyama and the conspicuous red Yoneyama Ohashi Bridge to the left of your horizon.
You may notice a small island beneath the cliff with a small torii gate. Rumor has it that there used to be a path leading from Lover’s Point to that island, but due to natural disasters, the path is now damaged and prohibited for use. Tide levels also change throughout the day so please, even if you see people down there, try to stay on safe grounds.
Although Lover’s Point is now where people come to pray for undying love or for a successful marriage, it doesn’t quite have a happily-ever-after story of origin: a love-sick woman drowned on one of her risky nightly travels from Sado Island (an island about 50 kilometers away from the coast of Niigata prefecture) to meet her lover in Kashiwazaki. Drenched in sadness, he took his own life. But, this is only a tale! Lover’s Point is now a cute tourist spot accompanied by many other to-do spots around.
If you’re down for more strolling, there is a walking route to the right of the park entrance that will take you higher up and show you more of the coast. Or, if you’re satisfied with the refreshing sea breeze, grab some original peach cider and sweet potato gelato in the souvenir shop at the park entrance.
Note that Lover’s Point is located above the Nihonkai Fisherman’s Cape on national route 8. From the Fisherman’s Cape, a popular local fish market that is most famous for mackerel sandwich, you will need to drive up a very steep slope in order to get to Lover’s Point. You can certainly hike it, but if you’re driving a light kei-car, know that you will need to press the accelerator quite a bit.
If you’re a fan of antiques, check out the Seaport and Musician Doll museums in the vicinity, too. Or, spend a night at the nearby Hotel Seaport to enjoy romantic sunset colors along the coast of Sea of Japan.
Nihonkai Fisherman’s Cape is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, but Lovers’ Point is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Entrance is free-of-charge.
- By car: The Fisherman’s Cape is located right on the non-toll route 8, or 1 minute away from the Yoneyama Interchange on Hokuriku Expressway. Plenty of parking available.
- By train: Option one is to take the Shinetsu Main Line to JR Omigawa Station in Kashiwazaki then walk 20 minutes to Fisherman’s Cape; option two is to get off at Kashiwazaki Station and hop on a 15-minute taxi ride.
The spot might be a little difficult to find in English, so searching the Japanese 恋人岬 might be necessary.