Exploring our Local Beaches in Japan

After returning from Bali, we decided to explore some of our nearby beaches here in Japan. This was our first opportunity, since arriving in Japan a year ago. We ended up visiting four very different beaches.

Our first beach trip was to a beach (can't remember the name), which was an easy drive from our house, had a decent sized parking lot (parking is often very hard to come by) and had a cool platform to swim out to and jump off. We arrived about 1-1/2 hours before sunset to avoid the crowds, as beaches get very crowded in the summer. The littles had fun swimming to the platform, but we wished that we had brought float rings.

I have no idea what beach this next one was, but we did end up there. I had GPSd our way (via google maps) to Blue Moon, which was at the beach we intended to go to. Little did I know that there were two nearby Blue Moons and of course, since everything is written in Japanese, I didn't realize we where we were going or that we were going to the wrong location. But we found a parking spot and ended up having a great time playing in the water at the wrong beach.

Our next trip was to Isshiki Beach in Hayama, which was the beach that I had intended to go in the previous paragraph. I had read that this was a very popular beach so we drove the route a day in advance to investigate our parking options (and yes, to actually find the correct beach). Based on the tiny and full parking lot, I decided that we were going to have to get there early to get a parking spot. We arrived at 0815 and ended up with the last parking space for 2000 yen (about $18 USD). This beach was a very different experience than the other beaches, with large waves crashing right on the shore. It was also extremely crowded with little personal space. I found it interesting to see quite a few women wearing high heels while walking down the beach. In the first photo below, one of the women was jumping waves in her platform flip-flops while carrying an umbrella. The people watching was quite fascinating. While the waves were big and powerful, the kids had a blast riding the waves in their float rings. I had to drag them out of the water after a solid five hours. Unfortunately, I had put some non-haze spray on my underwater housing so all he photos ended up with a bit of haze form the lingering film (pretty ironic, huh?!).

Next up is a visit to our local Zushi Beach. We live in the town of Zushi, in an area which is about a 20-minute drive or bike ride to the beach. Yes, due to traffic, biking takes about the same amount of time as driving. All went well until both littles were stung by jellyfish. Ryder was stung on the waist while swimming with Steve and Skyler was stung on the ankle while playing tag with Ryder. I learned that the jellyfish, in this area, come into shore in September and October, when the water temperatures start cooling down. Maybe next year, we'll make it to this beach a bit earlier in the summer.