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Discover Japan's Marine Day

By HarryFriday 17th July 2015

Check out the spectacular view from Odaiba Beach - Image by Flickr user Peter Zuco Check out the spectacular view from Odaiba Beach - Image by Flickr user Peter Zuco

As an island nation, Japan is surrounded by water on all sides, with the Sea of Okhotsk to the north, the North Pacific to the east, the East China Sea to the south and the Sea of Japan to the west. In fact, in many ways, Japan is reliant upon the ocean.

To celebrate the ocean’s bounty and the ways in which it benefits the country, an annual public holiday is held. Marine Day occurs on the third Monday in July – this year it’s the 20th – and most people spend the day at the beach. To give you an idea of the best beach spots, we’ve selected a few of our favourite Japanese beaches, which you could visit before, during or after your Asian cruise.

Stay at Odaiba Beach till after dark for the Marine Day lantern display – Image by Flickr user Wiennat Mongkulmann Stay at Odaiba Beach till after dark for the Marine Day lantern display – Image by Flickr user Wiennat Mongkulmann

Odaiba Beach, Tokyo

Located in the heart of Tokyo, Odaiba Beach is popular with tourists and locals alike, particularly on Marine Day. This manmade beach is a long sandy stretch surrounded by native plants, with Tokyo’s mesmerising skyline as its backdrop. Whilst there you can play a game of volleyball, relax on the sand, or make your way to the observation deck where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. Unfortunately, swimming is prohibited at Odaiba Beach, but you can dip your toes in the ocean and walk through the shallows. In the evening on Marine Day, people gather at Odaiba and place paper lanterns along the shore, which are then lit to create a spectacular display. Later on, at the nearby port of Yokohama (where Royal Caribbean docks), you can see a fantastic fireworks display and a parade. The magnificent rock formations at Jodogahama Beach – Image by Flickr user ume-y The magnificent rock formations at Jodogahama Beach – Image by Flickr user ume-y

Zampa Beach, Okinawa Island

Mainland Japan is surrounded by smaller islands, one of which is Okinawa Island. Okinawa Island is located to the south of mainland Japan, and is home to some wonderfully beautiful beaches. Zampa beach stretches for about 200m along the western coast of the island, and is known for its sandy shores and crystal-clear waters. Swimming is permitted at Zampa Beach and there are even floating rafts for people to swim out to, making it an ideal location to spend Marine Day with kids. For something a little different, have a go on the banana boar or rent a water tricycle. There is also a Beach House with changing rooms, a snack bar, lockers and showers – everything you need, all in one place! Watch the sunset from Zampa Beach – Image by Flickr user Okinawa Steve Watch the sunset from Zampa Beach – Image by Flickr user Okinawa Steve

Jodogahama Beach, Miyako City

Just south of Miyako City is Jodogahama Beach, a beautiful stretch of coast in the Sanriku Recovery National Park. The beach is made up of white pebbles and sand, with calm waters that are punctuated by magnificent jagged rock formations. Short boat tours take beach-goers for a closer look at these formations and into the Blue Cave, a small cave that is only accessible by water. If you want to see more of the Sanriku coast, 40-minute boat tours take passengers further afield. As one of the region’s most popular beaches, Jodogahama can get quite busy on Marine Day, so be sure to get down early for a good spot. The incredible sand dunes at Tottori Sakyu – Image by Flickr user hiroaki The incredible sand dunes at Tottori Sakyu – Image by Flickr user hiroaki

Tottori Sakyu, Tottori

For something a little different on Marine Day, head to Tottori Sakyu sand dunes. These dunes are the largest in Japan, and span 16km along the Sea of Japan coast and reach heights of up to 50m. Created thousands of years ago, these breath taking dunes continue to change with the strong winds and coastal tides. Although you won’t find people lazing in deck chairs or swimming in the ocean, you will find people riding camels or sandboarding. There’s also horse drawn cart rides and paragliding. So, if you plan to visit on Marine Day, you’ll be in for a fun-filled day of adventure.  

Feeling beachy? Start planning your trip to Japan today.

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