Its getting to that time of year again when the thermostat starts to rise and thoughts of beaches spring to minds.
Although Aichi isn’t necessarily famed for its beaches, there are plenty of nice places at which you and the family can play in the sea and catch a few rays. Also, some of the beaches have events, parties and theme days for you and the family to enjoy.
Below is a calendar outlining just some of the events occuring on beaches in the Aichi area.
The nearest beach to Nagoya, Shinmaiko Marine Park, is perhaps the most conveniently located for city dwellers. While it is a man made artificial beach it is no less lovely for it. There is a sizable barbeque area that you can rent out, and charcoal can be supplied at a small additional cost. However if barbecue isn’t your thing there are food stands selling refreshments of all kinds. For those who don’t like the feeling of sand between the toes, there is a large grassy area on which to lounge, and for the more energetic of you, you can take advantage of the extensive beach volleyball courts.
Getting there: Get off at Shinmaiko Station on the Meitetsu Tokoname Line and walk 10 minutes across Fine Bridge.
One never feels such an affinity with society’s upper echelons than when lounging on the beach. Wherever we are, we never feel far from George Clooney on Lake Como, or families royal in St Tropez. Well, at Ono beach you can feel like a Shogun. Said to be the world’s oldest sea bathing spot, this 500×100 metre beach was visited by the ruling Owari and Tokugawa clans. While its historical importance may be of interest to some, it is the magnificent sunset that turns the ocean a glorious red that is perhaps the greatest draw of this location.
Getting there: Get off at Onomachi Station on the Meitetsu Tokoname line and walk for 5 minutes
The biggest in the Tokai area, Utsumi Beach is arguably the most popular. Visited by approximately 500,000 people each year it was chosen as one of the top 100 beaches in Japan, and it is not hard to see why. The coast stretches for 2km along Chidorigahama and Higashiyama areas with over 30 seaside clubhouses and hotels. In recent years it has gained a reputation for being dirty, however this year has seen a major clean up initiative bringing the sparkle back to the sea. A word of warning: September is jellyfish season, so be careful!
Getting there: Get off at Utsumi station on the Meitetsu Chitashinsen Line. Walk 15 minutes or take a bus and get off at Utsumi-kaigan stop. From there it is a three minute walk.
Should you be sceptical of the effectiveness of Utsumi’s claimed clean-up, perhaps Nisaki beach is the place for you. With consistently high marks in the annual water quality surveys and dazzling white sands, Nisaki is popular with families for its calm waves and the lifeguards that patrol them. There is even a small camping site nearby.
Getting there: Get off at Mikawa Tahara Station on the Toyohashi Tetsudo Atsumi Line from where you can take a 15 minute taxi ride.
Shiroya beach has a 600m shoreline, within which there is a 60m manmade sandy area. Newly developed in 1997, the surrounding palm trees give a real feeling of being in an upscale resort. There is a seaside park play area for children and the water is particularly clean. The sand is, however, a coarse grained sand so more sensitive children may require footwear at all times.
Getting there: Get off at Mikawa Tahara Station on the Toyohashi Tetsudo Atsumi Line. Take a taxi for about 10 minutes
On the north side of the Irago cape lighthouse, Coconuts Beach Irago is considered to be the best beach in the Atsumi peninsula. With 350m of white sand and clean water it is popular with visitors of all ages, particularly for the beautiful sunset and the large grassy area that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Getting there: Get off at Toyohashi Station on the JR or Meitetsu Lines. Take a Toyotetsu bus and get off at Irago eaPark-mae stop. The beach is a 2 minute walk from there.
Most beaches close some of their services from September. For further details contact the relevant tourist information centres on the above numbers.
By Mark Guthrie
Image – http://www.blaineanderin.com/utsumi-beach/– modified