Although this park is most famous for sea bathing and various water sport activities from July to August each year, during the off-season there are still quite a few unique activities to take part in. Digging for clams along the shore is one such activity, and it is possible every year in the spring from early April to June. Just an hour’s train ride south from Osaka on the Nankai Electric Railway main line to Nishikihama Station will bring you to this gorgeous and exciting daytrip destination. Whether scouring the beaches for clams is your pastime or not, all visitors can appreciate the beauty of one of Osaka’s 100 most scenic greenery spots. ‘Nishiki’ translates literally to “two colors,” and this title is in reference to the 1 km of white sandy coastline which meets up with the lush green forests of pine trees closer inland.
If you are interested in gathering some clams, the event this year runs from April 15 to June 4 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily. Renting or purchasing equipment for gathering is possible at the beach, but feel free to bring your own bags, buckets, and shovels. Visitors pay a fee that grants them access to the activity, as well as the ability to take home up to 800 grams of clams as a tasty souvenir. Due to the potential for toxins in these shellfish, visitors must exchange their collections with inspected and safe clams at the reception desk to take home, but don’t worry, the actual gathering of the shellfish is completely harmless.
This event is popular for families and groups with many picnic and barbeque areas that make for a perfect resting and snack spot. Smaller groups need not make reservations in advance, but for groups of 25 or more, be sure to fill out an application or give the Nishikinohama Tourist Association a call. Following a day of digging, there’s nothing better than enjoying some fresh shellfish for dinner as you watch the Spring sun setting over Osaka Bay! The tourism bureau of Nishikinohama also provides information on the best ways to cook and enjoy your fresh clams. Make sure to let the shellfish soak in salt water for up to three hours before cooking so they expel all of their sand.
Where: Nishikinohama Beach Park, 45 minutes from Nama and a 10 minute walk from the Nishikihama Station, Sawa, Kaizuka City, Osaka Prefecture 597-0062
When: April 15 to June 4, between 9:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m. The last visitors are admitted at 4:30 p.m.
Adults (Junior high school students and above): 1,500 yen
Children (3 years old to elementary school students): 750 yen
Website (Japanese): http://www.nishikinohama.osaka.jp/shiohigari.html