• Shona McCarthy

Beach Near Kaizuka-Shi

When I was planning my last trip in Japan, I made the decision to deliberately stay in an area called Kaizuka-Shi not far from Kansai Airport, just in case something went wrong. Upon landing at my location, I learned that there was a beach not too far away. And so I decided to go there with a friend of mine.

It was spring, and a very rainy day, so I'm glad to say the beach was cool and very quiet. I was curious to see how a Japanese beach would compare to and Australian one. I could see many points of commonality. Communal bathrooms and showers. Places for barbeques. A playground and bins close by. But the playgrounds and bins were distinctly Japanese. The playground seemed to be designed based on hermit crabs, with multiple domes looking like brightly coloured shells. The bins rather cutely looked like cartons of milk and orange juice. A multilevel deck above the public restrooms contained places to sit and eat, and what seemed to be the masts from a very old ship. The structures of the place looked somewhat old and battered, as though they had been built long ago and not too carefully maintained. This made me like the trip all the more. It gave the beach a feel of gothic sensibilities. However, in the warmer seasons it seems you can have a more conventional visit. Stalls selling various warm-weather snacks open up, so you may be able to try beach-specific types of Japanese street food. Though the whole place was very quiet, there were still many children playing on the playground. Photos on the internet reveal that on warmer days the beach is much more popular. But somehow I prefer going to beaches off season, when I can stroll quietly with an umbrella and some comfortable shoes, and quietly take in the sights.

In the park close to the beach there were some cherry blossom trees. Given that it was sakura season, I decided to eat a strawberry manju under one of the trees. This was all a very budget option. The beach had no admission costs and the walk only took around ten to fifteen minutes. The outing only cost a can of coffee from a vending machine and the manju cake I had brought with me.

To give you a sense of where the beach is relative to the various stations nearby, here is a map. I found it fun to know that by touching the water I was touching a sea I never had before. In another post I talk about going to a ramen place directly after the beach to be warmed of the rain. Indeed, it was a satisfying meal after such an eventful and contemplative stroll.

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(Photos by Unsplash, me or Josiah Sillavan.)

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