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Hoshi no Ura Beach

A beach in Imabari shaded by fragrant pines

The northern half of Ehime faces the Seto Inland Sea, a beautiful body of water dotted with islands. The eastern half borders the sea known as Uwakai, which merges with the Pacific Ocean. While the coastline of Ehime is generally rocky, there are many bays and inlets where a rough sand of ground seashells accumulates. These beaches can be found within the boundaries of all the coastal cities, many of them within easy walking distance of railway stations. Needless to say, they’re very popular with citizens on weekends during the hot months, and so weekends are a good opportunity to meet local people when they’re letting their hair down. But on weekdays, travelers can pretty much enjoy these beaches to themselves.

Most people start going to the beach from the end of July, which generally coincides with the end of the rainy season. At this time, the heavy rainfall of the monsoon carries soil and plant matter down from the mountains, strewing the beaches with twigs and making the water of the Inland Sea generally cloudy. Once the rainy season ends, conditions improve quickly.

Hoshi no Ura Koen is a park that fronts the sea in Imabari to the west of the peninsula that protrudes into the Inland Sea. There’s a large car park with some public art consisting of stone obelisks and ships’ propellers which serve as a landmark for the beach from Route 196 that passes behind the park.

To get to the beach, you cross a bridge over a little stream, and a short promenade that skirts the beach. On the beach itself, there’s an expanse of wooden decking above the sandy beach which is very popular with families. Canvas is hung over some portions of the deck for shade, and the attractive pines lining the promenade also provide shade, as well as the characteristic scent they give off in the heat of summer. There’s a handy tap and drinking fountain too. You can also camp in the park behind the beach.

The sea here is actually quite murky, although nobody seems to mind. I took a dip here and the water was cold and refreshing. It’s also very shallow, and so there were lots of small children drifting about with gay abandon in rubber rings.

Hoshi no Ura Koen offers a fine view of one of Imabari’s shipyards, which is quite picturesque in its own way.

Name in Japanese
星の浦海浜公園 - hoshi no ura kaihin kōen - Hoshi no Ura Beach

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