By Rod Walters
Tsutsumigaura beach park is a 1 kilomteer long, sandy beach located on the northeast coast of Miyajima island. It is easy to get to the beach- take the Sanyo JR line to Miyajima-guchi Station and take the ferry across to Miyajima island. Regular buses leave (10min) from in front of the ferry port. It is also possible to take your car over to the island if you want to drive all your camping gear, water gear over. It costs around 3,000 yen round trip to get a car over to the island and back. You can also take bicycles over to the island and cycle to the beach in around 15 minutes. If you walk it would take around a half hour.
In the summer, there is a roped-off swimming area during the sea-bathing season (mid July-Aug 31). During this time, there are showers and a cafeteria open for business in the main facility near the beach. Close by, there is a great camp site, tennis courts, wide grassy area good for those who want to get away from the sand or play sports. Cabins, beach houses and tents also available for rent, but try to reserve early as they are very popular.
Apparently there is space for 1,000 people in the campsite and costs around 1,000 yen per person each night (cheaper for kids), add a few hundred yen more if you want to use a bbq range or make a campfire (materials provided). You can use the camping area with your own tent and gear if you pay a small charge for using the space, no camping is allowed outside the official camping grounds. The camp area has good, clean toilets and other facilities, there is also a lot of shade which is essential for summer camping in Japan.
The tennis court can be rented for around 1,000 yen/hr. It is also possible to rent the sports field if you want to play an organized game of baseball, etc..Cabin prices cost around 15,000 yen per night for a 4 person cabin, there are cheaper options available for shared accommodation- see more details here (in Japanese).
Tsutsumigaura is a very lively beach in summer season, with people enjoying swimming, camping, water sports and barbeque areas. If you are having a picnic or bbq, you should be prepared to get at least a little hassled by deer trying to get at your food. Fortunately, during the busy summer season the deer are controlled and even moved off the main beaches regularly, but if you go on a off-peak day, you may have to fend them off for yourself.
The state of the beach also changes by the season. During peak summer use, it is kept quite clean, but off-peak the beach is littered with debris that drifts in every morning from the plastic pellets of the oyster farms to a range of other garbage from near and far. Although interesting to look through, be careful walking barefoot as lighters, needles and other hazardous garbage is also sometimes found here.
On the plus side, it is a large expanse of beach with decent facilities: washing areas, toilets, restaurant, and the summer essential -shade. In summer, when the swimming area isroped-off (to keep the jet-skiers, kayakers, yachts, sailboats and wind-surfers and scuba divers from mixing with swimmers) there are two floating rafts to swim to and jump off.
In August each year, the international Sundance music and dance festival is held in this beach park. There is live music- latin, r&b, dance music & food stalls, dance shows.
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I've been living in Hiroshima since the mid 90's & still discovering new things to enjoy. I'm a big fan of both the old "wabi sabi" as well as modern and new designs, Japan offers both of these type of places to explore and enjoy. Even after many years here, I am still discovering surprising, fantastic and wacky things about this strange and wonderful land. I hope you enjoy your adventures around Japan- feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about traveling with kids, vegetarian dining or anything specific to Hiroshima.