Oarai Sun Beach is the biggest beach in the Kanto area, and one of the most popular because of it. Stretching south from the Oarai fishing port down towards the bluffs at the edge of the town it covers quite a large area of the coastline, but the most surprising part is that it is nearly as deep as it is wide. In the off-season there is a small parking area closer to the access road, but once the swimming season starts in mid-July the 7000 space monster parking lot is open for business. Little more than some rocky sand with tufts of grass here and there, this large parking area must be crossed in order to get to the actual beach area, which itself is also quite an expansive stretch of sand. In the summer this area is filled with umbrellas and beach blankets, creating a small village of sun-seekers that must be navigated to reach the water.
The shoreline and most of the sandy areas are extremely flat, but covered in beautifully white sand that has very little particulates in it. Excluding the odd shell here and there, you can enjoy the feel of the sand on your feet without worrying about stones or other debris. This being Oarai, ‘rough waves’, the waves here are still quite active, but somewhat less vigorous than at its sister beach, Oarai beach, to the north. Also, the lack of rocky outcroppings means a smooth water surface that easily lends itself to swimming or other water sports.
There are plenty of changing stations/bathrooms of the usual quality, as well as some showers for removing the sand and seawater when you’re done. Vendors also set up large stalls at the edge of the beach village, and there is a permanent ‘beach restaurant’ as well. If you’re planning on coming out for a weekend it would be a good idea to get here early, and bring plenty of liquids unless you are willing to pay vendor prices or hike back to your car. For those without a car it is just off the main road that curves along Oarai’s coast, which happens to be the route taken by the sight-seeing bus that you can catch right at Oarai Station (there are cheap one-day tickets that include discounts to local attractions as well). One extra special aspect of Oarai Sun Beach is that it is made to be completely barrier-free (wheelchair/handicapped accessible), and they even offer free rentals of wheelchairs that are made to go into the ocean! This is one beach that everyone can enjoy.
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A Canadian ex-pat working for the Japanese government while working on an academic and writing career. Interests include travel, languages, reading/writing, movies, music, and new experiences. Visit me at wanderingbluesky.wordpress.com for travelogs and short stories!