Miyajima-Tsutsumigaura Beach

Off the coast of Hiroshima in Japan, Miyajima Island can be found.  It is considered as one of the treasures of the country due to its rich history. The island has always been considered a sacred place and this can be traced back to 806 AD when a monk named Kobo Daishi climbed Mt. Misen and has established it as a place for the Shingon sect of Buddhism. As years passed, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines have been built and have risen to turn this island into a place of serenity.

The Floating Torii Gate

Fun fact: The island’s real name is Itsukushima and Miyajima is just a popular nickname meaning “Shrine Island”.

Miyajima is not only popular for its shrines and temples but it is also known for its beautiful beach, the Tsutsumigaura Beach. Located inside the Tsutsumigaura Nature Park, the beach is its main attraction. With a 700 meter long shoreline bordered by pine trees, white sand, mild and calm waves, and shallow water, the beach is perfect for families who would want to take time, relax, and enjoy a day. The facility is packed with various amenities such as multi-purpose cabins, exercise areas such as tennis courts and an athletic field, campsites where people can gather around, barbeque areas where people can grill some food and beach houses where people can stay in.

Traveling going to this beach can be long and tiring but for sure it will be worth the wait once you get there. First of all, you must get to Miyajima by ferry. From the Miyajima Pier, you can get there by car, by public transportation, or by simply taking a long walk. Having your own vehicle or taking a cab from the pier will only take you more or less 10 minutes from the pier. On the other hand, it will take an estimate of around forty minutes to walk going to the beach from the pier. For visitors with private vehicles, there is no need to worry where to park since there is enough space for at least 800 cars. Whether you are on a budget, you have enough money, or you want to splurge on everything, Tsutsumigaura Beach is the place for you and your loved ones.

Tsutsumigaura Beach

Tsutsumigaura Beach is a great place to visit whether whatever season it is. Whether you want to relax in peace or engage in various fun-filled activities, the versatility of the beach will satisfy all of your needs.

Images by My Travel Photos and Japan travel

 

Discovering Japan on Bike

Exploring a country on a bicycle is a good way to discover many secrets that are not usually seen on common guided tours.  Riding up and down bike routes around Japan has been a means to see the other side of the country on a more personal way.  Many tourists who decide to go on a bike tour of Japan are amazed at how much they have seen, learned and experienced in a short amount of time.

Planning a bike tour would mean considering some basics first.  The first thing you must decide on is how much time do you have for this exciting activity?  Some people opt to just ride around the city on bike, instead of taking the usual group tour on bus.  Some have a few days to spare and decide to explore the countryside on bike.  However long you intend to spend on a bicycle, there are many bike tours offered in Japan that would definitely suit your timetable.  The next thing you have to consider is where to get your most important equipment:  your bike.  Bicycle rentals are available in many tourist destinations.  The rates are usually ¥100-300 per hour, ¥400-800 for half a day, and ¥1000-1200 for an entire day.  The most common rental bike is the mamachari or “mom’s bicycle”.  This is a simple bike, usually with a basket and/or a child’s seat.

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Typical everyday-use bicycle or mamachari

After getting your bike and deciding how long you will be gone, the next thing to do is to plan your route.  Typically, biking in the cities is more stressful because of the traffic and amount of people around.  Outside of the cities, the population is sparse, the view more serene and picturesque but biking infrastructure is still very good. Cycling around is also a great way to meet locals and explore their way of life.  You should not be worried about backing out once you started biking.  If you become saddle-sore, you can hop on a bus or a train (with your bike in tow) and get on your way faster.

For the more serious cyclists, organized bike tours are available.  One of the most popular tours is the Mt. Fuji and Five Lakes tour which lasts for 2 days.  Day 1 will mean cycling for 70 kilometers and Day 2 another 62 kilometers.  This is all with Mt. Fuji, Japan’s most revered mountain in view.

Cycle tour of Japan

Cycle tour of Japan

Images by Japan Guide and My Tokyo Guide