Sea Breeze Adventures: Discover the Magic of Marine Day!

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A beach in Japan during Marine Day

Marine Day, or Umi no Hi (海の日), is a Japanese national holiday celebrating the country’s ocean. The third Monday of July provides a unique chance to appreciate nature. It is also a time to be thankful for Japan’s maritime history. You can also experience the summer’s joyous atmosphere and refreshing sea breeze.

How did Marine Day start?

Marine Day traces its origin back to July 20, 1876, when the Meiji Emperor safely returned to the Port of Yokohama after a daring voyage through Tohoku and Hokkaido. This event significantly formed the essence of Marine Day. Eventually, in 1995, the Japanese government elevated it to a revered celebration. Eventually, in 2003, the Happy Monday System legislation shifted Marine Day to the third Monday of July, creating a three-day weekend for the nation to appreciate the ocean.

Why is it important to be grateful for the ocean in Japan?

Japan’s deep connection with nature and Shinto beliefs manifests in profound gratitude for the vast seas, lakes, and rivers. Moreover, this cultural perspective is evident in a dedicated public holiday that honors and cherishes these watery realms. In Shintoism, all facets of nature, including the boundless oceans, are intertwined with divine spirits.

A shinto torii gate in the water near Hiroshima.
Water is a significant part of Shinto beliefs. Image via Shutterstock

The Japanese population benefits from the numerous recreational and health advantages of Japan’s 6,000+ small islands. Additionally, they celebrate Marine Day along with other nature-focused festivities like Greenery Day and Mountain Day. As a result, these occasions testify to the Japanese’s profound respect and gratitude for the surrounding natural world.

How can I celebrate Marine Day?

Marine Day in Japan is a unique holiday that blends ancient traditions with modern celebrations. Coastal destinations like Odaiba, Yokohama, Kamakura, Enoshima, and Chiba offer opportunities for adventure and relaxation by the beach. 

A boat near Yokohama Port around Marine Day.
The first Marine Day took place near Yokohama. Image via Shutterstock

Participants engage in activities such as swimming, snorkeling, surfing, diving, and even mud-ball throwing, contributing to the marine ecosystem’s ecological balance. National aquariums also host various water-related events to showcase the diversity and beauty of marine life. Marine Day is undoubtedly a time for the ocean’s allure to take center stage.

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Where can I celebrate the sea breeze?

Exploring Japan’s coastal wonders on Marine Day reveals a tapestry of unique locations that genuinely capture the essence of this celebration. Let’s journey to three remarkable destinations: Enoshima, Kamakura, and Onjuku.

Enoshima: A Hidden Gem of Scenic Splendor

Enoshima is an irresistible offshore island in Kanagawa that captivates with its charm. You can enter this hidden gem and be greeted by breathtaking panoramic views of azure waters and picturesque landscapes. Without a doubt, Enoshima is renowned for its sacred shrines, tranquil gardens, and serene beaches.

Enoshima Sea Candle near the beach on Marine Day.
Enoshima has an island, shrine, and even a spa to enjoy! Image via Shutterstock

This area is perfect for a stroll along the enchanting coastline. To emphasize, you can bask in the warm sand and listen to the soothing sounds of the waves. Not to mention, you’ll get the opportunity to climb to the observation deck, where you’ll witness the unfolding beauty of Mount Fuji and the vast ocean. Overall, Enoshima embodies the tranquility and natural beauty celebrated on Marine Day.

Kamakura: Timeless Allure and Rich Heritage

People surfing on Kamakura Beach.
Kamakura is one of Japan’s most popular getaways. Image via Shutterstock

Step into the rich tapestry of history and the timeless allure of Kamakura. This city holds the secrets of the past. Delve into its cultural heritage and encounter iconic sights, such as the majestic Great Buddha at Kotokuin Temple, as a testament to the city’s grandeur. One major landmark is the bustling Komachi Street, home to many vibrant shops and eateries. Kamakura also has many notable beaches, including Yuigahama and Zaimokuza. They undoubtedly inspire bathers to find solace and embrace their soothing coastal ambiance.

Onjuku: Coastal Serenity and Surfing Paradise

Onjuku, a coastal town on Chiba’s expansive coastline, is famous for its natural beauty and vibrant surf culture. Moreover, this picturesque destination captivates beach lovers and surf enthusiasts alike. Onjuku’s golden sandy beaches, such as Ichinomiya Beach and Onjuku Beach, offer the perfect setting for sunbathing, beachcombing, and thrilling water activities. 

Colorful bathers at Onjuku Beach in Chiba.
Onjuku Beach is one of Kanto’s best-kept secrets! Image via Shutterstock

The town emanates a laid-back and inviting atmosphere, with surf shops, cozy cafes, and seafood restaurants lining its streets. Whether you’re an experienced surfer or a novice catching your first wave, Onjuku’s pristine beaches and consistent swells make it a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Embrace the tranquil coastal serenity of Onjuku and immerse yourself in the vibrant energy that Marine Day infuses into this seaside haven.

Embracing the Sea Breeze

Immerse yourself in the enchantment of Marine Day along Japan’s captivating coastline. Whether you stroll along the shoreline, bask in the sun-kissed sands of the beaches, or embark on a fascinating boat excursion, the gentle caress of the sea breeze bestows a soothing and revitalizing effect upon your mind and soul.

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