Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Discovering Miyukinohama Beach in Odawara City (Kanagawa Prefecture)

Miyukinohama Beach. Tongue twisting name. Situated along the coastline of Sagami Bay in the slumbering city of Odawara (Kanagawa prefecture), the not-so-popular city is 35 minutes by shinkansen and roughly an hour by car from Tokyo. It's a 79.7 kilometer ride that's easy to do when you have the extra time to spare. My Lonely Planet didn't have anything about Odawara. But the castle is worth the short trip from the capital, and deserves a page in my Lonely Planet.

Emperor Meiji. This photo from Wikipedia.
Its name was derived in reference to Emperor Meiji who, in 1873, visited the then-fishing village along with his wife. He saw fishermen hauling a lot of fish off their nets and called the place, "beach of bounty". 

These days though, there's not a trace of royalty in its surroundings. With a pebbly earth and grayish sand badly needing green space, this beach has nothing much to offer but the view of the sea. Not even a cabana, a bench or a waiting shed. I didn't even see any shop nearby. People fish here sometimes. An elevated highway runs parallel beside it. Under the rampway, you'll find some interesting street art with very few people to appreciate them.

The beach is 470 meters from Odawara Castle; an easy 15-minute walk through a residential zone. The way to the beachfront is under the elevated highway. I saw some guys throwing frisbee. Others were just staring out into the sea. If there was a vibe somewhere, I totally missed it. Too bad, because with a little sprucing up - maybe plant some ornamental palm, a little landscaping and gardening, this could turn out into a popular attraction. 

For now though, there's nothing much to do but take a stroll, throw the hook of your fishing rod, fly a kite. Or just gather your thoughts. 

That's what I did.  

In the mind of some artists, Miyukinohama Beach has lush gardens with green shrubs and pink trees.

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