Ushimado beach is a well visited summer swimming and sunbathing spot for people from Okayama and the surrounding prefectures. The reason is that the beach is a reminder of old Japan yet has a modern resort feel to it due to the character of Ushimado itself. This popularity means that it can get pretty crowded at the peak of the summer season.
Although families and singles come to the beach year round, the summer months are the most popular, as everyone seeks to beat the heat. What I love are the small local shops along the beach road that sell drinks and shaved ice. You can sit inside a shop that will remind you of a beach in your hometown.
Another nice thing about the area is that Ushimado Shrine is nearby. The shrine sits atop a perfectly shaped mountain and has a Shinto gate marking the entrance. You can take a break from swimming and take a walk up the steps of the shrine and in a matter of minutes you’ll find yourself much cooler in the shade of the mountain’s trees.
The view is another reason to go. From the beach you can look out at Maejima, Kijima, Aojima, and Kurojima islands. These islands are inhabited and all part of Ushimado. Actually, you can also see Shodoshima in the distance dominating the view and reminding you that Shikoku is not far away.
If you let your eyes follow the coast you’ll see that you can make out some of the islands of the Hinase Archipelago. There is the occasional reminder that Japan is a seafaring nation as pleasure boats, ferries, fishing boats and commercial vessels vie for space in the beautiful Seto Inland Sea.
Is it St. Tropez with throngs of people jostling for a ray of sun? Is it the Almalfi Coast with touring motorcyclists? The answer is yes and no. Ushimado beach sometimes feels like a place to see and be seen but most of the time it seems be the perfect place in the perfect time.
Ushimado beach is a safe beach for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. Rest assured, the more you visit, the more you’ll want to stay.