As we drove along the coast to Jodogahama Beach, Iwate Prefecture, I could catch glimpses of the ocean between the sparse patches of trees that lined the road. From a distance the sea always looks a uniform pale blue, stretching out to the horizon. Yet, upon closer inspection, you can see all of the hues and shades – reflecting and refracting the light – highlighting the depths and the shallows of the ocean. Sparkling sapphire and emerald, with sea foam which is broken only by the whitecaps that line the waves.
First Impressions of Jodogahama
We pulled into the large newly reconstructed Jodogahama parking area. Following the 2011 tsunami, the tourist facilities around Jodogahama Beach were some of the first to be rebuilt. Less than a kilometer away you can still see the temporary housing units for families who had lost their homes. The road is new and the surrounding area has been bulldozed and levelled – the machinery sitting idle on the lot.
From the parking lot we walked down a paved path which meandered its way along the coast line. This time the water was translucent, offering views of the seaweed and kelp dragging their way across the rocks in time with the tide.
Boat Tours at Jodogahama
The first tourist point we encountered was a concrete boat ramp. On the shore nearby, the Jodogahama Marine House offered food, ice cream, and several different boat tours. One of their tours take customers on a small sight-seeing trip of the surrounding cliffs. Whilst another allows you to see Hachinoheana, also known as the “Blue Cave“, which gives you the opportunity to explore the surrounding rocks up close (depending on wave and weather conditions). Within the Blue Cave there is a blow-hole, and it is said that if you see it erupt, it will bring you good luck.
This boat tour takes around 20 minutes and can fit 2-3 people. It costs 1,500 yen per person and operates from 08:30am to 5:00pm from March through November.
Another option, if you are keen to see the beach and surrounding coast from a different perspective, is to take the Rikuchu Maru Tour Boat. This tour takes you to see sights such as Takonohama, Candle Rock, Shiofukiana, Anegasaki, and Hideshima Island.
This boat tour costs 1,220 yen per person, or 610 yen for children, and takes around 40 minutes. Reservations should be made in advance for groups of fifteen or more. The tours run from mid-March through early January.
Why is Jodogahama So Popular?
Even if you decide not to take a boat tour, as we did, you can still enjoy the beautiful beach and views of the stunning cliffs stretching out of the water only a stones throw away. In fact, one member of our group was actually able to hit the rocks with a skipping stone!
The beach is small and rocky but the water is translucent and clean. If you’re into skimming stones across the water, then the stones that cover the beach are perfect skipping-stone material. You can also watch children and adults alike feeding the seagulls, and potentially even catch a film crew shooting a movie scene, as we did.
Jodogahama is one of Miyako‘s most famous tourist attractions for a reason. The views are breathtaking. Jagged and towering cliffs, crystal water and blue skies culminate into one of the most picturesque views imaginable. So if you find yourself in the area, make sure to take a trip to Jodogahama!
From Miyako Station – Take the Iwate Kenpoku bus on the Mikayo – Jodogahama Line from boarding area 3. Get off the bus at Oku – Jodogahama. The journey takes approximately 22 minutes.