Sakurajima Rainbow Beach is unsurprisingly the only beach on Sakurajima and it is for this exact reason that it seems so out of place. Not only does this beach have a close up view of the ferry port, but it’s also layered with a light dusting of grey volcanic ash. Safe to say, the location does not exactly scream the tropical relaxation you would find in Barbados.
The artificial beach is located just 5 minutes walk from Sakurajima Ferry Port and is featured somewhat heavily in the advertising for the island, but I’m a little curious as to why. It’ss a very small beach, and the ash would make bathing there less than pleasant. I can only imagine that it becomes more lively in the summer, when the sheer heat will begin to make the water look inviting.
The beach itself is split into two small areas of similar size, each bordered with solidified volcanic rock at various angles and each spattered with a thin, marble-like dusting of grey, volcanic ash over its light, smooth, consistent imported sand. Clearly, Sakurajima has integrated this beach into its inescapable volcanic landscape, but this time, it does not really add to its appeal.
Strangely, the water was rather still, unlike the lapping waves you would see at a more natural beach site. In fact, the sea area seemed more like a bay, with water occasionally swaying against the shore, possibly due to the frequent passing ferries. The water was clean, but it was not hot, as I had hoped it would be. Rather, it was very similar to any seaside in England, if not maybe a little bit warmer. None-the-less, with the volcanic ash coating the sand and undoubtedly sprinkled in the sea, I’m not sure I would want to go swimming in there too often.
While the beach wasn’t steaming, I was delighted to stumble over some steamy grates on the concrete path just before the beach. It took a few moments of investigation to realise the source of the steam, before disbelief came across me. Steam was actually rising through the ground underneath the grate. Was it the Volcano? I’m not sure, but it was definitely another new, magical experience that blew my mind once more.
While I’m sure the locals and perhaps even some visitors appreciate Sakurajima’s only beach; coming from a seaside town myself, I simply find it slightly strange. The location is not particularly relaxing and, both the beach and sea do not seem to be particularly inviting. Since it is right next to the Ferry Port, it might be worth a look, but it’s definitely a tourist attraction you could skip if you are lacking time.