Like any countries with lots of coast line, summers in Japan are often associated with the ocean. Japan has its share of great beaches and if you are visiting in the summer months, then you should definitely check out a beach. Beaches in Japan aren’t just about the beautiful ocean and white sand beaches, there is also a unique cultural tradition that happens every year.
Photo Credit: hungrys
Usually opening when beaches open for the summer, “Umi no Ie” are a major symbol of summer in Japan. Beaches in Japan generally open at the beginning of July and close at the end of August. During this time, most beaches will be covered with a variety of umi no ie.
So What is umi no ie? Umi no ie are temporary buildings on the beach that offer food, drink, rentals and other services. Umi no ie also offer locker rooms, showers, and all sorts of amenities to really enhance your beach experience.
Depending on the umi no ie, there are a variety of different foods and drinks available. Traditional umi no ie will offer foods such as Yakisoba (fried noodles), corn on the cob, Karaage (fried chicken), Edamame, and shaved ice. Although there are other specialty places that offer foods from around the world. As for drinks, most places will offer alcohol both in bottles and on tap. Champagne, cocktails, and other specialty drinks are also available.
Umi no ie isn’t just about foods and drinks. Umi no ie is about so much more. These places really offer everything, this means going to the beach doesn’t require lots of preparation and planning. Some umi no ie offer rental services such as inner tubes, lounge chairs, parasols, surf boards, snorkel equipment, hot showers, and locker rooms. These are just some of the standard umi no ie. There are number of specialty places that offer purikura on the beach or even dance clubs.
Photo Credit: rizzan
The biggest reason for umi no ie’s popularity is its ability to allow you to spend your whole day at the beach. These places can be whatever you need them to be. They can be a bar, a shady spot to rest, or even a restaurant to feed you and your family. Another reason why this is such a popular choice is due to its convenience. Just like choosing to go to the mall, you don’t need to prepare anything special and just go. So next time you are in Japan during the summer, head down to the beach to enjoy a Japanese summer tradition.