Enjoying Barbecue at Okura Beach, Hyogo
Summers invite people toward beaches. Living in high-humid countries like Japan make it an even more exciting location. For people living in Kobe or nearby cities, Suma Beach comes as the most popular option. However, because of being overcrowded during vacation season, Suma is often rejected and people take advantage of Okura Beach, located right next to Awajishima in Hyogo Prefecture. Okura Beach is relatively short in length. However, great picnic areas, a children's park, beautiful view of Awaji Bridge, and most importantly, opportunity to make and enjoy barbecue meals make it a great spot for anyone.
Okura Beach is located right next to Asagiri Station. As you exit the station, a bridge connects you to the beach side. A convenience store and a Co-op store is located outside the station making it easy for you buy drinks, food, and other small stuff you may need for a great barbecue.
As you cross the bridge, you get the full view of the beach in front of you.
In our case, we reached there around 12 noon and swam in the water for two hours. The good thing about the water was that the depth was safe. So even if you can't swim, the water isn't deep enough to drown. Safe limit is pointed out with the rope. However, at some corners, the beach sand has stones with pointed corners, and the administration accepts it.
So, it might be a good idea to keep bandages when you prepare. Alternatively, you may want to keep a pair of socks with you to prevent from stepping on the pointed stones. Once you are done with swimming, you can take a shower at the specified booths. The shower is coin-operated and runs water for a minute if you insert a hundred-yen coin. So if you are the type who likes long showers, take an extra 100 yen coin with you.
The most memorable part of this journey was the barbecue time. In our case, we had the reservation of our barbecue table from 2pm to 5pm. You can choose from either of the three slots: 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm, or 6pm to 9pm. Initially, we wanted to have the last slot to enjoy the barbecue at night. However, all tables were already booked for night time, so we went for second last slot. In principle, you are required to bring everything on your own: coals, meat, fire gel, match stick, etc. By paying 1200 yen per adult, you just get access to the dining table and the barbecue stand. For further information on booking and reserving a spot, you can visit the homepage.
After we were done, we went to the east end of the beach, and spent time in the children's park. This was the peak time to play soccer or baseball at the beach as sunlight had lost its intensity by this time. Our target was to stay here a little after the sunset to see the night view of the Awaji Bridge.
As we had expected, the night view was beautiful. The lights at the bridge were changing colors, and we we were happy to realize that staying late after the sunset had paid off.
As I visited this beach in August last year – at the peak of summers in Japan, I bring with me the memories of playing in beach water, cooking barbecue, playing soccer in the sand and capturing a night view of Awaji Bridge. I wish you best of luck for the same!