20 years ago in August, we were living in a small city North of Tokyo. We had decided to travel 4 hours up North near Matsushima and find a place to camp out at an unknown, hard to get to, beach.
Camping out on the private beach was quiet and beautiful. We were the only ones there. Our only mistake was we hadn't brought a tent or any bug repellent. The first morning I woke up with a swollen chin from some bug bite. The third morning, my husband woke up with a swollen eye. At that point, we decided we had better head on home.
I had written a letter to my Mom in August 1989 describing our trip. Recently, I came across this letter at my Mom's house. Now we live less than an hour away from Matsushima.
Last month, we made the same trip we had done 20 years ago! This time we rented bikes. There is a bike trail along the entire island. We passed spectacular, green rice fields along the way. It took us an hour on the bikes to reach the trail head.
We walked up part of the steep trail with the bikes until we found a suitable place to park them. We continued on up the trail to the unknown, private beach called Otomegahama. Mosquitoes and Bugs were everywhere! Why did I put on perfume and not bug repellent? As long as I was moving, I didn't get bit, but there were several gorgeous viewpoints on the trail. Zap! Too late. I had several bites by the end of our jaunt.
It was a cloudy day but just as we reached the private beach the sun came out in full glory! We stayed at the beach for a good hour. If our stomachs hadn't begun to growl, we would have stayed longer. It was healing to hear the ocean waves, watch the crabs beneath the rocks, and just sit with nothing to seize our minds.
For those that live in Japan and want to visit this area, this PDF Japanese Guidebook for Higashi Matshushima came in handy. Page 14 has information on renting bikes and the trails. To reach Miyato Island, get off at Nobiru Station. We rented bikes at the Tourist Information Office that is located next to Nobiru station. Along with the bicycle rentals, you can also get maps there. I don't think I would camp at Otomegahama beach now. There is so much trash on the beach, including a T.V. with remote control and a kitchen sink. However, the view and solitude for a day trip is still worth the adventure.