exchange / travel

a trip to oarai

Let’s be real here, Japan isn’t exactly famous for its beaches. Even though I’m pretty spoilt being Australian and all, most people will agree that you have to fly to Okinawa to find a beach that can even compete on a global scale! Regardless, I guess I’m pretty lucky to live near the seaside at all since most of Japan is landlocked. In fact, it’s so close that one day my friends and I spontaneously went to Oarai, a seaside town here in Ibaraki. Obviously it was nothing like home, but it felt so good to feel the ocean breeze and salty air in my lungs again.

After a session of sun baking on the beach, my friends and I stopped by a little fish market near the harbour. I had some seriously good chirashidon there, which is basically a seafood bowl filled with sashimi, rice and other goodies! The combination of salmon, tuna, pickled veggies and roe was super fresh and seriously to die for. Just the thought of it’s making me salivate all over again…

We also paid a visit to Oarai Isosaki Shrine (大洗磯前神社) which actually turned out to be my favourite stop of the day. If you ask me most shinto shrines look fairly similar, but this one had plenty of greenery and a great view of the ocean. It was such a quiet afternoon when we visited too, and I truly felt at peace walking around the area.

If you walk down to the ocean, you’ll also find the torii gates standing on a rock in the sea! Some gutsy people actually climbed to get closer to it, but I wasn’t game enough to try it myself. Instead I was pretty content taking in the sound of the waves, which was really relaxing.

A really beautiful sky I spotted on the way home. Anyway, I definitely hope I get the chance to visit Oarai again soon! Apparently the view of the sunrise from the shrine is incredible, so fingers crossed it happens.