Kumamoto

Captivating patterns designed by wind and waves await you on the Okoshiki Coast

Scenes of stunning beauty that rival the world’s greatest works of art – only in Japan!

Okoshiki Coast

The Okoshiki Coast, located in Uto, Kumamoto, boasts one of Japan's most spectacular seaside views. It’s counted among the top 100 seashores and the top 100 sunset spots in the country. The Ariake Sea has the biggest tidal range in all of Japan; at low tide, the receding waters reveal intricate patterns of curves etched in the sand for about 10 km along the coast. These rippling patterns, designed by the whims of wind and waves, are like a sculpture that constantly reshapes itself. On a clear day, the towering peaks of Mount Unzen in Nagasaki Prefecture can be seen across the Ariake Sea.

The perfect perch to view the Okoshiki Coast

The name of the Okoshiki Coast derives from an old Japanese legend. Long ago, while on a military campaign in Kyushu, Emperor Keiko was so taken by the coast’s natural beauty that he briefly stopped his palanquin (okoshi) to take in the view. Even today, the cryptic patterns in the sand continue to captivate those who come to see them. Especially breathtaking is the view from Higata Keisho no Chi. The combination of low tide and sunset only happens for a brief period each year, and amateur and professional photographers flock here from all over Japan to capture this ephemeral scene.

Watch the mysterious Nagabeta Seabed Road sink beneath the waves

The elusive Nagabeta Seabed Road, in Uto City, only appears at low tide; when the waters return, it is swallowed by the sea. It’s especially worth a visit just as the tide is starting to come in. Watch as the road slowly sinks beneath the waves, leaving only the telephone poles standing beside it. The sight of cars driving toward the oncoming sea is a fantastic experience you won’t want to miss.

Razor clams, a delicacy of the Ariake Sea

The Ariake Sea is famous for its razor clams, with their unique tube-like shape. These clams are also called “Okoshiki clams,” and harvesting them at low tide is a well-known local custom.

Sit back and relax on your way to the World Heritage Site Misumi West Port

Misumi West Port was built during the Meiji Era as part of the government’s industrialization policy. Today, it’s registered as a World Heritage Site, a legacy of Japan’s industrial revolution.

INFORMATION

Location/Access Shimooda-machi, Uto-shi, Kumamoto-ken
About 1hour 10minute by bus from Kumamoto Airport to Kumamoto Station → about 35minute from Kumamoto Station to Oda Station
Inquiries Uto City Department of Economy, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism Section
TEL 0964-22-1111
http://www.city.uto.kumamoto.jp/utomonogatari/

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