Monday, September 14, 2015

beachy beach.

So- the most famous beach town on the Izu Peninsula is Shimoda.  It's dotted with incredible white sand beaches and pristinely blue water!  It was paradise. Like I said earlier- I'm not a huge beach lover- but I LOVED shimoda.  Maybe it's because most of our Japanese vacations are full of walking and hiking and shrines and dragging 4 tired complaining kids around.  Shimoda consisted of relaxing and eating and then exploring here and there when we were water logged.  It was exactly what we needed.

Most of my pics on the beach and in the water are taken with my cell phone or my water camera.  For some reason I feel the need to explain that :) just so you know.

Even though this is possibly the WORST aged child to have at the beach- mack was in complete heaven.  He ate tons of sand, drank buckets of salt water, and tried to climb out to sea on multiple occasions.  It was a bit of a love/hate relationship with the waves :)
and with the sand :)
kent decided it would be easier on us all if we immobilized him.
and then metta wanted in on the fun.

The first day we arrived- it was pretty warm and the beach was empty!  we spent all afternoon lounging and swimming and building sand castles!
 metta was slightly hesitant of the waves at first- but quickly got used to them. She'd run out into the water and then back to the shore yelling: "that was SO AWESOME!!!"
Just as late afternoon/dinner time rolled around- the water filled with surfers! It was pretty fun to watch them all!  Shimoda is supposed to have amazing surf conditions!
 Our kids are pretty impressive in the water considering I don't like it much- and we don't spend a ton of time in it! Zeb and Ike must have boogie boarded for hours!!

do you see how clear the water is?!  
 Zeb was quite confident he could make it out to where the surfers were :)  I told him 'no'.  But- seriously- look at this water!  it was gorgeous.
Saturday- our second day at the beach- there was a giant festival at KisamiOhama.  That meant delicious food and all sorts of Japanese fun!  there were food eating contests, dancers, and fireworks!  we couldn't have planned a better time to be here!

We ate kakigori (snowcones), bubble tea, and gyros.
but passed on the squid tails.
 the boys loved making sand towers and having contests on whose would last longer as the waves rolled it! does that game ever get old???

 Metta adopted herself into several japanese families who had lots of fun sand toys :)  she's the best.  she'd just walk right up, introduce herself, and settle into their family.
that night we sat right on the beach and watched fireworks shot off just a few yards away.  It was pretty spectacular! and hopefully something our kids will remember forever.
they shot off shells into the water! we loved it.

Our beach house owner and friend, Abhi, recommended a little restaurant right down the road on the beach.  It was called 'the mellow cafe'.   The food was so delicious!!  I think it was hawaiian food. we had pocoloco?! - meat with an egg and sauce on top,  amazing stone fired pizza, and a cheese and potato pie.  It all tasted so good. and wasn't japanesey at all :)  I want to go back to shimoda just to eat here!!!

Ike would agree.

even the salad and fries were delicious.

Just next to our beach- we found the Ryugu caves park.  There is a giant sand mountain that you can ski and sled down!  we brought our roller slide sleds from the daiso (the japanese dollar store) and made the trek up the hill several times.
 getting up the hill was a lot of work.  Poor little metta was such a trooper.  Our Izu vacation was her first major excursion since getting her cast off and she got pretty tired after hiking and traipsing through the sand these few days!
 we did some exploring along the park coast and Ike thought we were going to be swept away.  Zeb had no fear.  I was worried about slipping and dropping my camera!!
 the water here was the bluest water I've ever seen in real life.
Here's mack grabbing at his middle name Kanji. Ryu.
 Inside the actual sea cave.
 the sea cave had purple rocks and bright blue water.
 we took a path that climbed along the top of the sea cave and it was stunning. Everything felt so tropical!  Metta asked if we were going to see dinosaurs! when we told her they were extinct- she started crying.  "even the baby ones!?" she asked.  That's our 2nd child who has shed tears at the realization of dinosaur extinction!  we have scientifically sensitive children :)
 This view was unreal.  I did not edit this photo.  no filter. nada.  look at the color!!!!
 we found one more great spot to explore one early morning.  Living near the ocean would be pretty fun! maybe we'll try for a beach town for our next move.
 although I'm not so sure I could deal with the sand.  we'll probably have sand in our car for the rest of our time in japan! no matter how well we shook off the kids, washed off the sand, or stomped our feet- we couldn't get rid of it.
 Zeb's seaweed magic wand.
 I don't know if there were always signs warning of tsunamis or if they showed up after the big one of 2011.  We see them just about anywhere there is water.
our days at the beach were some of my favorite days in japan so far!  every time we venture out- I'm shocked at what we find! it's always better, more beautiful, and more fun than I anticipated.  We've still got a mighty bucket list of things to do here- but I really want to return to the beaches of Shimoda!!


Kristen Trappett said...

Next time take baby powder, the sand will literally fall off them, it was very handy on our beach trip!

yaya said...

Your adventures are amazing! You find the coolest places. I hope your kiddos will remember these fun times. I know your older ones will. They are all growing so fast and are just stinkin' cute! They are learning to be fearless! Give them all hugs from us!