This is Kouroen in Nishinomiya city, Hyogo prefecture. As it was once located in front of a shrine, it has also been called Omaehama. Until 1965, it prospered as the Kouroen swimming area, and it is said that the novelist-translator Haruki Murakami used to come here to swim as a child.
Nowadays, reclaimed land stretches to the south of Kouroen, and the white arch of the coastal route of the Hanshin expressway and the Nishinomiya Harbor Bridge dominate the scenery.
Local children play as they please on the sand…
If you head to the eastern end of the beach, you will find a large spherical building surrounded by a fence. Nishinomiya Gun Battery was built at the end of the Edo period to protect Osaka Bay. Apparently they built 11 gun ports, and had cannons pointing in every direction. However, the battery ended up being unused when entering the Meiji era.
This is the end of the beach. If you continue walking east for another 100 meters, you will see it.
Walking past a popular cafe, you will reach Nishinomiya Marina. Opened in 1945, this is a yacht harbor filled with history.
The sea adventurer Kenichi Horie departed from here on the world’s first solo non-stop sailing trip across the Pacific Ocean, and succeeded.
Apparently, this is the Nishinomiya yacht harbor where a businessman appearing in Haruki Murakami’s novel, “IQ84”, has his yacht anchored.
Even after the New Nishinomiya yacht harbor was opened at a nearby reclaimed land site, Nishinomiya Marina continues its existence unchanged as a place for the city residents to enjoy the scenery of the calm inlet with the deep red Nishinomiya Bridge in the background.
An ocean view where you can get in touch with history, culture and adventure, its slightly retro feel goes well with the evening sun…
Access to Kouroen (Omaehama) beach:
By bus : Around 15 minutes from Hanshin Nishinomiya station, 5 minutes from Nishihato-cho bus stop
On foot : Around 20-minute walk from Hanshin Kouroen station
Parking : Available (paid)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Madoka Hori
Madoka Hori / Photo-writer Entrepreneurial translator/writer living in Hyogo. As a licensed English tour guide, she occasionally takes tourists to beautiful destinations such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Kyoto, and Osaka and her clients have never got lost so far. On Setouchi Finder, as one of the original team members, she enjoys taking photos and sharing her favorite hidden gems. Private Photo Blog http://riderv328.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/Riderv328
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