Walking on Drift Ice
Jodogahama Beach is Sanriku Fukko National Park's hallmark beauty spot, thought to have been formed around 52 million years ago in the Paleogene period (which followed the Cretaceous). The white volcanic rocks and pebbles that form the bay cut it off from the open sea and tame the waves that hit the shore. The beach is enjoyed by many during the bathing season, with the bay listed among the 88 Best Swimming Locations in Japan and Japan's Top 100 Ocean Swimming Spots. Evergreens like the Nanbu red pine, which is a symbol of the prefecture, grow atop the rocks, and the contrast with the white stone conjures up the beauty of a traditional Japanese garden.
The name Jodogahama (meaning Amida paradise beach) is said to derive from a seventh generation Buddhist priest of the Miyako-san Joanji Temple in the Tenna era (from 1681 to 1683) by the name of Reikyo, who, while admiring the sight before his eyes described it as "just like Amida paradise." The renowned Kenji Miyazawa also composed a poem about Jodogahama when he visited it in July 1917, which reads in translation, "The magnificent ocean's velvet kelp carpeted the sands of paradise."
Address: Hitachihamacho 32, Miyako-shi, Iwate
Airport: Hanamaki Airport
* 10 minutes by car from JR Miyako Station, then a 10-15 minute walk from car parks 1 and 2.
* 20 minutes by bus (for Oku-Jodogahama) from JR Miyako Station. Located immediately next to the Oku-Jodogahama bus stop.
* A 2 hour drive from the Morioka Minami IC of the Tohoku Expressway, then a 10-15 minute walk from car parks 1 and 2.