Jodogahama Beach 浄土ヶ浜
Jodogahama is the Buddhist word for paradise beach. Jodogahama Beach oasis in Iwate certainly lives up to its name. White pebbled shorelines, calm waters and an impressive coastline to discover, this is not to be missed if you're in Iwate .
- Going for a dip at one of Japan's best beaches
- Hiking trails with panoramic views of the area
- Exploring the rugged coastline on a boat tour
- Trying fresh seafood at the Miyako fish market
How to Get There
A bus runs from Miyako Station to Jodogahama Beach and takes about 20 minutes. To get to Miyako Station take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Morioka Station and then the Yamada Line.
Jodogahama Beach means “pure land beach”
It is ranked as one of the top 100 swimming spots in Japan
The area is part of the Sanriku Fukko Park
Going for a dip
Jodogohama Beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in Japan. Since it is a sheltered inlet, you can enjoy yearlong calm waters. In summer it can be particularly crowded as people from all over Japan flock to the beach. Bring sandals or shoes, as this is a pebble (not sand) beach.
Strolling around the park
If you aren't interested in swimming, there are several hiking trails at Jodogohama Beach. The trails take you from the beach to nearby mountains. Climb to the top of Tategasaki Tower for fantastic views of the surrounding bay.
A little taste of Capri
Just off the coast of Jodogohama are several rocky islands. Though many of the islands are visible from land, the Blue Cave Cruise offers an up-close and personal look at some of the more unique rock formations.
They will take you into the famed Blue Cave, named for its dark blue water much like the water found in the caves off Capri in Italy. There is also a blow-hole in the cave, which erupts sporadically. It is believed that if you see it erupt, you will have good luck.
The boat rides last around twenty minutes. Passengers receive a bag of crackers to feed the seagulls that swarm around the boat. Tours leave from the Marine House which is located between the beach and the parking lot. The cave is only accessible by water, and there are no tours between December and February.
Do some independent exploring by renting canoes, rowboats, fishing boats or duck-shaped paddle boats at the Marine House.
Out into the bay
There are larger boats that venture farther out and pass by some of the rock formations along the Sanriku Coast. One of the most famous formations is Candle Rock, a nationally designated natural monument.
The tours along the Sanriku Coast are run by Miyako Jodogahama Boat Cruise and last about 40 minutes. Tours depart from the harbor just below the main parking lot. The boat tours shut down between mid-January and early-March.
Recovery and rebirth
Although Jodogahama was severely damaged by the 2011 tsunami, recovery efforts have been swift. The rest house which was completely destroyed has been rebuilt. It is equipped with showers, toilets and other amenities.
Around the beach
At the main parking lot at Jodogohama there is a free museum with information about the area and the coastal features which is worth a look.
If visiting Jodogohama, head down to the fish market in Miyako and try some of the delicious sushi and sashimi they have available. In Miyako you can enjoy fresh shrimp, sea urchins, crab and other fresh seafood.
Consider spending a full day to enjoy everything around Jodogohama. After you are done you can head to Miyako Station and jump on a train north to see the northern part of the Sanriku Fukko National Park , or head south to Kamaishi, one of the host cities for the 2019 World Cup of Rugby.