When you visit Japan for vacatipn, a trip to the countryside allows you to see a dofferent side of country. Iwami is far off the beaten track, the nearest big city is Hiroshima, but it can be accessed via Hagi-Iwami airport from Tokyo, JR buses from Hiroshima, JR trains, and even an old ateam train. Kotogahama (琴が浜) is a famous beach in the western area of Shimane which is located in Oda City. It is famous for its unique sounding sand. The sand squeaks when you walk on it.Kotogahama, Japanese sea, Ohda, Japan, IwamiKotogahama, Japanese sea, Ohda, Japan, Iwami

In 1996, Kotogahama was chosen as one of the “100 Soundscapes of Japan” and was included on the list of “The best 100 beaches in Japan.”

Kotogahama, Japanese sea, Ohda, Japan, Iwami Kotogahama, Japanese sea, Ohda, Japan, Iwami

Kotogahama is also famous for a folk-tale called Kotohime-densetsu, a story about the princes called Koto.  A long time ago, after the battle of Dan-no-ura (the last battle between the Genji and Heike clans), the princess of Heike clans was washed up on the shores of Oda city. The villagers helped this poor, little girl and as a token of her gratitude, the princess played a koto, a Japanese harp, every day on the beach.  After this girl died, the beach started to make a sound like a koto so the people in the village started to call the girl Koto princess and named the beach “Kotogahama”.

Kotogahama, Japanese sea, Ohda, Japan, Iwami

There is also picture book based on the story of Kotohime-densetsu.

☻We should be careful not to visit when it's raining or when the sand is wet because the sand will not make a beautiful sound.

☻Camping on the beach is not allowed.


【Location】 Maji, Nima-cho, Oda City, Shimane Prefecture, just off Route 9

【Access】  By train; Three minutes walk from Maji station.

By car; 30km from San-in Road Gotsu IC. There is a car park near Route 9 but if you are in a smallish car, you can also take the narrow roads right down to the shore.  There is a narrow tunnel so larger vehicles will not be able to go through; that said, we got a 10-seater Hi-Ace through here! There is a small car park  at the beach.

【For more information】 0854-82-1600 Oda City Hall,  tourism department ( Japanese only)

Written by Aiko

Near Spots

Jinguji (Iwami 33 Temple Pilgrimage) This quiet place surrounded by many trees is the original location of Jinguji tmple.It is located across a small b...(read more)
Ganryuji Temple (Iwami 33 Temple Pilgrimage) History of Ganryuji Temple About 1,200 years ago, during the Daido period (806~810), Kobo Daishi Kukai founded the near...(read more)
Senganji temple (Iwami 33 Temple Pilgrimage) Senganji temple is located at the top of a small mountain in theKawamoto area of Gotsu. This temple was establis...(read more)
Jionji Temple (Iwami 33 Temple Pilgrimage) This is Jionji (慈恩寺). It is located in Tsuchi cho, Gotsu city. Thetemple was built in 1376by Tadafuyu Ashika...(read more)
Seisuiji Temple SeisuijiTemple is a Shingon Buddhist temple, and is a notable place in the history of Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine, wh...(read more)
Ebisu Shrine in Masuda City, Shimane Prefecture This beautiful building is Ebisu Shrine in Masuda City, Shimane Prefecture. This shrine is a sub-shrine of Miho Shrin...(read more)
Sanbe Sightseeing Chair Lift
Sanbe Sightseeing Chair Lift Anyone can climb Mount Sanbe! Even if you're with little kids or have mobility issues, you can take a chair lift n...(read more)
Washihara Hachimangu Shrine This place is famous for its Yabusame field, the last remaining one in Japan. On the second Sunday of April, they hold a...(read more)
Hori teien Tsuwano is a must-see on any vacation in the Iwami region in Japan. This 'little Kyoto' of Shimane is bursting w...(read more)
Minoji Yashiki (Farmhouse) Minoji Yashikiis a restored farmhouse on Route 191 on the way out of Hikimi, towards Hiroshima....(read more)
tsuwano church
Tsuwano Catholic Church ○Tsuwano Catholic Church (photo copyright Ojisanjake) There is an interesting church on Tonomachi (殿町) Street in To...(read more)
Hikimi Hikimi is a little village, nestled in the mountains of western Shimane. You can enjoy its beautiful nature throughout t...(read more)