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.
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 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”.
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