Summer Activities in Japan – What Can You Still Do Despite the Pandemic?

  • CULTURE
  • By now it’s common knowledge that the best way to avoid being infected with coronavirus is keeping away from each other, and staying home as much as possible. But on the other hand, for keeping a better immune system, sunbathing and overall wellness are a must for people’s health as well. So, even in times of a global pandemic, it is beneficial to occasionally go out and soak up some sun. Of course, provided that you do it safely, carefully, and without congregating.

    Here are some good ways to enjoy summer in a healthy way, while still keeping social distance.

    Clam digging on the seashore

    Clam digging, or “Shiohigari” in Japanese, is a popular Japanese outdoor leisure activity during spring and summer. Most beaches are well equipped and there are places where you can rent a net bag, but it would be better if you can bring your own buckets, digging rakes and sandals of course.

    Just digging up clams is fun, followed by thinking of ways to cook them later! What kind of dish will come up to your mind – clam chowder, spaghetti with clams, or paella maybe? I personally love clams steamed with Japanese sake!

    Here are some “Shiohigari” clam digging spots that are within a 1-hour drive from the Tokyo urban area, and are open this summer:

    Kisarazu-Chiba pref.
    http://www.jf-kisarazu.jp/

    Futtsu-Chiba pref.
    http://jf-futtsu.com/

    Ushigome-Chiba pref.
    http://www.jf-ushigome.or.jp/joho/shiomihyou

    Swimming

    This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, major local governments gave up establishing the designated swimming areas. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t swim in the sea, but we need to keep note that no beachside clubhouse and lifesavers will be there this summer.

    Beaches within a 1-hour drive from the Tokyo urban area, open this summer:

    Ichinomiya-Chiba pref.
    https://ichinomiya.org/spot/017/

    Shirako-Chiba pref.
    http://maruchiba.jp/sys/data/index/page/id/5896/

    Kujukuri-Chiba pref.
    http://www.town.kujukuri.chiba.jp/0000000071.html

    Fruit picking

    Have you ever eaten Japanese high value fruits? While in other countries people eat apples or oranges as a cheap daily snack, Japanese fruit is way more expensive and rarely eaten. Japan’s sky-high fruit standards lead to high prices of fruit. Hence, all-you-can-eat fruit-picking is a very popular activity. You can find fruit picking spots in various locations across Japan. Especially Yamanashi prefecture, which is roughly a 1-hour drive from the Tokyo urban area, is dubbed the “Kingdom of Fruit”. In Yamanashi there are various fruit picking options, like cherries in June, peaches in July, grapes in August, and pears in September.

    Picking fruit by yourself somehow makes it much fresher and tastier! Give it a try!

    Cherry picking
    Dome farm-Yamanashi pref.
    http://www.sakuranbogari-dome.com/

    Peach picking
    Nakagome farm-Yamanashi pref.
    http://nakagominouen.com/publics/index/72/

    Cherry, peach and grapes picking
    Ono Orchid & Orchard Garden-Yamanashi pref.
    http://axono.jp/blog/fruits/331

    Glamping

    You know camping but what’s “Glamping”? Some call it “glamorous camping”, including facilities and accommodation far more comfortable than traditional camping ones. For a little break from the hustle and bustle of the urban busy life, camping is becoming more popular among young groups and families in Japan year by year. And glamping even more so for those who want more comfort.

    For normal camping, you need to be equipped with camping necessities like a tent, a tarp, a stove, charcoal and wood, a sleeping bag, a blanket… and more. For those with no equipment or who don’t want to worry about the details, there are glamping sites everywhere in Japan. Just like going to stay at a hotel, you only need to bring a change of clothes and dive into nature!

    Glamping Japan
    https://glamping-japan.com/


    Now is a good time to think again what nature means to us. Do not forget to keep social distance, but remember that you should still go get some fresh air and enjoy life as much as you can. Stay safe!

    *Featured Image from AC photo
    : AC photo/