On 23rd July and 6th August, hubby and I went to see a sand craft exhibition held at Kamayahama Beach of Mitane-cho Town in Akita prefecture. Kamayahama Beach is selected as one of 100 great beaches of Japan by the Ministry of the Environment. It is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in Tohoku region. The beach offers a beautiful view of the Sea of Japan, and is famous for incredibly breathtaking sunsets. Every summer, the exciting event of sand craft festival takes place at the beach. The festival features exhibition of impressive sand sculptures at the beach along with various entertainments, sports and food while addressing the importance of natural environment. The festival is aimed at revitalizing Mitane-cho Town, and is in fact the biggest event of the town. The festival is held annually on the last weekend of July.
Professional artists and teams from all over Japan come to Kamayahama Beach and start making sand craft sculptures from two weeks before the festival. This year the sand craft sculpting started from 16th July. Visitors are welcomed and recommended to visit there and see the process of making the sculptures. In recent years, famous foreign artists have started to participate. Their delicate yet magnificent sand craft artworks decorate the beach. Artworks full of individuality and special method of the construction of the sand sculptures attracts many people to the beach. In addition, there are also sand craft sculpting competitions for high school students as well as for common people of all ages. This year the festival itself was held on the weekend of 30th and 31st July. Along with the exhibition of sand craft sculptures, various other events like live music, tug of war, a swimsuit competition, sports, and several funny games were held throughout the weekend. The sculptures were lit up with colored lights during the night and the festival was closed with launching of hundreds of fireworks. However, the sand craft sculptures were left at the beach until 31st August so that people could visit and enjoy the sculptures through out the summer. During this entire time, the beach was filled with such beautiful carvings or sculptures made of sand.
Hubby and I visited Kamayahama Beach twice during the summer. First we visited the beach on 23rd July when the sand craft artworks were being made, and then on 6th August after the festival. On 23rd July, we left our home at about 2.30 pm. Kamayahama Beach is located about 110 kilometers north of our home in Yurihonjo City, and it took us about 1.5 hours to reach the beach by our car. On reaching the beach area, we parked our car at a parking lot and walked up to the beach. Standing at the beach, we got a beautiful view of the Sea of Japan. We enjoyed the sea and the rolling waves crashing on the beach. The beach was wonderful and so serene. We enjoyed the beautiful views all around us and it felt so peaceful. We noted that there were many impressive wind turbines along the beach. That day we did not enter the sea water as it was windy and the waves were a bit strong.
Hubby standing near an information board at Kamayahama Beach
I am standing near the beach. Wind turbines are seen behind me and sand craft artworks are seen to the right side.
I am standing at the beach along with the beautiful Sea of Japan in front of me
The beach, the sea, and I
Hubby at the beach
We also saw many impressive sand craft artworks exhibited at the beach. We noted that the sand sculptures were at various stages of making, a few seemed to be completed while several others were being given finishing touches by the artists. Although many of the sand sculptures were not yet finished, they all looked really wonderful. The sculptures were delicate yet magnificent and many of them measured over 5 meters high. We took several photos of the sand sculptures and posed with a few of them.
I am standing in front of the sand craft artworks area at the beach
Hubby standing in front of the sand craft artworks
I am watching some of the artists making the sand sculptures
A huge sand sculpture being given finishing touches by the artists
I am standing next to another sand sculpture that was being delicately built by an artist
The artist was fully concentrated in building the above-mentioned sculpture
This wonderful sand sculpture seemed to be completed. Shichifukujin deities are depicted here.
I am posing along with the sand sculpture of Shichifukujin deities
Hubby standing in front of another sand sculpture that was being given finishing touches by an artist
The above-mentioned sand sculpture was really beautiful
A few more sand sculptures being built
A half finished sand sculpture
One more sand sculpture being carved and built by an artist
We enjoyed seeing the exhibition of sand craft artworks at the beach. It was nice to observe the artists at work. Afterwards we had some Kakigori dessert and left the beach. We had a nice time.
I am having Kakigori shaved ice dessert
The sand craft festival was held at Kamayahama Beach on 30th and 31st July but we skipped going to the beach those two days as we had some other work. However, we wished to see the completed sand craft artworks that were left at the beach until 31st August. So on 6th August, hubby and I again went to the beach to see the exhibition of the sand sculptures. An Indian couple living in Akita City also accompanied us. We reached the beach area at about 3 pm. After parking our car, we all walked up to the beach and enjoyed the beautiful views all around us. The wind turbines along the beach added to the scenic views. Fortunately there was hardly any crowd at the beach that day. So we enjoyed a lot and had a very relaxing and wonderful time at the beach. It was really nice to see the sea waves rolling and crashing on the beach rhythmically. It was so exciting and we thoroughly enjoyed the sea waves at the beach. After enjoying the views around us, we all entered the sea water and played with the rolling waves. We were literally shaken up every time we were hit by a wave inside the sea. It was very exhilarating and thrilling experience. Although the Indian lady and I just entered the shallow water area, our hubbies swam in the sea water for quite some time. Afterwards we all sat down at the beach and enjoyed the soothing sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. The sounds of the sea seemed to wash away our daily worries.
Wind turbines at the beach and the sea to the right side
I am posing with my Indian friend at the beach
We entered the sea but were shocked by the impact of a wave that hit us
But posing again
Hit by a wave yet again
Posing at the beach
And more posing
Hubby and I inside the sea
Hubby preparing to swim
Swimming is very relaxing for him
Hubby satisfied after swimming in the sea for a long time
Afterwards we all walked towards the sand craft artworks exhibition area at the beach and enjoyed seeing the wonderful sculptures. All the sand sculptures made by professional artists looked amazing and gorgeous. The talent, quality, and professionalism of the artists clearly showed in how delicate and magnificent each sand sculpture was. We took several photos of the sculptures and posed with a few of them.
Sand craft artworks area at the beach
Sand craft artworks area as seen from a different angle
Hubby walking along the beach and enjoying the sand sculptures
A huge sand sculpture
I am standing in front of a sand sculpture
Building of this sand sculpture was almost completed when we visited earlier on 23rd July
My friend and I posing in front of the above-mentioned sand sculpture
Another sand sculpture
A sand sculpture built in front of the above-mentioned sculpture
This sand sculpture is huge and very delicately carved
I am posing in front of the above-mentioned sculpture
Cute sand sculptures
Another amazingly huge sand sculpture that we saw being carved and sculpted by an artist during our previous visit to the beach
Shichifukujin sand sculpture
My friend and I posing in front of Shichifukujin sculpture
My friend and I posing in front of the backside of another sculpture
While walking along the beach, we noted an area where sand craft artworks built by high school students were exhibited. In addition, there was yet another area where sand sculptures built by common people of all ages were exhibited. We enjoyed viewing the interesting and funny sand sculptures built by high school students. It was fun.
Sand craft artworks exhibited at the beach that were built by high school students (left) as well as people of all ages (middle and right)
My friend and I posing in front of the exhibition area of the sand sculptures built by high school students
A sand sculpture built by high school students
Another sand sculpture built by high school students
Yet another sand sculpture
Hubby standing in front of one more sand sculpture
After viewing the exhibition of sand craft artworks at the beach, we put up a portable pop-up tent and relaxed for some time. Soon it was time to return home. Hubby and I enjoyed the day out with our friends.
We are relaxing inside the portable pop-up tent that we put up at the beach
We all had a nice time at the beach
Hubby folding up the tent