Eff Beach Opening

The spread of Sakura blossoms northward is marking the arrival of Spring throughout Japan. April 1, also marked the change in seasons with the beginning of a new school year. All over Japan, teachers are arriving at new schools and preparing for the upcoming year.  For the students, however, school is still out for a few more days.

Yesterday, Kumejima Island celebrated the arrival of Spring by opening its popular Eff beach. The ceremony, called Umi Biraki (sea opening), involved a priest and offerings to wish for a safe and healthy new year for the beach and those who enjoy it. From early in the morning, people helped to clear the beach of drift trash, then attended the short ceremony.

Just after the ceremony, several teams played beach baseball. Using a field marked with beach plants, the players enjoyed the turning of the season, if avoiding the still chilly water. Instead of regular baseballs, they used mall foam buoys which made for an interesting game in the strong breeze.




All in all, it looks like it will be a good summer on the beach.




More on Spring

In Japan, it’s not just the new school year.  All over the country, government officials, and even many private workers are moving to new departments or even new cities.  In Japan, workers rotate every few years so for the next week, as newbies arrive at their jobs and begin settling in, they’ll likely have to run around in suits and get introduced at local city halls, boards of education, and other major locals.  Get ready for some new faces at everything from the morning news to your local police box!