My Japan Beach
Aomori Prefecture, Honshu, Japan
June 13, 2004
By Herb Bastuscheck

Me at the beach ready to go.

Just by luck I met an American airman from Misawa who was just leaving-carrying 2 large green glass fishing floats. Click! Nobody else was on the beach for the next 4 hours. The view is looking to the south. The Hakkoda Mountains are in the background.

The grassy area along the dunes shelters a large variety of wildflowers. Morning glory and roses which will provide rose hips later on for tea.

Heading south. The beached boat area is about 2 miles ahead.

One of many accumulation areas of trash. The currents seem to channel trash as well as floats into this area. Japan, in general, is one of the world's most beautiful garbage dumps. Not much trash consciousness yet.

Came across a glass float which had been used as an anchor for mussels. Floats with mussels, scallops, or oysters sometime break loose and land in this area. Whenever I find a fresh one just deposited on the beach, I carefully check to make sure they are stillalive - sashimi, anyone? - and carry a sackfull back home to cook. This one was full of larger ones. Gonna soon have a delicious mussel chowder tonight.

A line of beach rocks along the shore. It's easy to see the real colors on the wet rocks.

Some areas are pretty wide where rocks are found. This area kicked loose some nice ones.

About halfway to the boats is a bunker/building area which was part of the coastal defence during WWII. The buildings are almost all gone now, and much of the bunkers have fallen down by wave erosion. Just over the top is a long asphalt runway for fighter planes.

Looking back up the beach to the north. The mountain in the background is Osorezan on the axe part of Shimokita Peninsula which has sulfur and mineral springs and deposits. It's considered to be a special place to make contact with the spirits of departed family or friends. Blind, old ladies have booths there where you can use them as a medium to contact the spirits. It's rich with a variety of minerals, but it's considered an affront to the spirits to remove any.

The beached boat area. This is the area where Mike Streeter came with his family over decades ago. There are the remains of about a dozen old boats - some pretty big. Several broke up over the past winter storm period.

Looking north at the beached boat area from the small hill shown in the background of the second picture above. In the foreground are the remains of fences and buildings.

Walking back, I was greeted by this glass float.

As luck would have it, after being the only person on the beach while there, I was greeted by a Japanese father and son about 5 or 6 years old. The father happily took my picture, but missed the full bottom of the sack I was carrying. I reciprocated with some owls for them.

Back home, you can see my canoe alongside the house and the hanging glass ball floats. (24 of them now). And that, folks, is a glimpse of one of my favorite spots.