The Beach at Oarai
A trip to the beach is a non-negotiable for me during summer. A lake-beach will do, but an ocean-beach is a treat (considering I’m from Wisconsin). My friends and I decided to take a trip to Oarai (oh-ah-rye), which is the closest beach to our city in Gunma. It’s about 3 hours on the train, 3 hours on the non-toll roads (which we opted for, since we’re poor) and about an hour and a half on the toll roads.
The beach itself was probably underwhelming, as far as beaches go. The pros: It’s a beach, it’s an ocean-beach, it wasn’t so crowded that we were on top of other people, there was a tourist center across the road with helpful brochures (if you read Japanese) and even more helpful toilets and vending machines (any language will do for these amenities). The cons: The city was built up right along the beach, so scenery wasn’t whimsically nautical or anything, the water was cold (about the same as Lake Michigan in summer…so calf-deep is about all most people would want), the sand was brown (not cute brown…is there cute brown sand?), and the Indian men were desperate and determined. I’m unsure of why Indian men are so forward and persistent…are they like this in India? Do their women go for that? Do they think that their behavior is at all appropriate ever? Or are they just shameless bastards? I don’t have the answers yet and I’m not motivated to conduct any in depth research.
All in all, I’m glad we took the trip out there, since I’ll happily settle for just about any beach (provided it isn’t made of spiders or something equally horrific), but I can’t recommend it as a tourist draw. If you’re desperate for beach or to get out of Gunma though, it will do quite nicely.