Living in Southern California, I have always held a great affinity toward the beach and have spent many a pleasant day on the sand and in the sea.
Whenever I visit Japan I am interested in seeing the beaches in whatever locality I happen to stay. I have picked up smooth beach glass on the wet sands of Hiroshima and I have waded in the warm waters of the Sea of Japan near Kanazawa.
There I saw families drive their cars up to the water's edge, set up picnics, and cast fishing lines into the sea. It is an overwhelming feeling sometimes when life seems so idyllic.
In early November my daughter and I were in Kochi, the land of Sakamoto Ryoma and many wonderful sites. It is well worth your time to visit Katsurahama Beach and the surrounding locale.
The natural beauty of the area is striking. From above, the beach is framed by tall, stately pines. Walking down the path we heard the sound of the ocean grow louder and witnessed the waves crashing against some monumental rocks and the sea spray shooting into the air.
We crossed the sand to the shore and peered closely at the sand and gravel at our feet - and there we saw hundreds of tiny sea shells. We could not help but gasp at this wonder.
At home we do not see many shells on the local beaches. In addition, many beaches are protected by state and national regulations which prohibit the collecting of natural flora and fauna.
So to be at a beach where we were allowed to engage in beach combing seemed a minor miracle. We spent an unspecified time lost in a world of discovery. Afterward we took lots of pictures, and still feeling incredibly giddy we sent video footage from my iPhone to various innocent and unsuspecting friends in the USA.
The most crazed spectacle I sent to my younger daughter, Kendra. Channeling "SpongeBob SquarePants Episode #39a "Jellyfish Hunter," I began "Hey all you people, hey all you people, won't you listen to me... I've just been to Kochi, it's no ordinary city, it's the bestest city in Japaaaaaaaan!!!"
Recently I inquired about the existence of this regretful lapse of judgment and was told, "It's in my files." Well, hopefully it is lost in those files, for my sake and that of the fine city of Kochi, Japan.
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