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Umi no Hi: Marine Day in Tokyo
Marine Day (Umi no Hi) is one of two summer Japanese national holidays. It is meant to be a day spent honoring the sea, which has traditionally played an important role in the culture and economy of Japan. Observed on the third Monday in July, Marine Day also marks a long weekend. That means three full days of opportunities to celebrate (and hopefully relax a little, too!).
We've put together a list of Marine Day events and activities in and around Tokyo for your family to check out!
What better way to celebrate the ocean than a day or two at the beach? As we've mentioned in the past, there are several beaches outside of Tokyo that make for convenient destinations.
Katase Higashihama and Katase Nishihama
Not only are these lovely, wide beaches perfect for sun bathing, the mild waves make the perfect training grounds for beginner surfers. Plus, the views and shops of Enoshima are a short walk or ferry ride away.
The clear calm waters of this beach in Hayama are ideal for young swimmers. It's also the chosen beach town of the Imperial family, who use their villa in the late winter before tourist season kicks off.
For more surfing and a 13-meter bronze statue of Buddha, Kamakura is your place! The city was also once an unofficial capital of Japan, so there are plenty of shrines and historical places to visit as well.
AQUARIUMS AND MUSEUMS
Get an up-close look at Tokyo's marine life and maritime history.
Though Marine Day is also meant to coincide with the end of rainy season, the forecast isn't always cooperative! If it's too wet to get to the beach, a visit to Tokyo Sea Life Park is a great compromise. With penguins, tuna, hammerhead sharks, shrimp and more fish than you can count, this aquarium also has free admission for children under 12.
Marine Day was designated a national holiday in 1996 to commemorate the voyage of Emperor Meiji on the Meiji Maru- originally commissioned in 1873- from Aomori to Yokohama. The ship was restored in 1988 and now serves as a museum ship. Usually closed on Mondays, the museum will be open on Marine Day.
Summer is nothing if not fetival season in Tokyo. Marine Day marks an unofficial start to the season, so be ready to celebrate!
Volunteers set out thousands of brightly decorated paper lanterns along the beach. With many boats and Rainbow Bridge in the background, it makes for a beautiful, temporary shrine to the ocean. And of course, Odaiba has plenty of other family-friendly attractions for the daytime- from beach-side shopping and restaurants to the Daikanransha Ferris Wheel in Palette Town.
Yokohama is considered the birthplace of Marine Day - the Meiji Maru made a voyage in 1876 that ended in the port city - and though Sparkling Twilight isn't specifically billed as Umi no Hi celebrations, the timing coincides perfectly with the holiday. Over Saturday and Sunday, there will be parades, fireworks, light shows and more!
However you choose to celebrate this weekend, keep CareFinder in mind! Our community of qualified, bilingual babysitters are great resources to assist your family as you enjoy any (or all!) of Marine Day's festivities.