Local Nature

Visiting The Beach In Japan: Places, Uminoie, Games and Manners(Part 2)

The weather is getting gradually warmer as summer is approaching.

With the heat island phenomenon and global warming, there have been instances of those suffering from record breaking hot days in recent years. For someone who works in an urban area like me, this weather can be quite stressful in a crowded place even for a few minutes! However, as Japan is surrounding by many beautiful seas, sea bathing is an easily accessible respite from the hustle and bustle, where you can make the most of the summer days.

I will introduce some of the best ways to experience sun bathing in Japan.

This article is split into two parts, so be sure to check out part 1 as well!

1) Traditional Japanese beach games: Suika Wari(Watermelon Smashing)

In this section I will tell you about the traditional Japanese beach games that are often played.

“Suikawari(スイカ割り)”means watermelon smashing. The objective is to see who can smash the watermelon the fastest.

The origin of “Suikawari”is said that in ancient China, there was a cruel ceremony where a man was buried alive with only his head showing, and his head was smashed before the battle. It was so inhumane that Zhuge Liang, a genius strategist who lived in the Three Kingdoms period replaced the man with a watermelon. After smashing a watermelon, people offered the piece of watermelon to the gods and ate it.

The following is the rule according to “Japan watermelon smashing association”in 1991.

Rules of watermelon smashing

Art.1 ≪Place≫
・Beach or a lawn field is preferable.

Art.2 ≪Tool≫
・Ripe watermelon made in Japan
・Piece of cloth to be used as a blindfold, which meets the standards of the Japan watermelon smashing association.
※The judge will check whether it works or not by dropping a 10,000 yen note in front of the player
・A stick whose length is within 1.2 metres and whose diameter is within 5 cm.

Art.3 ≪Player and judge≫
・There is one smasher and several supporters. There is no limitation on the number of supporters. The supporter’s role is to give directions to the smasher. The captain should be decided among the supporters.
・The judge must be an ardent fan of watermelons, and who can give more than three correct answers to the following questions:
Q1) Where is the sweetest point of watermelon?
Q2) What is the moisture content of watermelon?
Q3) How to find a delicious watermelon.
Q4) How many seeds does a watermelon have?
Q5) Where is the origin of watermelon?

#summerbegins #小1の夏 #スイカ割り

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Art.4 ≪Start of the game≫
・The judge checks the items and make sure that the player is blindfolded. (It should be done in the presence of the competitor’s captain)
・Make a formation rolling before the start.(Formation rolling should be clockwise and rotation number should be 5 and 2/3)

Art.5 ≪Progress of the game≫
・The time limit is 1.5 minutes. The judge should make an announcement at 30 sec and 10 sec before the end of the game. After the game, the player should take their place and join the other competitors for the next person to attempt the watermelon smash.

Art.6≪Judgement≫
・If the player misses the target, he or she has 2 more smash attempts at maximum.
・The score should be recorded as per the following table.

Art.7 ≪End of the game≫
・The winner can eat the watermelon and the losers can eat the leftovers.
・The place should be cleaned after the game.

What you shouldn’t do on the beach

To conclude this article, I provide a list of “do nots”for the beach:

・Don’t stray too far from the beach into the sea, as the wave current can be quite strong.
・Be careful with marine wildlife, as some can be poisonous.
・Take care of your belongings. Japan is not thief free.
・Don’t enter the sea with alcohol, as there is a significant risk of drowning.
・Don’t play with fireworks in the area, as this will be noticed by police.
・Don’t wear your glasses when in the sea, as it may be swept away like mine were!
・Be careful with beautiful girls or guys if you ask them to put sunscreen on your body –you may receive the death stare from your significant other!

By following the advice above, you can enjoy the beautiful beach, thrilling games, delicious food and maybe meet sexy girl and handsome boy!

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you have a great summer vacation in Japan! Don't miss part 1