Tokyobling's Blog

Red Tide and Mist at Yuigahama – Kamakura

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on June 2, 2014

Since for the last few days at Yuigahama, the famous Pacific Ocean beach just on the edge of Kamakura city to the south west of Tokyo, there’s been a rather unusual algal bloom, a phenomena known as akashio (赤潮) in Japan and often called “red tide” in English. It is a natural occurring phenomena when concentrations in plankton grow rapidly and has nothing to do with tide nor is it often very red. Sometimes these algal blooms are associated with a kind of plankton that can glow with a bluish light in the dark but there hasn’t been any reported bioluminescence so far this time at Yuigahama, although I have heard that there were some two nights ago in Enoshima, further down the coast to the west of Kamakura but I am not sure how correct those observations were. If you live in the area, tonight might be the best night of the year for a midnight walk along the beach!

I was a little disappointed with bloom, as it looks a little bit and could be poisonous I was in no mood for swimming so instead I decided to head as far as possible to the east along the beach. I got quite far when another very interesting natural phenomena occured, a kaimu, or ocean mist. For a few minutes there were white wisps of smoke blowing in over the water, as if there were many small fires further out in the ocean. The sun was still blazing though, but in a few minutes a thick wall of mist rolled in from the ocean, completely obscuring the sun and turning midday into early evening in a few minutes. It reminded me of the solar eclipse we had a couple of years ago. Visibility was very bad in mist and the water level rose very quickly, which sent quite a few beach goers scrambling to get their stuff out of the rising water. The silence was also erie, sounds being muffled and nothing much being visible. Quite an experience! The mist last about an hour but even as it passed it left a strangely muted sky much of it remained until nightfall, all over the city of Kamakura.

All in all, it was an interesting day at the beach. I tried to look out for dead marine life but didn’t find anything out of the ordinary, the odd dried up blowfish or carp. As I always do, I also gathered a full plastic bag of plastic garbage that had drifted in from the ocean or been blown out on the beach by careless beach goers. If everyone picked just one piece of garbage every time they visited a beach the world would be a cleaner place in no time!




















14 Responses

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  1. zoomingjapan said, on June 2, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Woah! Kind of scary, but really interesting at the same time! 🙂


    • tokyobling said, on June 5, 2014 at 2:50 am

      It frightened some people, but most people were still eager to get into the water, myself included! (^-^)


  2. Cathryn said, on June 2, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    These photos are stunning but the red tide looks horrible, like a sea of blood.


    • tokyobling said, on June 5, 2014 at 2:50 am

      Yes it does, a lot of people were very reluctant to get close to the ocean this day! Thank you for your kind comment! (^-^)


  3. Mustang.Koji said, on June 2, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    It is difficult to shoot with a digital under such conditions. You did a nice job! But isn’t nature powerful?


    • tokyobling said, on June 5, 2014 at 2:53 am

      Thank you Koji! I love nature, the more powerful I see it the more at ease I feel with my own place in nature.


  4. antinowherelane said, on June 2, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Great nature shots! Love the beach cleaning attitude too 🙂


    • tokyobling said, on June 5, 2014 at 2:54 am

      Thank you! Yes, I could make this a hobby of mine. If I lived near the beach I’d probably turn out to be one of those kooky old men up at dawn hauling bags of garbage from the beach…! (^-^) Probably living in a hut made of driftwood and flotsam too!


  5. Adrian Quilatan said, on June 3, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Whoa! I was in Kamakura just last Saturday but I wasn’t able to visit this beach. The red tide looks weird but it sure would have been an amazing site…


    • tokyobling said, on June 5, 2014 at 2:55 am

      You must have been saving it for later then! I hear the red tide is gone by now, but it might pop up again this year or sometime in this decade at least.


  6. Timi said, on June 4, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    First time hearing this and seeing as well, it looks interesting. Nature can always surprise me :3


    • tokyobling said, on June 5, 2014 at 3:00 am

      Japanese waters are incredibly nutritious so it is not uncommon, but in this beach it is, first time this decade even, I think. (^-^)


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