Hiroshima Beach Clean Up

2018 is a great year to start making a dent in the plastic garbage problem in our seas. There is great demand for community action in cleaning the beaches in and around Hiroshima- please join us!

I think the beaches in our area could be improved to become a great asset to improve quality of life for residents as well as appeal to visitors – if they were only a little bit cleaner. Cleaning a beach has a greater impact than just creating a prettier beach, it helps take out the plastics that are becoming embedded in the food chain as they degrade into smaller pieces eaten by marine life and then consumed by people. The problem seems too big to fix, but there are groups around the world getting together to do #beachcleanup activities every month.

On July 16th, we will do a beach clean-up on the Monday, national holiday: “umi-no-hi” = Ocean-Day (7/16). I’ll be there setting up and picking up from around 8am at Miyajima’s biggest swimming beach, Tsutsumigaura beach. I plan to work on collecting as much as we can from 8am-11am. This beach is located to the left of the island as you exit the ferry. It takes about 25 minutes to walk there or a 15-minute cycle ride or a (5 minute drive). After the beach clean, please enjoy your day our most famous island.

Bring your own gloves, garbage bags, hats, sunscreen and water bottles. If you have tongs and a rake it would also be useful. I will try to take the garbage we collect away in the car, but if you are coming by car and could also take some, that would be a great help! 

Most of the garbage we want to take off the beach consists of plastic tubes and plastic waste which can be put out on plastic garbage day in any Hiroshima residential areas.

Spread the word and invite your friends- the more the merrier and if you know of any groups or companies that may want to support our #beachcleanup efforts, please get in touch. 

Previous 2018 Beach Clean Report
On June 23rd and 24th we tackled Etajima’s most popular swimming and leisure beach, Sun Beach Okimi. We were there cleaning and enjoying a day at the beach from around 10am on Sat the 23rd and most of the day anytime from 8 am on the Sunday the 24th. This weekend coincides with the events at the same beach held by outdoor adventure co. Montbell for their annual “Sea to Summit” race on Etajima.

I was very impressed by Montbell’s requirement of all Sea-to-Summit racers and their families or support teams to join in the beach clean up activities over the 23rd and 24th. I wish more companies were making beachcleanups part of regular events, especially outdoor ones. After hundreds of people cleaned up the beach on the 23rd (sat) I thought there really wouldn’t be anything to do on the next day, but I was wrong. From early in the morning I could see wave after wave bringing in new lines of plastic garbage- it was heartbreaking. The local Eco-Tourism groups trying to get SUP tours and kayak tours going on the island are regularly organizing beach cleans as a part of their training. There is so much to do, every single day- it is overwhelming!


Writing about Hiroshima for over twenty years. Co-founded GetHiroshima in 1999 and founded the sustainability-focused InboundAmbassador business in 2019. Monthly CleanUp and Seeking Sustainability event organizer, guide workshop facilitator, online content creator and tourism destination consultant. Passionate about promoting solutions in Japan for people and the planet.

7 thoughts on “Hiroshima Beach Clean Up

  • June 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks for organizing the cleanup! A simple google search for Sun Okimi beach does not return results, so you may want to link a map or have readers search for “sun beach okimi” instead. Since it is the same weekend as the race, do you think traffic/ parking will be an issue? Hopefully see you there if the weather (and kid) cooperates!

    • June 8, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Tyler
      Thanks for the suggestions. We have made some changes and added a map to Sun Beach Okimi.

    • June 22, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks for commenting. There’s quite a big space a short walk from beach, I think since this will be a big day Saturday for Montbell’s sea-to-summit earth-awareness from noon, it’ll be fairly busy & hopefully more than enough parking. See you there!

  • June 25, 2018 at 6:03 am

    6/23-24 Sun Okimi Beach Clean-Up update:
    On Saturday from midday, a few of us joined the Montbell sponsored clean-up effort as a part of their pre-race activity. It was great to have a lot of people working together to pick up the PET bottles, wrappers and thousands of tubes and discs up that litter this long stretch of white sand every day. It seemed like we accomplished a great deal and I wasn’t sure there was any point in bringing volunteers again for Sunday, but with the next day’s tides came a new barrage of plastics. By the end of the day, a few of us were able to fill 5 medium sized bags weighing about 3-4kg each of plastic trash.

    On Sunday, from early morning I pulled some huge pieces of styrofoam off of the beach that is slowly eroding into styrofoam dust that covers the entire beach. This was really difficult to pick up effectively. I wonder if a type of vacuum cleaner would work better. I had filled another 2 medium sized bags while watching the Sea to Summit race. It was great to have the support of Montbell for beach clean-up over the weekend who thankfully (and cheerfully) took our bags of trash from us for disposal. I would have struggled to fit it into our car otherwise. From around noon, we had a small, hardcore crew that came over to the island on the Ujina ferry come out and lend a hand on for a couple of hours. Highly motivated and full of enthusiasm, they were able to fill 3 large bags of plastic from the beach in about 2 hours of hard work. Great job guys!

    As we won’t have the support of any companies on July 16th, hope we can get a decent sized crew to make a dent at Miyajima’s beach on Ocean Day (7/16) – National Holiday Monday. It would be great to get a fair bit of the plastic trash off of this main beach before midday so that we can all spend the rest of the day enjoying this beautiful island. Please rally your friends and family to help spread the word!

  • June 25, 2018 at 6:27 am

    I would like to add a short promotion of Montbell’s Sea To Summit Event : https://en.montbell.jp/event/sea-to-summit/

    I was so impressed with this event that requires all participants to take part in a event area clean up (usually a beach or river clean up) and listen to a lecture on environmental issues, as a prerequisite to taking part in one of these great adventure events. The event itself was relaxed, friendly and fun and it is possible to register in English as well.

    There are Sea to Summit events sponsored by Montbell all over Japan (check the link above). This race was a 10km kayak (you can rent kayaks through the event organizers) some entrants did this on a SUP. Then a 23 km cycle around Etajima island (you need your own bicycle) followed by a 5km walk up a steep paved path to the top of a nearby mountain. There were no winners based on time, everyone entered was eligible for the lucky lottery of prizes at the closing ceremony.

    I really appreciate the fact that this outdoor company has followed through on their mission to be an environmentally-friendly business and is showing that through beach cleanups and eco-friendly event and tourism sponsorship like this. It is great branding and certainly improves the perception of quality of their brand. I hope other companies in Japan also start to realize the value of positive action in creating effective change for society and environment.

    Business #sustainability (keeping profits + people + planet – in balance) matters.

  • July 11, 2018 at 4:21 am

    Montbell is a righteous company. I own some of their stuff, and it is made of the highest quality materials and workmanship one could reasonably expect. Nice to see that they’re doing things right on the other side of the coin as well.

  • July 11, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Thanks for commenting! Yes, I agree & we are loyal customers of Montbell. We are certainly encouraged to support the company when we see them doing good work for the community and the environment. Hope other companies can start to see the branding and long-term customer loyalty benefits of doing the right thing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.