Nishihama Beach Festival Has Everyone Up In Arms

Nishihama Beach Festival Has Everyone Up In Arms

Okinawa, a tropical archipelago of beautiful islands located between the southern island of Kyushu in Japan and Taiwan, is the land of many athletic contests.

And the locals start off young. They participate in festivals that include everything from ocean swims and lifeguard contests to marathon runs and triathlons.

One such island, Tonakijima Island (渡名喜島) with a population of 502 people, 2 hours away from the main island of Okinawa, holds in annual summer swimming festival on Nishihama Beach. The community sets up a 25 meter course complete with lane lines and start/finish pontoons where the elementary school children can get their first taste of open water swimming in relatively shallow water. Starting with 400m and 800m swims, the young children gradually graduate to swimming without lane lines in the open ocean.

But initially, the elders make ocean swimming fun, safe, and comfortable for the younger generations.

And surprises from the ocean come up all the time (see photo above).

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