Friday, March 03, 2006

Japan's indoor beach

The Sheraton Seagaia Resort, located in Miyazaki City on the island of Kyushu, Japan, has what is billed as the world's only indoor beach. There is even a wave-generating machine, for just-like-the-real-thing surf. The whole thing is enclosed by a retractable dome roof that opens and closes depending on weather conditions outside.

Why build a fake beach within spitting distance of a real one? Probably because (a) a lot of the real beaches there aren't that good in terms of the quality and quantity of sand, etc.; (b) it's scaldingly hot in the summer; and (c) the highway pinches off the coast, limiting space for snack shacks and other amenities, forcing people to park on the other side of the road, and generally creating inconvenience.

I visited Ocean Dome a while back, when the kids (oops—make that "kid"; Number 2 wasn't born yet) were small, and we had a blast. In fact, the place was filled to capacity with couples with young children, so you may wish to keep that in mind if you ever consider going there (assuming that Ocean Dome still draws the same kind of crowds).

—Mellow Monk

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