Waves crashing on a shoal
Featured in this wave-lapped 66 km-long landscape is Kujukuri Beach. The geological composition of the Boso Peninsula is complex; tectonic plates pushed up the seabed, land areas were eroded by waves to form sandy beaches, and sediment carried by the Tonegawa River basin accumulated over many years. So while certainly in other locations in Chiba, like Tateyama, Katsuura and Choshi, the rugged areas of rocks and coastlines intermingle, giving a very different impression of each, Kujukuri Beach is exceptionally impressive with its endless stretch of coastline.
Kujukuri Beach is called a shoal, but how shallow is it? The breaking waves may give an indication; I suspect that their amplitude is commensurate with the width and depth of the beach. Those breaking slowly onto the shore from far away clash with those pulling away, rolling up to a great scale, coming in with the intensity of a tsunami.
Although the forecast called for fine weather, fog enshrouded the beach as the sun rose. Already the horizon had become vaguely hazy, and was invisible. And yet the waves built in slow motion in the open sea, and came tumbling down upon the shore in succession. The monotone palette with its mixed tints and tones created the impression of an ink wash painting in gentle motion. The endlessly rising waves continually dissolved into the sand and atmosphere of the beach. This magnificent scenery created by the Pacific Ocean is without a doubt one of the most spectacular views in Japan.
Delicate foam forms on the edges of surging waves. Slipping and lapping, the waves use up all their strength to reach the shore, leaving white lathered fringes on the wet shore as they recede. Clams show their faces in ones and twos, and their shells trace the lines of the receding waves on the damp shore. Sand can be made up of finely ground minerals, animal bones, shells, or perhaps pieces of coral from distant seas. For the shells, here begins their grand journey, back to grains of sand.
The undulating dunes, unwashed by the waves, are covered with unfamiliar vegetation. I found out it’s called kouboumugi, or strand sedge. On the sand’s surface, I noticed organic lines everywhere, like the tracks of crawling insects. What creature could have made these marks? I feel as if I have landed on a different planet, somewhere other than Earth, perhaps because of the surrounding haze. Far, far beyond the endless stretch of shore, the waves shift mistily.