The Minokake-Iwa rocks off the coast of the Izu Peninsula, Japan
© Krzysztof Baranowski/Getty Image
Singing praises of the oceans
Mid-July in Japan brings with it Marine Day (aka Ocean Day), recognising the close bond the island nation shares with the seas and ocean that surround it. And, as it roughly coincides with the end of the rainy season, Marine Day has become a sort of unofficial kick-off to the hot summer season. One place sure to attract visitors is the picturesque Minokake-Iwa rock formation seen here, lying off the coast of Honshū's mountainous Izu Peninsula. Usually, Marine Day falls on the third Monday in July, but this year it was moved to immediately precede the start of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. So, this is the day to hit the beach in Japan, just before the Olympics' opening ceremonies begin.