WIT Press

Current Status Of Marine Leisure Activities In Japan


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WIT Press


H. Gotoh, M. Takezawa, Y. Maeno & M. Maezawa


The modern concept of sea bathing was first popularized by Dr. Richard Russell, who promoted the activity on the Brighton beachfront in 18th-century England. In Europe, the history of ocean utilization dates back to the era of Hippocrates, the \“father of medicine”, in ancient Greece. While the initial reasons for using the ocean were related to regaining physical health, activities related to swimming have since diversified to include marine sports such as surfing and personal water craft (PWC) activities. A questionnaire survey on the utilization of beaches for swimming was conducted on beach users in Japan. The questionnaire administered to beach users included items on the reasons for using beaches, the amount of time spent swimming, the proportion of users renting beach houses, the safety of areas dedicated to swimming, and the coexistence of swimmers, surfers, and PWC users. The principal findings of the questionnaire survey were as follows: (1) Locations used for swimming could be classified as being one of three types: (a) day visitors (over 60% of beach users); (b) visitors staying for a few days (10–60% of beach users); (c) long-term visitors (10% of beach users). (2) Swimming was the most popular activity, followed by surfing and PWC activities. (3) Visitors in their 20s were the most numerous, followed by visitors in their 30s and teenagers. (4) Users of beach houses primarily engaged in PWC activities, followed by swimming. (5) Approximately 60% of beach users supported the coexistence of swimming, surfing, and PWC activities. (6) The survey of beach user satisfaction elucidated the following findings: (a) Users were satisfied with beaches as places to alleviate stress and to enjoy open spaces. (b) Users were dissatisfied with littering and water pollution. Keywords: sea bathing, marine leisure, marine sport, swimming, surfing, safety.


sea bathing, marine leisure, marine sport, swimming, surfing, safety.