Japan being an archipelago, it seems only natural for a day to be entirely dedicated to celebrating the sea. Yet, Umi no Hi, the Marine Day, is relatively modern since it was created in 1941. At the time, Communications Minister Shozo MURATA wanted to honor the return of Meiji Emperor from his sea journey on board of the Meiji Maru on July 20, 1876. The Minister therefore declared this day as the Umi no Kinenbi, the Marine Memorial Day.
It became a public holiday in 1995 and was renamed Umi no Hi a year later. In 2003, the date was changed to the 3rd Monday of July so Japanese could enjoy a long weekend.
During this day of rest, most cities plan animations connected to the sea, just like aquariums which invite visitors to take part in special events. It’s also the occasion to relax at the beach or to enter a water sport competition.