This Gorgeous "Mirror" Beach Becomes Instagram Sensation with Droves of Tourists Trying to Take Perfect Photo

It's become a red-hot destination for Instagrammers.

A beach—any beach—is an above-average photo opportunity at any given time or place. But one beach, in particular, has become Instagram-famous in recent years, thanks to the automatic filter it lends to photos. Read on to find out where you can find this sandy destination and why its "mirror" effect is so popular with tourists. 

1
Natural Mirror Effect, No Instagram Filter Needed

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Chichibugahama Beach lies just outside the Japanese city of Mitoyo on Shikoku Island. It's become a red-hot destination for Instagrammers who are drawn to the area's tide pools (shallow areas of seawater that form in depressions along a coast). They reflect the sky and subjects on the horizon like a mirror, creating a distinctive photo setting.

2
Area a Social Media Smash

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Chichibugahama has been tagged more than 175,000 times on Instagram and has its own Instagram page that spotlights the mirror effect captured by visitors. Jumping is a popular pose (one man even executes a martial-arts kick), and umbrellas are a frequently used prop, but even simple shots of couples and groups standing together look stunning when reflected in the glassy tidal pool in the lower half of the frame. 

3
Photo Contest Kicked It All Off

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The beach was relatively obscure until 2016 when a picture of two children reflected in the water impressed judges of a photo contest sponsored by a Japanese tourism bureau. "The city government employee who reviewed this picture saw a window of opportunity and thought, 'Let's make this place a tourist attraction,'" Japan Forward reported. "The location was marketed in a travel magazine as 'Japan's Uyuni Salt Lake' — referring to the world-famous salt lake in Bolivia. Its fate was sealed as a new destination for photography lovers after its appeal was touted on television." Mission accomplished.

4
Top Photo Tips Offered

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According to Mitoyo's tourism site, the mirror effect is best at sunset and when there is no wind to create ripples in the water. The website includes tips on how to take the best pictures at the site, such as: 'The trick is to keep your stance close to the surface of the water.'

5
Is Town the World's First Instagram-Made Tourist Destination?

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According to a recent report in Japan Times, the once-overlooked area has become a haven for entrepreneurs who are hoping to convince tourists to come for a photo but stay for the night; the area has become a booming tourist destination, thanks to Instagram. A waterfront shopping center hosts an L.A.-themed burger joint, watering holes, and gift shops, along with beachside viewings of American movies like La La Land.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more
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