Japan is a long island country with the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Its length results in quite a lot of coastline that is home to numerous beaches. The swimming season and climate significantly vary, however, from the north to the south. Most of the beaches that are best for swimming and sunbathing are located in southern Japan in Okinawa, but many great beaches can be found in other parts of the country as well.
Nearby trips: Best Beaches, Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips
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Hayama-Isshiki Beach is located in Hayama and is a tranquil beach that doesn’t quite represent what many people think of when they they about beaches, such as palm trees and crystal clear waters. Isshiki Beach offers a sense of calm, security, and serenity that most other beaches, even in the surrounding area, don’t quite provide. It is an ideal beach for young families or people just wanting to relax and have a day to themselves. Isshiki Beach Hayama is known for activities like sunbathing, kayaking, windsurfing, and swimming. To reach the beach, visitors can take the the JR line to Zushi.
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Yuigahama Beach is located within the limits of Kamakura City and is a sandy beach facing towards the Sagami Bay. It has been a long-time popular spot for swimming since back during the Meiji Era, which lasted from 1868 through to 1912. Today, surfers and families often visit Yuigahama Beach. Lessons in bodyboarding and surfing are offered at the beach as well. The waters are shallow and provide soft waves. There is also usually an open-air market during the summer months with many different vendors, as well as other events. Lifeguards are typically on duty between 9:00am and 5:00pm.
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Shichirigahama Beach is located in the Kanagawa prefecture near the city of Kamakura. On a clear day, it’s possible to catch a glimpse of both Enoshima and Mount Fuji at the same time. The dark sands of the beach are fairly rich in iron ore, which help Kamakura become a center for producing knives and swords. The beach’s name, “Shichirigahama,” means “Seven Ri Beach” in English, with the word “Ri” representing a unit of measurement. The floor of the waters drops quickly, so the beach isn’t as popular with travelers, but surfers can be found during any season.
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During the summer season, Enoshima is alive with activity, including day trippers, hikers, and people just wanting to escape from the city. All of this has led the coastal town to become a fairly popular destination. The beaches, however, are the main why a large number of people visit. These beaches are situated opposite of Enoshima Island on the mainland. The jewel of the beach collection is perhaps Katase Beach, which consists of Nishihama Beach on the west and Higashihama Beach on the east. Katase Higashihama Beach was one of the first western-style beaches for swimming in Japan.
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Located at very southern end of Japan’s Miura Peninsula is the small beach of Araihama. Despite its size, Araihama often draws in a rather lively crowd during sunny, warm weather days for fishing, swimming, and barbecues. It isn’t too difficult for visitors to reach the beach. Visitors can take the Keikyu train line all the way until the very end at Misakiguchi and then hop aboard the regular Keikyu bus and get off at Aburatsubo. From there, it’s possible to simply follow other people often carrying inflatables and coolers to the beach. Araihama also offers view of majestic Fuji.
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Zushi Beach in the Kanagawa prefecture is a well sign-posted, short walk from the train stations in Zushi. After just a couple kilometers, visitors will be able to settle down in a good spot and enjoy the beach. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months from 9:00am until 5:00pm, the designated swimming time at Zushi Beach. One of the highlights of the beach is that it’s possible to see Mount Fuji on a clear day off in the distance. The beach’s southern end has the best view. There are a handful of nice cafes in the town.
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Oarai Beach is the largest beach in Japan’s Kanta area, and as such, is one of the region’s most popular beaches. It covers an extensive portion of the coastline, extending from the fishing port of Oarai down to the bluffs near the edge of town. One of the more surprising aspects of Oarai Beach is that it’s almost as deep as the beach is wide. The majority of the sandy areas a dn the shoreline are very flat, but covered by beautiful white sand. The beach’s lack of rocky outcroppings provides smooth waters for water sports and swimming.
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Onjuku Beach is situated along the eastern coast in the southern Chiba Prefecture of Japan. The relaxing beach paradise is located near a small town on the coast, with the closest station being Onjuku Station. The beach is only around a ten-minute walk from the train station and is a popular beach with both tourists and locals alike. Onjuku Beach is approximately a two-hour train ride from the city Tokyo, serviced by both local and express lines. Visitors can rent lockers, umbrellas, chairs, and floats. A variety of drinks and food options can be found as well.
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Kujukuri Beach spans across sixty kilometers and is a uninterrupted sandy beach in the northeastern part of the Chiba Prefectures along the Pacific Coast. It’s a rare beach in Japan as most other beaches on the coast are shaped by smaller bays. High waves crash onto Kujukuri Beach as there aren’t any reefs present in the waters, which makes the beach a favorite among Tokyo surfers year-round. The southern current of the sea warms the water for a longer portion of the year, well into November, offering a longer swimming season, and strong winds bring in many people with kites.
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The paradise-like qualities of the waters at Hirizohama, or Hirizo Beach, have made this beach one of Izu’s places not miss with visitors. Tropical fish, clear blue-green ocean waters, and some of the region’s best opportunities for snorkeling offer plenty of enjoyment for a day at the beach along this great stretch of the coast of Izu. The calm, clear waters with a diverse habitat of sea life and abundant coral at Hirizohama is what sets it apart from the several other scenic beaches in the area. The waters provide great snorkeling spots without having to go to Okinawa.
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Tatadohama is the name of the beach that visitors may hear about from locals in the area when asked about where the best spots are for surfing. The unofficial sign that the beach is one of the best surfing spots is the usual sight of cars and campervans filled with surfing gear and surf boards. The spacious and clean shore is quite vast, so guests may need to take a bit of a break from their walk and set up camp somewhere on the beach, and there is usually plenty room. Tatadohama Beach is a short distance from the main station.
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Iritahama features great waves and sparkling blue waters and is a great place to stop and do some surfing or just relax while visiting the Shimoda area. The beach is a local favorite and is rather quiet during the area’s off-peak season, and while its gets fairly popular with both Shimoda regulars and visitors alike during the peak season, it generally never really feels too crowded. This makes Iritahama Beach an ideal spot for trying out surfing abilities without needing to worry about surfing collisions. The beach is around a 3.5 kilometer distance from the station
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13.Shirahama Chuo Beach
Shirahama Chuo Beach is one of the most popular and famous attractions of Izu and is a long beach measuring approximately eight hundred meters in length. While many people come to the beach for the sun and sand, the beach is also known for its rather good conditions for surfing. Shirahama Beach is also one of the most popular beaches for swimming in Shimoda. The beach and the main road run parallel to each other, with Shirahama located around five kilometers from Izukyu-Shimoda Station to the east. Standing along Shirahama Beach is a beautiful Shinto shrine, Shirahama Jinja.
Sotoura Beach is located within a ten-minute drive from the nearby Shirahama Beach to the south. This beach a bit more popular among families and people who to just relax and be more in tune with the nature around them. The creek Sotoura Beach features a rocky shore, but a calm beach where children can enjoy viewing wildlife and exploring nature, making it a good choice for families. Young kids can play in the sand and splash around in the shallow waters. Soutoura is approximately seven minutes from the Shimoda Station by bus, follow by around a five-minute walk.
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Suishohama seems like it should be a beach somewhere in the Philippines, the Caribbean, or even in Okinawa. Instead, the beach, which can be translated to “Crystal Beach,” is located in Japan’s Fukui prefecture, in the same Hokuriku Region well known for having heavy snow during the winter season. Fukui is actually known for its swimming and diving spots in West Japan. A large number of tourists come to Suishohama Beach during the summer months for the stunningly crystal clear blue waters. The clear waters make the beach a good place for anyone who likes snorkeling.
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Wakasawada Beach is located around two hours by train from the city of Kyoto in the quaint little beach town of Takahama. It’s a beach that not too many western tourists have ever heard of, but it is starting to rise in awareness and popularity. Wakasawada Beach hugs a large bay and feature two protective arms that stretch into the Sea of Japan, providing a gently slope into the calm ocean waters. Visitors come to the beach for sunbathing, relaxation, frolicking in warm waters, and sea kayaking. Takahama is also a popular spot for cruising the clear waters and paddleboarding.
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Among the many beaches visitors can find in the Kansai area of Japan, many of them are located in Wakayama, such as the great Kataonami Beach. Along with the clear waters of the beach and its clean environment, many people come and visit Kataonami due to its somewhat close proximity to the city of Osaka, around an hour and thirty minutes away. This make it a good day trip from Osaka, allowing visitors to escape from the bustling city for the day. Kataonami Beach is also perfect for taking an evening stroll and taking in the stunning views of the sunset.
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Kotohiki Beach provides a Caribbean-like beach right in Japan. Many people may think of the beautiful beaches of Biwa Lake when they think about the local beaches within the Kansai region of the country. However, these can get crowded. Kotohiki Beach is a great alternative in the Kyoto prefecture, found along the Sea of Japan coast. The beach boasts golden white sands that goes on for miles and amazing views of cliffs. Visitors may get a look at the sun setting across the water behind a mountain. By train, the beach can be reached on the JR line from Kyoto Station.
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Keinomatsubara Beach is one of the most prominent beach in all of Japan, with a stunningly white sand beach and seemingly endless pine forest. The beach has been known for the picturesque scenery since back in ancient times, with a poem even written about the area. There are approximately fifty thousand Awaji black pines in the area, which adds to Keinomatsubara Beach’s scenic beauty. The beach is also famous for being one of the best spots on Awaji Island to view the evening sun, and has even been named one the top one hundred spots in Japan to watch the sunset.
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The island country of Japan has its very own sandbar that appears and disappears with particular ocean tides. This unique sandbar can be found at Yurigahama, located on Yoronjima in the Kagoshima prefecture. The views from Yurigahama often makes visitors feel as if they are walking in the clouds with the white sand and crystal clear waters, creating a spectacular and almost magical landscape. Visitors at the Yurigahama Beach can see the sandbar at the end of each month. The beach is often associated with stars due the star shaped sand. Yurigahama is situated around 1.5 kilometers off-island.
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21.Bayside Beach Saka
Bayside Beach Saka is situated not even thirty minutes away from Hiroshima Station and is the closest beach to Hiroshima City. With its location, it stands to reason that the beach can get a bit crowded during the summer months. To get to Bayside Beach Saka from the Hiroshima Station, visitors can take the Kure Line to Mizushiri Station, then it’s only about a five-minute walk to Beach Saka. The beach is located within a somewhat rural seaside community. Visitors may see locals out fishing on the beach, and swimming is allowed during the months of July and August.
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Hitotsuku Beach is another one of those beaches in the country of Japan that isn’t as well known, and as a result, isn’t as crowded as many of the other beaches in Japan. The beach also still retains its special natural beauty. Hitotsuku Beach has a few rocky parts here and there, but they how demonstrate just how untouched the beach remains. The waters of Hitotsuku Beach range from a light blue to a hue of emerald green, creating a stunning contrast against the white sand beach. Visitors may feel as if they stepped into another country.
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Sesoko Island is well known for having smooth white sandy beaches, in particular is Sesoko Beach. Another key aspect of the beach of Sesoko is that it boasts the clearest waters out of anywhere on the main island of Okinawa. Visitors can swim to their heart’s content at this pleasant beach, and friendly lifeguards are typically present watching over swimmers. Families can be more at ease knowing their young children can play in the waters under the watchful eyes of the lifeguards. One of the good things about the main island of Okinawa is that vsitors can travel by car between the islands.
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Kondoi Beach is located on a rather small island by the name of Taketomijima, about six kilometers away from Ishigakijima to the west. The beach helps preserve the pristine natural beauty of the island of Okinawa, with crystal clear emerald green waters adding to the beautiful scene of snow white sands and vivid blue skies. Swimming is possible during high tide and the waters are calm and safe enough for kids to splash around in them. During low tides, the water is fairly shallow near the beach. Views of other islands can be had at Kondoi Beach as well.
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Sunayama Beach is only around five kilometers away from the Miyako Airport and be reached by several roads. The easiest way to get to the beach is by taking a taxi or renting a vehicle. Once visitors get closers to the beach, they will see a large rock with “"Sunamayama Beach" written on it. After passing the rock, the path that leads to the beach will come into view. Up to this point, the road is paved and can be easily walked. The path then turns into one made up of white sand. After arriving at the beach, guests are rewards with beautiful views.
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25 Best Beaches in Japan
- Hayama-Isshiki Beach, Photo: Tomohiko Tanigawa/stock.adobe.com
- Yuigahama, Photo: kenstock/stock.adobe.com
- Shichirigahama, Photo: leungchopan/stock.adobe.com
- Enoshima, Photo: e185rpm/stock.adobe.com
- Araihama, Photo: Oleksandr Shevchenko/stock.adobe.com
- Zushi Beach, Photo: gumichan/stock.adobe.com
- Oarai Beach, Photo: photo3idea/stock.adobe.com
- Onjuku Beach, Photo: osap1111/stock.adobe.com
- Kujukuri Beach, Photo: Alvin Yoshikawa/stock.adobe.com
- Hirizohama, Photo: Miroslaw Stepinski/stock.adobe.com
- Tatadohama, Photo: shige/stock.adobe.com
- Iritahama, Photo: stars_hjp/stock.adobe.com
- Shirahama Chuo Beach, Photo: shige/stock.adobe.com
- Sotoura Beach, Photo: siro46/stock.adobe.com
- Suishohama, Photo: Joshua Daniels/stock.adobe.com
- Wakasawada Beach, Photo: tatyanasuyarova/stock.adobe.com
- Kataonami Beach, Photo: andreygv/stock.adobe.com
- Kotohiki Beach, Photo: leungchopan/stock.adobe.com
- Keinomatsubara Beach, Photo: srckomkrit/stock.adobe.com
- Yurigahama, Photo: kenstock/stock.adobe.com
- Bayside Beach Saka, Photo: Zerophoto/stock.adobe.com
- Hitotsuku, Photo: paylessimages/stock.adobe.com
- Sesoko Beach, Photo: tnehala/stock.adobe.com
- Kondoi Beach, Photo: elmer/stock.adobe.com
- Sunayama Beach, Photo: Eiji Anzai/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: tororo reaction/stock.adobe.com