A guide to Japan’s beaches

The best beaches throughout Japan – and the beach rules to know

If you decide to visit Japan during the summer – you shouldn’t miss the chance to sunbathe on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. There are many comfortable beaches in the vicinity of Kamakura and tourists often travel here from noisy Tokyo especially for swimming in the sea or windsurfing.

The city itself is located on the shores of a small bay, and much of the coast in the summer covered with comfortable beaches. Here you can rent equipment for surfing, eat in a restaurant with a beautiful view of the ocean, play beach volleyball or a traditional Japanese game of “break the watermelon.

Concerts and discos are often held on the beaches, and in July and August you can enjoy magnificent fireworks shows – “Hanabi”. The colorful show can last more than an hour, with intricate compositions of fiery flowers lighting up and melting in time with the music in the sky. The event is announced in advance, and gathers a lot of spectators – you should come early to get the most advantageous place.

The water in Sagami Bay is quite clean, but some people are confused by the black sand, which gives the water a darkish tint. In fact, this is a natural phenomenon – the sand on Japanese beaches is often of volcanic origin and specific color, but it is clean and safe.


Yugiahama beach is the most popular with locals – it is the closest to the station and has the most developed infrastructure. It is advisable to leave belongings in a locker – the beach is full of cheeky thieving … birds. Be careful, crows can snatch a sandwich right out of your hands.

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This beach is a popular Japanese music festival Otodama live house, and on ordinary days of the day there are concerts and entertainment events. True, they are all held in Japanese.

East of the mouth of the river actually continues the same beach, but traditionally this area is called Zaimokuza . Its length is about 1 km, and in the southeastern part you can see the remains of the 12th-14th century trading port. Actually “zaimokuza” translates from Japanese as “wood, building timber” – reflecting the main specialization of the local trade in ancient times.

Beaches of Japan

Unique country, located in the Japanese archipelago, with a distinctive culture and not always comprehensible to our citizens attracts and beckons tourists from different countries. Pacific Ocean waters washes its shores, their length is about 20 thousand km. Four different seasons and six conditional climatic zones with a cold climate in the north and subtropical in the south. Seasonal winds blowing in winter from the continent and in summer in the opposite direction affect temperature fluctuations.

One of the main features of the population and the country, so striking to Russians, is a careful attitude toward the natural environment. Treating it like a shrine turns even a tiny corner of nature into a mini-reserve. Fabulous look of each carefully protected historical monument or landmark is covered with ancient legends. It leaves an impression and photos of beaches in Japan, it can not be confused with pictures of other beaches in the world. A large influx of holidaymakers, the whole beach area is covered with bright beautiful umbrellas, colored in the same color. The Japanese are serious about everything, including beach recreation. Therefore, everything is equipped and everything is in perfect order. Special houses, umbrellas, life buoys.

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Beach recreation in Japan is fabulous in the summer. Southern regions of the country are famous for its seaside resorts. One of these particularly popular areas of Japan is considered its ancient capital, Kamakura (an hour by train from Tokyo). The mild climate makes Japan’s beaches in the areas of Shichiriga-hama and Yuiga-hama especially attractive. Surfing, which emerged in Japan in the middle of the last century, is popular in these areas. The sport is thought to have been imported by American soldiers, and now surfing is one of the modern subcultures, with a huge industry working for it. Surfers are very persistent and patient people, like the Japanese themselves, and the road to success in this occupation is long, requiring great diligence. A person riding the waves on a board must learn to adapt to the ever-changing conditions: no two waves are the same.

The kingdom of eternal summer meets vacationers on islands (there are more than a hundred) in the southernmost part of Japan – Okinawa Prefecture. Japan is a tropical paradise for tourists. Many Europeans and Russians are not yet familiar with this paradise, but the Japanese themselves vacation in Okinawa. Favorable conditions for aquatic flora and fauna of these places are created by warm ocean current Kuroshio. Corners of untouched nature, turquoise-emerald waters of the ocean, a favorable climate. Very popular is diving – diving with special equipment. Okinawa Island looks like a rope on the seashore, which is thrown into the sea abyss – so the translation of the name of the main island of the prefecture. A coral reef stretches along the island for 20 kilometers. One of the earliest Chinese sources calls the islands of Okinawa “The Land of the Immortal Fortunate”. Fairy tale beliefs say that the magic grass growing on the island makes these people immortal. This is confirmed in our time: there are more long-livers here than in any other part of the world. Happy old age begins at the age of 60, and the transition to a new life at the age of 97.

Another surprise and shock on the subject of beaches in Japan arises when you get acquainted with the new invention – the largest in the world, a huge artificially created beach “Ocean Dome”, occupying the area of 6 soccer fields. At one time this closed beach can accommodate about 10,000 vacationers. The cost to visit the beach is equal to $50. It is located on one of the southern islands called Kuishu. Man-made tropical corner of nature, where you can not get sunburn, it never rains, there are no insects or bugs, found on conventional beaches, which can cause big problems, in the trees are real parrots. The sound of the ocean tide, the clearest sand, salt-free water, and two man-made volcanoes spew fire every 15 minutes. This unique structure can be seen in the photo of the beaches of Japan . It serves human consumption interests, but is in harmony with respect for nature rather than in conflict with it.

Photos of Japan's beaches

Japan is the most mysterious country in the world. The incomprehensible success of the Japanese in the automotive industry, computerization, construction of buildings and constructions simply amaze the Russian mind. It is also amazing to see the preservation of folk traditions, rituals and customs in this country. Japanese culture is unlike any other. Japanese people live their own separate world full of riddles and wonders. Japan is a country with an undying sense of beauty that manifests itself in all walks of life.

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The difference between Japanese and, for example, Europeans is present in absolutely everything. This and faces, and type of figure, and fashion trends, as well as upbringing and general way of life. Japanese are well aware of their individuality and try to keep the main thing that distinguishes this interesting people.

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Japanese experts know a lot about inventing all sorts of technological gadgets for entertainment and recreation. And what about recreation in nature, particularly on the coast? It is worth noting that the attitude of the Japanese to the beach holidays as unusual as everything else.

Given the fact that Japan is a country on islands, then, accordingly, the beaches of Japan are represented in large numbers. One of the most popular places for beach vacations is located an hour away from Tokyo, in the city of Kamakura. The popularity of the beach achieved largely due to its proximity to the capital of the country.

Kamakura Beaches

The beach in the city of Shirahama on Honshu Island is beautiful and clean. It is noteworthy that the beach was specially brought for this amazing white quartz sand, which has incredible smoothness, directly from Australia.

Interestingly, with such a development of technology and high standard of living, the beaches of Japan are not characterized by strong development of infrastructure. But it is worth noting that all that is necessary for a comfortable pastime, namely deck chairs, umbrellas, parking and bars with drinks on the beach is.

Japanese beach vacations

However, in Japan, there are coastal locations that are worthy of admiration. Shigaya Beach on the oceanfront can not leave anyone who goes there indifferent. Even in the photo the beach of Japan is unusually beautiful. The snow-white color of the sand, for 140 meters along the ocean edge under a bright blue sky. The cleanliness of this beach is constantly controlled by human forces, which is actually somewhat difficult, because a few dozen meters from it is a string of sandy beaches of Miyazaki-ken, located along the coast of Kyushu, where surfers gather.

Shigaya Beach

It is definitely worth mentioning Naminoue City Beach in Okinawa. The name of the beach means “on the crest of a wave,” which is not quite appropriate for this place, because it was decided to install huge breakwaters to protect the townspeople. Also, the mesh installed in the water, prevents jellyfish and other uninvited guests from entering the bathing area. Visiting the beach is free, but to visit the shower or leave your belongings in the locker will have to pay. The cleanliness of the beach is closely monitored by the city authorities. Apparently, this is why visiting the beach before 9. 00 in the morning and after 19.00 in the evening is prohibited.

Japan - indoor beach

Speaking of beach holidays in Japan, it is impossible not to mention the world’s largest artificial beach. “Ocean Dome” or in another way “SeaGaia” is a kind of structure, a closed beach on the island of Kuishu. The area of the beach is equal to the area of six soccer fields and can rest there at the same time up to 10 000 people.

The beach is covered with the cleanest sand and artificial palm trees create cool shades. On the man-made beach you can not only sunbathe and swim in the crystal clear water, but also do a decent shopping in the local stores.

Ocean Dome vacation conditions are ideal. It never rains, and you can never get sunstroke or burn. There are no insects here at all, but the real colorful parrots fill the environment with exoticism. The water in the reservoir is devoid of salt. Artificial volcanoes spew real fire every fifteen minutes. Japanese craftsmen were able to create impressive waves in this place, which will be appreciated by surfers.

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If after visiting the perfect man-made beach want something more natural, then at a distance of 300 meters is a real fairy tale corner, the photo of this beach of Japan to capture a must!


This beach is very popular with surfers, but there are no cabanas or summer cafes, the shore is quite steep and not conducive to a beach holiday. But from the coast of Shichirigahama offers a beautiful view of Enoshima Island and Mount Fuji (in good weather). By the way, this is the place depicted in many famous ukiyo-e prints, such as Hokusai’s “36 Views of Fuji. The best time to come here to admire nature is at sunset.

Farther west is Koshigoe Beach (near Enoshima Island), an active fishing area with many fresh delicacies in the local stores.

Okinawa Prefecture

If you want to visit the beaches of Japan, you should know: some of the most popular are in Okinawa Prefecture. It is the southernmost prefecture in the country. Often tourists compare the islands of this archipelago with the famous Hawaii. Okinawa is considered a true Japanese sea pearl: it is very beautiful there, plus it is easy to get to this prefecture by domestic airplane.

  • Ishigaki Island has some of the best beaches in Japan. The scenery there is very beautiful, and Kabira Bay has amazingly white sand. But unfortunately bathing there is forbidden, so Ishigaki Island is suitable for those who just want to admire the local beauty.
  • Iriomote Island is near Ishigaki. Due to the fact that it is practically unpopulated, there is a real tropical jungle and mangroves. Only on Iriomote you can find rare breeds of wild cats, but they are not easy to see. The locals recommend taking a ride on the waves at low tide from Yubu Island toward Hoshizuna Beach, where you can see star-shaped grains of sand, an amazing and beautiful sight.
  • Taketomi is the smallest island, but it has a very luxurious beach hotel. On Taketomi you can admire incredibly beautiful landscapes with “star” sand. The beaches of Nishihama and Kondoi are definitely worth a visit.

In the prefecture of Okinawa there are other islands worth visiting with equally beautiful scenery. There you can not only relax and admire the enchanting views, but also ride the waves.

Okinawa Beach

Where, when, how much

Beach Nearest station
Yugihama, Zaimokuza Wadazuka Station/Yuigahama Station/Hase station, Enoden line is a 5 minute walk. Kamakura Station (JR Yokosuka Line, Enoden Line), 15 minutes on foot
Inamuragasaki Inamuragasaki Station (Enoden Line) 15 minutes on foot
Shirigahama Shichirigahama Station (Enoden Line) 15 minutes on foot

Beach services only during the official swimming season, from “Day of the Sea” (third Monday in July and the weekend before) through August 31st. Lifeguard, recreational equipment rental hours are tentatively from 9/10:00 am to 4/17:00 pm during this period. Swimming is not permitted at other times, so the beaches are not serviced.

Kyushu Island

If you want to go to Japan to enjoy the natural beauty, it is also worth visiting Kyushu Prefecture. There are no less picturesque places than in Okinawa Prefecture:

Kyushu Prefecture has some of the most interesting beaches in Japan. Pristine nature, springs of volcanic origin – all this attracts tourists and locals.

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The best beaches throughout Japan – and the beach rules to know

Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands, although several of them are less than 1 km long. Despite this, Japan has an astonishing 29750 km of coastline, putting it at the top of the list of beach-rich countries. (Only Canada, Greenland, Russia, Indonesia, and the Philippines have more, and of those, the first three have cold waters.) This means that Japan is full of wonderful beaches. It also has its own, unique beach culture.

First, you have to know the beach rules Japan has a long history as a sovereign nation, with a love of martial arts and clear rules for almost every activity. Swimming and beach activities are no exception. Japan has 18 martial arts, and swimming is one of them. There is even the Japan Swimming Federation, and it holds competitions for people of all ages.

As part of this tradition, famous martial arts masters, train in flash floods. Try acting with a stick or pistol or wearing samurai armor in the water, and you will begin to understand the history of swimming in this island country.

As for the rules, you should know that there is an official opening of the beach season called umibaraki, before which swimming is prohibited! This happens at different times at different beaches. Organizers will take care to clean up the beach to keep swimmers safe from sea life before the umibaraki ceremony. Japan’s public cleanliness policy also means that you are unlikely to find any trash cans, so pick up all the trash behind you!

Also, because of the history of the Yakuza, or gangsters, who are pretty much the only members of Japanese society with tattoos, you will need to hide any tattoos before going to a public swimming area. However, there are handy websites that will let you know where you can go if you have tattoos.

In Japan, it is legal to drink alcoholic beverages on the beach.

Ichinomiya, Boso Peninsula – Tsurigasaki Beach The city of Ichinomiya will host the first Olympic Surfing Competition in 2020 at Tsurigasaki Beach. Ichinomiya is located on the Boso Peninsula, across from Tokyo Bay. Fortunately for visitors, Ichinomiya, which has been growing since the 1980s, will become more tourist-friendly. Ichinomiya is experiencing a revival thanks to new stores, restaurants, and 600,000 visitors a year.

The Shonan, Kanagawa – Kugenuma and Enoshima region “California in Japan” is the nickname of the Shonan Kanagawa region, located in the center of Enoshima (Eno Island) southwest of Tokyo. For surfing, visit Kugenuma Beach, near Kugenuma Kaigan Station. Lifeguards are on duty in July and August. Beach volleyball courts are free, and showers with hot water, foot-washing facilities, lockers, umbrellas, beach toys and sun loungers can be rented everywhere. For swimming, try a couple of Enoshima beaches, which are also patrolled by lifeguards and dotted with beach huts. After that, visit Chigogafuchi, a sea plateau with an elevated passage from which you can see Mt. Fuji – hopefully at sunset.

Sennan, Osaka Prefecture – Pichichi, Tokimeki and Tannowa Beaches At Tannowa Tokimeki in Sennan in Osaka Prefecture, you can see Japan’s only permanent beach volleyball stadium, Shiosai Beach Volleyball. The best beaches are Pichipichi and Tokimeki, both in Satumi Park, where the Osaka Regional Festival takes place in mid-summer. Younger children will enjoy Iruka (Dolphin) Park with its octopus slide and Tarzan swings.

Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture – Chirihama Nagisa Drive Motorists (and cyclists) can visit the Chirihama Nagisa Drive on Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture and ride along the five-mile stretch of hard sandy beach from mid-March to late November.

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Shimoda, Izu Peninsula – Shirahama Shirahama Beach in Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula is one of Japan’s famous white sand beaches. It is only a 10-minute bus ride from Izukyu Shimoda Station. Because it is the only place in the world where, according to UNESCO, “two active volcanic arcs collide” with a unique “continuous volcanic geological history,” the entire Izu Peninsula has been designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Honshu Island, Iwate Prefecture – Jodogahama Beach For those who want to know more about the ocean than the beach, Jodogahama Beach is just over five hours from Tokyo, including two and a half hours by superfast train. It’s in Iwate Prefecture on the northern tip of the main island of Honshu. Considered one of Japan’s top 100 beaches, it is located on a clean, sheltered spot. The 2011 tsunami destroyed some of the facilities, but they have all been rebuilt. You’ll find a visitor center, hiking trails from there to the beach and several boat cruise options. Among the cruise options is the Blue Cave Cruise, which departs from Marine House and takes you to Aonodokutsu, a cave filled with cobalt blue water and only accessible by sea.

Ogasawara Islands – Kominato and Kopepe Beaches Far, far away from Tokyo (620 miles to be exact) are the Ogasawara Islands, which you take a ferry to reach in 25.5 hours. But it’s worth it. Like Okinawa, the bathing season here lasts from June to October. Comfortable beaches with white sand and clear blue water. It’s a paradise for snorkeling, sunbathing, and swimming.

Hokkaido – Coast of Kamome Island Kamome Island in Hokkaido is about the same latitude as Toronto, so you can’t think of it as a beach destination. But this piece of land, which is actually a peninsula connected to the mainland by a 1,600-foot sandbank, is both a natural breakwater for the port of Esashi and an excellent place for swimming, camping and fishing in the summer. It’s a great place for outdoor activities.

The sacred rock of Heishi, which rises like a light bulb from the sea, is decorated with a Shinto symbol of nature: a shimenawa or straw rope with intertwined paper ribbons. According to legend, in the distant past the herring, for which the island is still known today, disappeared from the sea. A fortune teller threw a bottle of magical liquid into the sea – some say water, others say sake – and the herring returned.

The bottle itself turned into a Heishi stone, which represents the god of the Sea of Japan. During the Edo period it was worshipped as Bentenjim (Benten Island), following the Hindu goddess of water and fishermen, Saraswati. On the first weekend in July, young men receive blessings at a local temple and, dressed only in fundosi (a strip of cloth), swim to the rock. The two-day festival includes rowing competitions, a parade of people in traditional costumes, taiko drumming and karaoke competitions.

Okinawa – Yonaha Maehama Beach (Miyako Island) and Nishihama Beach (Hateruma Island) At the other end of Japan are 21 tropical Okinawa Islands. Miyako Island is known as the best diving spot in Japan and welcomes divers all year round. A three-day scuba diving course costs $500. US. Diving tours from Miyakojima Diving Aquatic Adventures take divers to the three islands to see stingrays, tropical fish, sharks, underwater caves, sea turtles and corals.

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