As an island nation, it’s no surprise that Japan has plenty of beautiful beaches everywhere. Japan’s beaches are always clean, with emerald green waters and soft white sands to please everybody. With plenty of activities always available — from just soaking up the sun to boat tours to snorkeling — they are also very popular as a summer getaway for city dwellers. Whether you want to stay around the Tokyo area, visit the popular coastline in Okinawa, or explore some off-the-beaten-track beaches, we’ve come up with a list of some of the most beautiful beaches in Japan.
The Most Beautiful beaches In Japan
1. Jodogahama Beach
Located on the Rikuchu Coast, this small beach is flanked by pine forests and volcanic white rocks. The name Jodogahama translates to “Pure Land Beach,” a reference to the scenic beauty of this hidden inlet. This is a great beach for swimming, with crystal-clear blue waters and calm waves.
The beach itself is rocky and not great for digging your toes in the sand, but the beauty and quiet atmosphere of the area more than makes up for it.
The nearby Jodogahama Visitor Center is a great place to learn more about the area or to grab a map of the nearby hiking trails. For those looking for a more relaxing activity, a number of cruises depart from the beach to tour the nearby waters and islands, as well as the famous Blue Cave.
2. Okinawa Beaches
The Okinawa prefecture has a tropical climate, making it Japan’s best area for beach activities. In addition to remote beaches and great coral reefs, the area also offers the longest beach season in the country — most beaches in Okinawa open in March and don’t close until October, with many staying open year-round.
While the most famous beaches are great for snorkeling and diving, the most remote ones — especially the ones near the Kerama and Miyako islands — are a better choice if you’re after more secluded shorelines.
Of the over 100 beaches in Okinawa, Manza is one of the most famous. Part of the ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort, the beach is open to everyone and offers plenty of beach activities, including kayak and banana boat rentals, swimming, and kayaking.
3. Odaiba Beach
Odaiba is a man-made beach, 800 meters in length, located near the Decks shopping mall. While swimming is not permitted, visitors enjoy sunbathing, spectacular sunsets, and beach volleyball.
How to get there: From Shimbashi Station on the Yamanote Line, take the Yurikamome train across Rainbow Bridge. While this train is not covered by the JR Pass, the views of the city are well worth the trip.
4. Shirahama Beach
Shirahama Beach, not to be confused with the one in Chiba, is located on the mainland in the Wakayama prefecture, and is known to have hot spring resorts with beautiful beaches. It can get crowded in the summer so get ready to claim your spot early beach towels in hand!
Were you surprised by all the beautiful beaches and waters in Japan? They’re quite a few places, some hidden gems, some well known beaches, that will delight beach lovers and ocean lovers. With all of these beaches please keep in mind that accessibility may vary or be closed depending on the season, weather conditions, and simply the change of times. Please make sure to do your research to make sure the beaches are open at any given time that you wish to visit.
5. Habushiura Beach
Quality waves and pristine waters have long made the beaches of the Izu Peninsula a getaway for Tokyoites who need a break from the city life. Habushiura Beach on Niijima Island is one of the most popular choices. Its pure white-sand beaches give off Hawaiin vibes with nearby dormant volcanoes, gourmet seafood, and hot springs. Surfs up!
6. Omi Maiko Beach
Of all the beaches scattered along Lake Biwa, Japan’s biggest freshwater lake, Omi Maiko is one of the most beautiful beaches in Japan. Easily reached from Kyoto or Osaka, the pebble-covered beach feels like a postcard with the mountains towering from one side and Lake Biwa stretching into the distance on the other. The on-site barbecue pits are calling your name — just don’t forget to bring your own charcoal and fuel.
7. Enoshima (Kanagawa)
Jump on a train and head over to Enoshima, which is easily accessible from Kamakura. A bridge from the homeland connects the island, which is convenient for tourists. During a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji – it’s part of what makes Enoshima such a unique place. Besides the beautiful views, people can enjoy a shrine, an observation tower, and numerous caves.
If you choose to visit Enoshima, it is recommended you purchase the Enopass, which gives you access to many activities on the island such as the caves and observation tower. Enoshima is divided into two different sections – only one is accessible by a motorized vehicle (the yacht harbor.) The other side is accessible by foot or paid escalators – this side is the forested hill area that contains more activities.