Japan is full of beaches for just about anything you want to do. The entire country has so many spots to visit, it would be impossible to list them all. However, we’ve selected 20 of the best places to find some of Japan’s most breathtaking and stunning beaches.
Some have water sports while others offer camping, hiking, and other unusual things to do. One thing is certain, not one of these beach communities will disappoint.
Overview of 20 of Japan’s Best Spots for Beaches
- Okinawa Beaches
- Jodogahama Beach
- Beaches near Tokyo
- Kamakura Beaches
- Ogasawara Islands
- Shirahama Onsen
- Tsunoshima Island
- Amami Oshima Island
- Kujukuri Beach
- Miyako Island
- Izu Peninsula
- Tokashiki Islands
- Chirihama Beach
- Naoshima Island
- Oarai Sun Beach
- Omi Maiko Beach
- Oki Islands
- Senjojiki Beach
- Hakuto Beach
- Isso Beach
1. Okinawa Beaches
Because of the tropical climate encompassing Okinawa, there are several famous beaches. In fact, there are over 100 of them and they provide plenty of snorkeling, sailing, swimming, and diving. However, Manza and Kouri beaches are some of the more popular ones to visit.
2. Jodogahama Beach
On the Rikuchu Coast, a small beach called Jodogahama has some of the most scenic beauty that includes crystal blue water and calming waves.
Flanked by volcanic white rocks and pine forests, this is an ideal swimming and hiking spot.
Jodogahama Beach Official Website
3. Beaches near Tokyo
The closest beach near Tokyo is Zushi Beach, which offers peace and quiet amid a concrete jungle. There are beautiful cliffs with short hiking trails. Plus, there are several restaurants and cafés to enjoy a quick bite.
However, Tokyo’s official beach is Odaiba. This manmade beach sits right on Tokyo bay with golden sands and beautiful sunset views.
In summer there are volleyball and sailing competitions. It’s about ½ mile (800 meters) long and surrounded by a pier, restaurants, shopping, and cafés.
4. Kamakura Beaches
An hour down the coast from Tokyo is the Kamakura Beaches. There are two top destinations for city dwellers and tourists here: Yuigahama and Zaimokuza.
These beaches sit next to each other and offer a bonus view of Mount Fuji. Even though it can get pretty crowded in summer, it still offers beautiful views while enjoying the sunshine.
5. Ogasawara Islands
The archipelago around the Ogasawara Islands is a world heritage site due to its pristine nature and unspoiled wildlife.
There are 30 tiny islands but only two have residents. Although considered part of Tokyo, it takes a day to get there by ferry boat.
6. Shirahama Beach
As one of Japan’s most famous hot springs, Shirahama onsen area beach has soft white sands and diamond-like turquoise waters.
There are plenty of open-air baths that fills the ¼ mile (700 meters) expanse with a red torii gate on top of a rock at the very end of the beach.
7. Tsunoshima Island
Connected to mainland Japan is Tsunoshima Island via a bridge that’s just over a mile (1,780 meters) long. The panoramic views of white sand beaches and fabulous blue-green waters are truly a remarkable sight.
8. Amami Oshima Island
Between Okinawa and Kyushu rests Amani Oshima Island which houses several beaches, surrounded by vast coral reefs.
Volcanic mountains sit amid the backdrop of the landscape that provides a dark, deep lush forest that is breathtaking against the blue of the water.
Some of the more popular beaches on the island are Tomori, Kurasaki, and Yadoribama.
9. Kujukuri Beach
The Chiba Prefecture has one of Japan’s longest shorelines at Kujukuri Beach. This coastline is scant over 37¼ miles (60 kilometers) long.
It doesn’t have a reef but there are waves that come directly from the Pacific Ocean. When wind and currents are strong, sand dunes develop and get as high as 19½ feet (six meters).
10. Miyako Island
Some of Japan’s most beautiful beaches are on Miyako Island. The beaches here are open all year and have some of the best snorkeling and diving spots.
The huge coral reef has some rare and beautiful marine life too.
While there are many beaches to explore throughout the island, the two most popular are Yoshino and Maehama. Both are excellent places for water sports with deep blue colors and soft cotton-like white sands.
11. Izu Peninsula
There are several beaches on the Izu Peninsula. Atami Sun Beach along with Nagahama and Ito Orange beaches are three of the most notable. But so is Habushiura, Hirizo, Yagawa, Kumomi and Mera.
All of them offer camping, hiking, swimming, and other water sports as well as plenty of restaurants, food vendors, and small cafés.
12. Tokashiki Islands
In the archipelago of Tokashiki are 10 mountainous islands famous for being a snorkeler’s paradise. Not only is there a great diversity of marine life but there are also white sand beaches.
Sea turtles come in during high tide, which is a special treat. Tokashiku and Aharen beaches have some of the best views and water sports.
13. Chirihama Beach
On the Noto Peninsula in the Ishikawa Prefecture is Chirihama Beach. It’s not the most beautiful beach but what’s great about it is that it’s the only beach in Japan where you can drive on the sand in a private vehicle. The beach’s shallowness offers an ideal spot for swimming and clam digging.
14. Naoshima Island
For a rugged camping experience in Japan, visit Naoshima Island. On the Gotanji Bathing Beach at the southern end of the island, you can rent a Mongolian-style Yurt.
This is a circular tent built right onto the beach alongside outdoor works of art.
15. Oarai Sun Beach
Volleyball, surfing, and swimming on the Oarai Sun Beach in Ibaraki Prefecture is ideal for tourists. It’s a coastal resort that has dolphins, sea otters, an enormous marine tower, and a gorgeous seaside shrine nearby.
16. Omi Maiko Beach
To get away from the salt waters and sands of the ocean, the Omi Maiko Beach offers a freshwater experience.
Scattered along Lake Biwa, this beach is the most accessible from Osaka or Kyoto. There are on-site barbecue pits and beautiful mountain views.
17. Oki Islands
In the Shimane Prefecture, there are 100 islands that make up the Oki Island archipelago. Only four of these have inhabitants.
But the opportunities for kayaking, diving, swimming, and snorkeling are near-endless.
18. Senjojiki Beach
Senjojiki Beach in the Aomori Prefecture is very different than most others in Japan. A 200-year-old earthquake shaped the rugged bedrock that comprises the beach.
The waters cover tidal pools, moss, and large rock formations. By all accounts, it’s one of the top 100 places to view the famous Japanese sunset.
19. Hakuto Beach
It’s an amazing and indescribable experience you have to see to believe. The whole coastline of the prefecture dots with beaches, but Hakuto is one of the most impressive.
20. Isso Beach
Misty and dense forests along with sparkling beaches are the crowing feature of Kagoshima Prefecture.
This is particularly true of Isso Beach, which offers relaxing opportunities for swimming and sunbathing. It’s a great resting spot after taking a strenuous hike through the area’s thick forests.