When you think of a beach destination, Japan might not be the first location to come to mind.
In fact, you will probably think of Hawaii, Seychelles, or the Caribbean, depending on your current location.
Nonetheless, you will be pleasantly surprised by how gorgeous the beaches really are in Japan.
The nation has plenty of beaches scattered around, all accessible from major cities.
From turquoise waters and white sand beaches located on the islands of Okinawa to soothing views and fun-filled beaches in Kanagawa.
Japan is a clean place and would like visitors to respect their ethos; littering is not acceptable (especially on their picturesque beaches).
Manners go a long way, and tipping in Japan is considered rude – they believe you should not be applauded for doing your job correctly.
For Westerners, Japan is quite different in terms of culture, but what’s the point of traveling to a place that’s similar to home? Let’s take a look at the 15 best beaches in Japan.
1. Yuigahama (Kanagawa)
Only 15 minutes on foot from Kamakura Station, you will reach this fun local beach that is the best spot for swimming, beach games, and enjoying the colorful sunsets.
The area that surrounds the beach is historical and very cultural.
Why not hit a wave or take bodyboarding lessons offered on the beach? The waves are gentle and the water is shallow, perfect for beginners learning how to surf.
During the summer months, there are many festivities that go on at Yuigahama Beach.
Fireworks and open-air markets are some of the fun attractions that draw visitors to this spot.
2. 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.
3. Oarai Beach (Ibaraki)
Oarai Beach is one of the biggest and more popular beaches in the Kanto area, known for its deep, wide coastline.
The coastline stretches from the Oarai fishing port to the bluffs located on the edge of town.
The white sand is great for jogging along the beach and the waves are perfect for swimming and water activities.
Bathrooms and showers are available for rinsing off, and there is a beach restaurant to enjoy some local Japanese cuisine.
There are vendors set up in the parking lots next to the beach, in case you forgot anything or would like to purchase a gift.
4. Onjuku Beach (Chiba)
Located two hours away from Tokyo, jump off at Onjuku Station and you are a short walk to the beach.
You will run into people who are renting lockers, towels, umbrellas, and chairs for your convenience in the center of the beach.
There are plenty of options for food and drinks available.
Chiba is known for surfing since it borders the Pacific Ocean.
If you are interested in surfing, the perfect time to visit this beach is when the waves are surging in from the south with the wind behind them.
This creates warmer water and better waves for those looking to learn.
5. Kujukuri Beach (Chiba)
Situated in the Boso Peninsula of Chiba, Kujukuri Beach stretches for 66-kilometers.
This is the second-longest beach in Japan and was rated as one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the country.
If water activities are your thing, you can choose from jet skiing, wakeboarding, surfing, and windsurfing.
The waves are consistent throughout the year.
One thing that sets Kujukuri Beach apart from the other beaches in Japan is that you can visit a herb garden with over 200 different herbs and partake in a salt-making class; something you won’t experience anywhere else you go.
6. Kira Waikiki Beach (Aichi)
Do you recognize the word Waikiki? If you don’t, Waikiki is a famous beach in Hawaii; Kira Waikiki Beach recognizes that with their yearly Hawaiian festival.
If you are in Japan and would like to experience a bit of Hawaii without the long-haul trip, plan to be at this beach festival – you will experience everything about Hawaii including hula and fire dances.
This beach is free of charge and can be accessed from Kirayoshida Station.
The area of Aichi includes two golf courses, castle ruins, a museum, camping, hot springs and other facilities.
Don’t rush your visit to this gorgeous location because there are plenty of things to see and do.
7. Wakasa Wada Beach (Fukui)
The locals tend to call this beach “the Mount Fuji of Wakasa” because you have a clear view of Mount Aoba.
This beach is one of the most admired beaches for swimming in the Wakasa district.
It is known for the clear sea, shallow water, and the beautiful surroundings.
Free to access every day of the year, this beach is one of the two ‘Blue Flag’ beaches in Japan.
Many people enjoy paddle boarding and fishing on the calm waters.
Take time to explore Meikyodo Cave, which is a key attraction at Wakasa.
8. Kotohiki Beach (Kansai)
Kotohiki Beach is known as a hidden paradise in northern Kansai.
It is not overcrowded with tourists because the locals try to keep this beach a secret.
Walking along the beach, you’ll be in awe of the stunning views and towering cliffs.
If you walk down the beach far enough, you will be greeted by the outdoor ‘rotenburo’ – hot springs.
This is a great place to check out later in the day, when the temperatures drop and you can enjoy the sun setting behind the mountains.
9. Bayside Beach Saka (Hiroshima)
Beach Saka is close to Hiroshima and is a great destination to go to enjoy calm waters and a wide beach area.
Bayside Beach Saka tends to get busy with tourists in the summer but is most popular around sunset.
You can walk from one side of the beach to the other in 30 minutes.
Swimming is only possible during July and August but you can enjoy fishing throughout the year.
The beach is accessible from 9: 00 am – 19: 00 pm and is free.
If you’re after a full beach day, come in the early morning to spot the offshore islands and make sure not to miss the spectacular sunset.
10. Shichirigahama (Kamakura)
Located in the Kamakura region, Shichirigahama Beach – rather difficult to pronounce -is accessible by bicycle from the center of Kamakura.
You can see Mount Fuji from this beach and it’s a good spot to enjoy the sunset.
Although the water can be rough, you can still swim – but take care.
You can hike along the beach and up the cliffs for better views; many people come to Shichirigahama Beach for engagement and wedding photos – make sure you bring your camera to capture the views.
11. Moriya Beach (Chiba)
If you haven’t caught on by now, many of the beaches in Japan are known for their sunset views – including Moriya Beach.
This beach is popular because of the pink sand and all-around gorgeous views.
Many people set up tents for shade and bring packed lunches.
A picnic here guarantees you one of the best lunch views in Japan.
The water is great for swimming and water sports.
Tatadohama is a place you need to see for yourself to really appreciate the beauty.
This beach is 2.5 hours from Tokyo, so it’s best to enjoy the area for a few days.
Shimoda City has plenty of attractions and it’s a great place to learn to surf.
During the evenings, the reflection from the moonlight illuminates the waves and it’s a must see.
The water is so clear you can see the bottom, even when the water is five meters deep.
13. Irino Beach
Irino Beach is one of the best surfing spots in Japan.
The waves are large all through the year.
The beach is four kilometers long with blue skies year-round and pine woods surrounding it.
Each year, turtles come to Irino Beach to lay their eggs – it’s an incredible sight to see – 5,000 turtles making their way up the sand makes for incredible pictures and memories.
The city of Kochi is two hours away and the closest station is Tosa-irino.
It’s well worth the commute.
14. Sesoko Beach
This beach is picture-perfect; white sand is no understatement for Sesoko Beach, as well as crystal clear water.
It is accessible by car, as you can travel between the islands by crossing the bridge.
Since the water is so clear, you can enjoy snorkeling close to the shore.
While you are visiting Sesoko Beach, try parasailing, diving, banana boating and jet skiing.
With such activities and views from this little slice of paradise, you’ll never want to leave.
15. Sunayama Beach
Island life is the best life, especially on Miyakojima Island in Okinawa.
Okinawa is the most southern prefecture of Japan.
People come to this area for the food, the beach, of course, and the aquariums.
Sunayama Beach is only five kilometers from Miyako Airport.
The earlier you arrive at the beach, the better your pictures will be.
This is because the sun is on the opposite side of the ocean, so your pictures will capture the vibrant turquoise hues of the water.
This beach is famous for the arch that was formed from coral and molded by the waves.