Add These Beautiful Beaches in Japan to Your Itinerary
From stunning ocean views to pristine white sands to calm, clear waves, Japan has some of the world's top beach destinations. See the best beaches in Japan.
Love exploring beaches? Read our guide to the best beaches in every region in Japan.
The best beaches in the Hokkaido region
As the northernmost region in Japan, Hokkaido is famous for its rugged outdoors, fine powdery snow, and delicious food. For travelers asking, “Are there beaches in Japan’s northern regions?” the answer is yes. Hokkaido has beautiful beaches that are unique from other beaches in Japan.
Shimamui Beach (島武意海岸) — boasting of rugged cliffs and a rocky coastline
Shimamui Beach, located in Bikuni, is a must-visit when in Hokkaido. Rugged cliffs and rocky coastlines are the main attraction, allowing visitors a glimpse of Japan’s stunning beauty — and beyond it, the Sea of Japan. The water comes in various shades of blue, inviting tourists to explore its depths by swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba diving.
How to get to Shimamui Beach: Fly to New Chitose Airport. Take a Rapid Airport transfer to Otaru Station. Walk to the Otaru Eki Mae bus station and ride the 21 Shakotan Sen bus line to Shimamui Kaigan Iriguchi. Walk for 10–15 minutes to reach the beach.
Tokoro Jonan Beach (常南ビーチ海水浴場) — snow-covered winter spectacle
During the summer, Tokoro Beach is a popular destination for swimming and sunbathing. What makes it different from other beaches, however, is how snow covers the beach during the colder months. Visitors can stroll along the snow-draped shoreline and experience winter activities like skiing and snowboarding.
How to get to Tokoro Jonan Beach: Fly to Memanbetsu Airport. Take the Memanbetsu Airport Line to Harowaku-mae. Switch to the Tokoro Line and get off at Tokoro Shokohkaikan. Walk to the beach.
The best beaches in the Tohoku region
Majestic ocean views, serene lakes, and roaring waterfalls are among the top attractions in Tohoku. While the area is particularly stunning in the spring and fall, Tohoku has several beaches you mustn't miss during the summer.
Jodogahama Beach (浄土ヶ浜) — a little paradise outside the city center
Also called "Pure Land Beach," Jodogahama is one of the most famous places for beautiful scenic spots because of its clear, calm waters in contrast with its white, pebbled shoreline. Lying outside central Miyako City, this popular tourist spot is a part of the Sanriku Recovery National Park along the Sanriku Coast.
How to get to Jodogahama Beach: Fly to Iwate Hanamaki Airport. Take the Hanamaki-Airport Limousine Bus to Morioka Station. Get on the 106 Tokkyu Bus to Jodogahama Park Hotel Mae station. Walk for about 10 minutes to get to the beach.
Tanesashi Coast (種差海岸) — natural grass on the water’s edge
Tanesashi Coast is part of the Sanriku Fukko National Park. Its proximity to the city center makes it accessible to visitors who want to surf, swim, or walk along the coast of Japan. Along the coastline, you may find some parts where natural grass grows along the water’s edge. In other parts, you can walk on the nakisuna (singing sand), which makes a sound when stepped on. Nearby, you’ll find a vast plain where you can see various flora and fauna.
How to get to Tanesashi Coast: Fly to Misawa Airport. Take the Misawa-Airport Limousine Bus and get off at Hon-Hachinohe Station. Ride the Hachinohe Line to Okuki Station. The beach is a 6-minute walk from the station.
The best beaches in the Kanto region
The Kanto region is home to big cities like Tokyo and Yokohama. Also, Hakone is a popular weekend destination famous for its onsen (hot springs) and ryokan (traditional inns). You’ll also find several sandy beaches that are the go-to destination for those who want a quick getaway.
Yuigahama Beach (由比ヶ浜海岸) — surfing beach with calm waves
Yuigahama Beach has always seen large crowds during the swimming season, even during the Meiji period. It is a famous beach where the children can swim safely, as the water is shallow and the waves are relatively calm. Recently, it has become a popular destination for surfers.
How to get to Yuigahama Beach: Take the Skyliner to Keisei Ueno Station from Narita International Airport. Walk to Ueno Station and ride the Ueno-Tokyo Line until Totsuka Station. Transfer to the Yokosuka Line and get off at Kamakura Station. Ride the Enoden Line until the Wadazuka Station. Walk about four minutes to get to Yuigahama Beach.
Zaimokuza Beach (材木座海水浴場) — a favorite spot near Tokyo for locals and visitors
With its long, shallow shore and gentle waves, Zaimokuza is a favorite beach spot among locals and tourists. Its proximity to Tokyo makes it easy to visit, and it has the longest shoreline among the three swimming beaches in Kamakura City. Rent a beach house and life vests, and spend an entire day swimming and relaxing to your heart's content.
How to get to Zaimokuza Beach: Take the Skyliner to Keisei Ueno Station from Narita International Airport. Walk to Ueno Station and ride the Ueno-Tokyo Line until Totsuka Station. Transfer to the Yokosuka Line and get off at Kamakura Station. Walk to the Kamakura Eki bus stop and ride until Zaimokuza. The beach is a four-minute walk from the bus station.
Oarai Sun Beach (大洗サンビーチ海水浴場) — the family-friendly beach of Ibaraki Prefecture
Oarai Sun Beach is one of Ibaraki’s most famous destinations, especially during the summer when it attracts thousands of visitors daily. Popular because of its clear, sparkling sands and shallow waters, it is the perfect getaway for families. Surfers and swimmers test the gentle waves every summer. Other attractions include beach volleyball, surfing contests, and other fun-filled marine activities.
How to get to Oarai Sun Beach: Take the Skyliner to Nippori Station from Narita International Airport. Hop on the Yamanote Line until Ueno Station. Ride the JR Hitachi and Tokiwa Express until Mito Station. Switch to the Kashimarinkai Tetsudo Oara-Kashima Line and get off at Oarai Station. Walk for about 20 minutes to get to the beach.
The best beaches in the Chubu region
When you visit the Chubu region, you’ll find many mountainous areas. It is the home of Mt. Fuji, Japan’s tallest mountain, and Hida and Kisa, other high mountain ranches. Chubu also has some of the best beaches.
Shirahama Beach (白浜) — a popular beach in summer
Known for good surfing conditions and peaceful waters, Shirahama Beach is one of the most popular attractions in the area. People come to sunbathe, surf, and swim, making it one of the most crowded beaches, especially during the swimming season. It is also famous for spectacular sunsets, sparkling turquoise waters, and white sands.
How to get to Shirahama Beach: Take the Narita Express to Shinagawa Station from Narita International Airport. Ride the Tokaido-Sanyo bullet train to Atami Station and switch to JJR Odoriko limited express train. Get off at Izukyu Shimoda and ride the Itado Isshiki Bus until the Shirahama Beach bus stop.
Sotoura Beach (外浦ビーチ) — a quiet, less crowded beach
Clear waters and a bright sun await your adventure in Sotoura Beach, a quiet beach spot in the Shizuoka Prefecture. Its closeness to Tokyo makes it a popular weekend getaway for people looking to spend a few days basking in the sun and sand. While it is the perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and sunbathing, Sotoura Beach is less populated, unlike neighboring beaches, Shirahama and Shirahama Ohama.
How to get to Sotoura Beach: Take the Narita Express to Shinagawa Station from Narita International Airport. Ride the Tokaido-Sanyo bullet train to Atami Station and switch to JJR Odoriko limited express train. Get off at Izukyu Shimoda and ride the Itado Isshiki Bus until Waipoku. Walk to the beach.
The best beaches in the Kansai region
Kansai, Japan’s cultural and religious capital, is filled with zen gardens, ancient castles, and other historical sites. It is also home to several beaches with stunning views.
Shirarahama Beach (白良浜) — popular for soft, white sand and clear blue waters
Shirarahama Beach (not to be confused with Shirahama Beach in Shizuoka Prefecture) is a white sand resort dubbed the “sister beach” of Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. Known as one of the top beach resort areas in the Kansai region, Shirarahama has a long stretch of white sandy shores and beautiful blue waves. Nearby are other attractions, such as Senjojiki, a tiered rock formation, a leisure park, and several hot springs resorts.
How to get to Shirarahama Beach: Take the Kansaikuko Line to Shirahama Station from Kansai International Airport. Switch to the 12 Shirahama Tanabe Line and get off at Shirarahama Beach.
Keino Matsubara Beach (慶野松原) — see beautiful sunsets from a pine forest
Located in Minamiawaji City, Keino Matsubara has a quiet scenic charm that attracts visitors from different places. Spread out in front of the beach are thousands of black pines. You can come for a swim during the day, but be sure to stay until evening as the sunset across the Harima Sea is truly spectacular and one of the best sunsets in Japan.
How to get to Keino Matsubara Beach: Take the Haruka Express to Osaka Station from Kansai International Airport. Hop on the Tokaido-Sanyo Line to Sannomiya Station. Make your way to the bus terminal and get on the Kobe - Minamiawaji bus to Riku no Minato Seidan. Switch to the Torikai bus and ride until Keino Matsubara.
The best beaches in the Chugoku region
While famous for its history and floating shrine, Chugoku has plenty to see and do. You can visit idyllic seaside towns and go island-hopping on the Seto Inland Sea. Some of its beaches are particularly stunning and a must-visit when you’re in the region.
Kikugahama Beach (菊ケ浜海水浴場)— spectacular sunset views
Kikugahama Beach, located in the Kita-Nagato Kaigan Quasi-National Park, has peaceful views of the Sizuki mountains and other islands that dot the ocean. Chosen as one of the best swimming beaches, it is a popular summer destination for those who want to swim or watch the sunset.
How to get to Kikugahama Beach: Fly to Hiroshima Airport. From there, take the Hiroshima Airport Limousine Bus to Hiroshima Station. Hop on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen and ride to Shin-Yamaguchi Station. Get on the Higashihagi bus until Hagi Meirin Center. Walk for about 20 minutes to get to the beach.
Kuroshima Venus Road (黒島ヴィーナスロード) — one of the most romantic Japanese beaches
Kuroshima Venus Road is more of a sandbar than a beach. During the low tide, it connects Kuroshima Island, Nakanoko Island, and Hashinokojima Island on the Seto Inland Sea. When the water goes down, you can trek from one island to another. Keep a lookout for heart-shaped stones as you stroll along the sandy path.
How to get to Kuroshima Venus Road: From Okayama Momotaro Airport, take the Okayama Airport Limousine Bus to Okayama Station. Ride the Ako Line and get off at Saidaiji Station. Get on the Ushimado Bus until Olive-en Iriguchi. Walk to Hotel Limani, where you can get on a boat or sightseeing ship to Kuroshima Venus Road and its three islands.
The best beaches in the Shikoku region
While Shikoku is most famous for the 88 Temple Pilgrimage, you will also find many beautiful nature spots around the area, including valleys, streams, and beaches.
Katsurahama Beach (桂浜) — known for its scenic beauty and cultural significance
Just 30 minutes south of central Kochi is Katsurahama lies a beach with beautiful scenic views. Because of the strong currents, swimming isn’t allowed, but there are many things to do. Nearby is a statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, one of the architects of modern Japan who helped end Japan’s feudal age in 1868. Also near the beach is the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum and other pleasant walking paths, tourist spots, and local restaurants that serve delicious food.
How to get to Katsurahama Beach: From Matsuyama Airport, ride the Matsuyama Airport Line to Kochi Eki Bus Terminal. Switch to the Katsurahama Line and get off at Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum. Walk for about five minutes to get to the beach.
Chichibugahama Beach (父母ヶ浜) — stunning beach renowned for its unique sandbar and picturesque scenery
Stretching over one kilometer long, Chichibugahama Beach recently became famous for having a sandbar where tourists can take mirror photos. Many visitors come to catch the sunset reflecting on the low-tide pools that form in the sand where no wind disturbs the water's surface.
How to get to Chichibugahama Beach: From Matsuyama Airport, ride the Matsuyama Airport Line to Matsuyama Station. Switch to the Yosan Line-Limited Express and ride until Kan-Onji Station. Transfer to the Yosan Line until Takuma Station. Walk to the Takuma Eki Bus stop and ride 11. Nio Line until Tenno. Walk for about three minutes to Chichibugahama Beach.
The best beaches in the Kyushu region
Famous for pristine beaches, diving spots, and beautiful nature scenes, Okinawa has been dubbed the “Hawaii of Japan.” It comprises over 160 islands, some covered with thick trees, flowing rivers, and majestic waterfalls. Okinawa also has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Yurigahama Beach (百合ヶ浜) — featuring a stunning sandbar that appears and disappears with the tide
Yurigahama Beach, situated off the coast of Yoron Island, has a unique phenomenon known as the mysterious yet magical “beach within a beach.” When the tide is low, a large, sandy oasis appears where visitors can swim and snorkel. Made of tiny corals and surrounded by clear waters, it has earned its nickname, “Phantasmal Beach.”
How to get to Yurigahama Beach: Fly to Yoron Island. You can take a taxi to the beach or drive a rented car from the airport.
Nishihama Beach (ニシ浜ビーチ) — pristine white sand and turquoise waters
Located in the northwest part of Hateruma Island, the southernmost inhabited island in the Okinawa chain, Nishihama’s blue waters have earned themselves the name “Hateruma Blue.” Close to the white, sandy shore, the waves are a beautiful turquoise shade but gradually get darker as they extend toward the ocean. Said to be the most beautiful beach in Okinawa, it has a white sandy shore that stretches endlessly, and its waters are the perfect place to swim, snorkel in, or gather seashells.
How to get to Nishihama Beach: Fly to Ishigaki Airport on Ishigaki Island. Take the Ishigaki Airport Limousine Bus to Ishigaki Port. From there, you can get a high-speed ferry to Hateruma Island. The beach is a few minutes walk away from the port.
Miyako Island (宮古島) — home to several breathtaking beaches, including Yoshino, Sunayama, Maehama
If you travel some 300 kilometers south of Okinawa Main Island, you may find yourself on Miyako Island, the fourth largest island of Okinawa Prefecture. Miyako’s most famous attraction is its picturesque beaches which provide a fascinating destination for relaxing, swimming, and snorkeling.
Maehama, one of its beaches, is famous for its beautiful sunsets and water sports activities. Yoshino Beach is known for swarms of colorful fish when you go swimming. Sunayama Beach has clear white sand and fascinating rock formations.
How to get to Miyako Island: Fly from Tokyo to Miyako Airport. From there, you’ll be able to find buses that take you to the different beaches.
Ishigaki Island (石垣島) — home to picturesque beaches like Kabira Bay and Yonehara Beach
Home to Okinawa Prefecture’s highest mountain, Ishigaki Island is a scenic island filled with jungle-like scenery and hiking trails. It also has several beautiful sandy and rocky beaches, snorkeling areas, and diving spots.
With emerald blue waters, Kabira Bay is known as Ishigaki’s most scenic view. While you can't swim, snorkel or dive, you can ride on a glass-bottom boat to catch a glimpse of the underwater world. Yonehara Beach is covered with white corals, and its reef is a beautiful place to go snorkeling and diving.
How to get to Ishigaki Island: Fly to Ishigaki Airport. From there, you’ll be able to find bus transfers to Kabira Bay and Yonehara Beach. They are a few minutes walk from each other.
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