9 Top Rated Japanese Beaches You Must Visit

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Made up of almost 7,000 islands, Japan is an archipelagic nation blessed with several beautiful white sand beaches that are perfect destinations for hot and humid summers. If you are planning a trip to this amazing country in the summer season, make sure to check out the following top rated Japanese beaches:

Yonehara Beach

Known for its thriving coral reef system, Yonehara Beach is a gorgeous beach in Ishigaki, the second largest island in the Yaeyama group of islands in Okinawa Prefecture. It is the perfect destination to visit if you want to go snorkelling and see thousands of tropical fish in their natural habitat. It also has a camp site next to it, where visitors can stay for an extended vacation.

The beach is a 50-minute bus ride from Ishigaki Airport.

Nishihama Beach

With clear blue waters and fine white sand, Nishihama Beach in Okinawa is called by many as the most beautiful beach in the region. It is found on an island called Hateruma, which is the southernmost island in the Okinawa group of islands that is inhabited. Its coastline appears to extend endlessly, with great views of the incredible waters and vast horizon. It offers numerous opportunities for swimming, diving, snorkelling, and other activities.

To get to Hateruma Island, you can fly or take the ferry from Ishigaki.

Katsurahama Beach

Situated in Kochi, the capital city of Shikoku Prefecture, Katsurahama Beach is an attractive beach with a wide array of fun and exciting outdoor adventures to offer. Even though swimming is prohibited due to the strong currents, visitors can explore the other sightseeing spots there, such as a small aquarium, several walking paths, and a number of historical and cultural landmarks that include a shrine, and a statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, a key Japanese figure in the efforts to end the Tokugawa shogunate.

From JR Kochi Station, the beach is about 35 minutes away by bus.

Shirahama Beach

Shirahama Beach (literal translation: “white beach”), is a white sand beach in the town of Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture. Known for its crescent shape, it became popular among tourists after a railway system linking it to Osaka was built in the 1960s.  Since then, it has seen many hotels and business establishments getting constructed along the roads by its coast, and has welcomed an increasing number of visitors not only from Osaka but also from nearby areas who are looking for a quick getaway on weekends and holidays. Moreover, it is found between the sacred Mount Koya and the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, and next to the oldest onsen in Japan, the Saki no yu Onsen.

From Shirahama Station, the beach is about 10 minutes away by taxi or rental car.

Yumigahama Beach

Spanning a kilometre of white sand and scenic coastline, Yumigahama Beach is an amazing beach in Izu Peninsula.  It offers a quiet and serene place to relax and chill, with a number of cottages for guests who want to stay one or more nights, and facilities for boogie board rentals, barbecue and grilling, and others. Because it is more of a sheltered bay, its waves are not big and dangerous. It is suited for travelling families with young children who are keen to try surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and other water activities.

From Izukyu-Shimoda Station, the beach is a short bus ride away.

Chirahama Beach

Popular for the Chirihama Beach Drive, Noto Peninsula’s Chirihama Beach is a breathtaking destination that gives visitors a unique way of exploring the beach — by driving along the shoreline. Aboard a private vehicle, you can enjoy an eight-kilometre-long ride right along where the waters of Sea of Japan meet land, free of charge. After the ride, make sure to check out the food stalls at one end of the beach that offer grilled turban shells, grilled clams, and other local specialties.

It is easily accessible by rental car via the Noto Satoyama Kaido expressway.

Shonan Beach

Situated not too far from Tokyo, Shonan Beach in Enoshima is known for its gray, volcanic sand, and strong, big waves. Every summer, it is alive and bustling, with crowds and crowds of people from Tokyo and other places having fun swimming, sunbathing, playing beach volleyball, and surfing. It also has a wide selection of beach cafes and bars that serve the locals’ favourite summer beverages and menus.

From Shinjuku Station, take the Odakyu Line to Fujisawa Station, and then transfer to the Enoshima Line to Katase-Enoshima Station. Walk about 10 minutes to get to the beach.

Miho Beach

To enjoy fantastic views of Mount Fuji and an awesome beach vacation at the same time, put Miho Beach at the top of your must-visit Japanese beaches. Located along Shizuoka’s eastern coast and extending into Suruga Bay, it is a three-kilometre long haven of pine-tree lined shore, with mesmerizing views of the blue waters and horizons, as well as the majestic Mount Fuji on clear days.  Unlike the other famous beaches in the country, it is made up of small stones instead of sand. It also provides opportunities for yachting, fishing, board sailing, cycling, and walking.

To get there, get on a Shizutetsu bus at JR Shimizu Station and get off at the Sekaiissan-Miho-no Matsubara Kaminomichi Iriguchi stop.

Jodogahama Beach

Found on the outskirts of Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture, Jodogahama Beach (literal translation: “pure land beach”) is a lovely beach blessed with white sand, pristine waters, and picturesque landscapes. Every summer, it welcomes hordes of tourists that want to relax, swim, and sunbathe, as well as partake in some exciting outdoor adventures like cave cruises, boat sightseeing tours, hiking, and spelunking. The Blue Cave Cruise lets visitors see the rocky and rugged formations up close, and the Miyako Jodogahama Boat Cruise treats passengers to a journey along the Sanriku coastline, passing by a number of extraordinary rock formations, like the Candle Rock.

At Miyako Station, there are hourly buses that depart for Jodogahama Visitor Center, which is located about 15 minutes away on foot from the beach.

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