The beaches in Japan won’t lose to the popular beaches around the world. When summer arrives, people from all over the country head towards the famous white sand beaches in Okinawa to enjoy a delightful swim in the sea. For many people, it is a rare occasion to relax and take a breather from their daily routine.
Of course, the beaches that I’m talking about is not limited to Okinawa. Whether you like to swim, snorkel, dive, and surf, going to the beach are always a good thing. You can also taste the local specialties like grilled seafood or visit the local bars near the beach. So take a break and leave your weekends free to visit the 10 best beaches in Japan for summer vacation.
1. Maehama Beach of Miyako Island (Okinawa)
Maehama Beach, also known as Yonaha Maehama Beach, in Okinawa is home to powdery white sand and crystal blue waters. It also gives you a great view of the Kurima Bridge and an excellent place for swimming, diving, snorkeling and other kinds of water sports. The seven-kilometers stretch of beach is one of Japan’s most beautiful beaches and is found in the top 10 overall rankings. So if you’re planning to fly over to Okinawa, make sure to add this beach in your itinerary.
Address: Yonaha-1199-1 Shimoji, Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture 906-0000
2. Kitahama (Nishihama) Beach in Hateruma Island (Okinawa)
Kitahama (Nishihama) Beach is found in the southern most tip of Japan in the island of Hateruma in Okinawa. Being this far out in the south, the water of the beach is crystal clear, and it makes you feel that the trip was worth it. At night, the sky is littered with stars, and it is a wonderful sight to behold.
Address: Aka, Zamami, Shimajiri District, Okinawa Prefecture 901-3311
3. Shirahama Beach (Wakayama)
Shirahama Beach is found on the south-coast of Wakayama Prefecture. An interesting tidbit about Shirahama Beach is that the white sand is imported from Australia. During July and August fireworks are often seen during the night to celebrate the arrival of summer. It may seem odd, but there is an outdoor hot spring near the beach, that is quite popular even though it’s summer. If you’re interested, feel free to give it a try!
Address: Shirahama, Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture 649-2211
4. Jodogahama Beach (Iwate)
Jodogahama Beach is a scenic beach found in Iwate Prefecture. Just outside Miyako City, the beach is known for its jagged rocky islands that add to its natural beauty. It is also called as the “Pure Land Beach” due to the monk Reikyo comparing it to the Pure land or Paradise thus it was called “Jodogahama”. To be a bit adventurous, you might want to check out the small pools near the rocks. If you’re lucky, you might find crabs and other small animals that are stranded in the small crevices of the jagged islands. You might also want to try the “Blue Cave Cruise” and the “Miyako Jodogahama Boat Cruise” for a more memorable experience.
Address: 32 Hitachihama-cho, Miyako Iwate 027-0001
5. Izu Shirahama Beach (Shizuoka)
Izu Shirahama Beach is a popular beach especially for people who love surfing. The beach is one of Izu’s main attractions, and it can get crowded during the weekends. You can also see the Shirahama Jinja (a Shinto Shrine that overlooks the beach) from the beach. Visiting the various shops that line up the main road may bring out an unexpected surprise for those who are looking for souvenirs to bring back home.
Address: Shirahama, Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture 415-0012, Japan
Website: http://www.izu-shirahama.jp (Japanese Only)
6. Kurasaki Beach in Amami Oshima (Kagoshima)
The transparent and clear waters of Kurasaki Beach in Kagoshima are truly a sight to behold. The shallow sea-coast water is ideal for snorkeling and diving. It’s a paradise for tropical fishes, and you will be dazzled by their colors as you explore the coral reefs. As you walk along the beach, the soothing sound of the waves helps you to relax while enjoying the view to your heart’s content.
Address: 885-4 Ashitoku, Tatsugo, Oshima, Kagoshima
7. Ookaneku Beach and Yurigahama Beach
Yurigahama Beach is often called a “beach within a beach”. This is due to the “sandbar beach” that appears during low tide. A beach that appears during the whims of the tides, makes it mysterious and romantic at the same time. The most popular souvenir in Yurigahama beach is the “star-shaped sand” (shells left by microscopic organisms).
Address: 1990-3 Furusato, Yoron-chō, Ōshima-gun, Kagoshima-ken 891-9307
8. Jinny Beach in Ogasawara Island (Tokyo)
Jinny Beach on Ogasawara Island is only accessible by boat. To others, Jinny beach might seem like a small private beach due to its in accessibility. The white sand beach and crystal blue waters is an amazing sight. Make sure not to stray too far from the beach because the area is known to have strong and swift currents.
Address: Ogasawara, Tokyo
9. Hatenohama Beach in Kumejima Island (Okinawa)
Hatenohama Beach in Kumejima is a seven-kilometer-long stretch of land off the coast of Ou-Jima. The island is uninhabited and is considered as the most beautiful “uninhabited sandy beach” in Okinawa. The emerald green water will dazzle your eyes and blow your worries away. A perfect escape from the busy life of the city.
Address: Kumejima-cho, Shimajiri-gun 901-3100, Okinawa Prefecture
10. Shiokaze Cobalt Blue Beach (Yamaguchi)
Shiokaze Cobalt Blue Beach as the name suggests is a beautiful beach with cobalt blue waters. A good place to swim and relax for the rest of the day. It is very popular with the locals, and you can be sure to find it bustling during the weekends. The Shiokaze no Sato has facilities like restaurants, gift shops, toilets, rental shops, and others that you might find interesting.
Address: 853-4 Tsunoshima, Hohokucho Oaza, Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Data is as of 2018
Thumbnail is from Flickr