With the bustling streets, neon-lit skylines, and serene places of worship that Japan has to offer, it is not that surprising when people forget about the wonderful beaches that can be found in this country. A nation renowned for its natural beauty, you will find a good variety of locations, from white sand beaches and clear blue water to stunning rock formations that compliment gracefully with the golden sunset. Here is a list compiled of these varying beaches, so whether you enjoy a relaxing day in the sun or looking for that perfect picturesque view of the sun being swallowed by the ocean, hopefully you will find something for your taste.
Quaintly located in Tokyo Bay, yes you read that right. For those of you who are visiting Tokyo will be happy to know that you can catch some rays and feel the sand on your skin, albeit it being an artificial beach, right in the capital city of Tokyo! Although unfortunately, you are not allowed to swim in the water, it is an excellent spot to spend some downtime and take in the gorgeous views. During the hot summer days, you will see people flock here playing in the sand, and other activities such as beach volleyball or frisbee. Possibly the highlight of this 800 metre stretch of sand, is being able to see the city skyline, along with the mammoth Rainbow Bridge that connects the two islands together. Ideal for visiting when both the skyline and bridge are illuminated in lights, and the ocean glitters from the sinking sun, the vibrant orange sky will blend this masterpiece of a sight together beautifully.
A list of the best beach destinations in Japan would not be complete without at least one entry on the tropical island of Okinawa. Okinawa itself is already a picture perfect definition of a tropical paradise with crystal clear waters and lush palm trees, so honestly it comes down to preference and any beach on this island will be incredible. One of these is Zanpa beach that is unsurprisingly popular by both locals and tourists. The downside to the paradise island of Okinawa is that many of the beaches are either privately owned by hotels requiring you to be staying there to access, or there is a fee to enter. Zanpa beach on the other hand is completely free, so you will not have to worry about that. The usual beach activities such as playing in the sand and taking a dip in the ocean are possible, but there are also barbeques available to rent. Even though you are unfortunately unable to bring your own food, it is a get way to spend your evening eating some amazing foods and hanging out with friends and family.
This beach is something quite unique and spectacular. It is not exactly the type of beach that comes to mind when want to go and relax like you would in Okinawa, but something to the extent of viewing a scene painted onto a canvas. Right beside the city of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture, the gemstones of this beach are the jagged, white, volcanic rock formations that are topped by a rich pine forest. It gives off hints of a world straight from a science fiction movie, and thoughts of the different kind of people and creatures that could be found within the pines start popping up immediately. The clear waters and lack of crowds make it a great spot to go for a quick swim, but if you prefer not to get yourself wet, the walking trails along the coastline allow for you to take a tranquil stroll and clear your mind. You may sometimes see some people departing into the ocean by a paddle boat in the busier seasons which you can also do.
Similar to Okinawa where pretty much every beach is a perfect spot to spend your hot summer days, the Izu Peninsula is a very popular summer vacation spot for beaches found along the coastline, west of Tokyo. The most popular probably being Atami Sun Beach as it is right outside of the local train station in the city of Atami, however if you make your way down south a bit more you will arrive at Nagahama Beach which has the same beauty and charm as the more popular beaches, but with the slight benefit of less people. The somewhat peculiar aspect of this beach is that it sits right beside a lawn of grass, which many people also relax on when soaking in the warmth of the sun. For people that prefer to avoid the pesky sand from getting all over their clothes or want to avoid being surrounded by other beach-goers, there is an information centre a bit inland that provides a little foot bath where you can rest in the shade while watching the ocean sparkle and feeling the breeze on your skin.