When you think of Japan, you might imagine bustling cities, ancient temples and delicious sushi. Were you aware that Japan boasts some of the most stunning beaches globally?
Japan’s beaches are known for their unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance and recreational opportunities. Japan’s beaches have something for every traveller, from the tropical paradise of Okinawa to the rugged coastline of Tohoku.
In this article, we take you on a virtual tour of 7 stunning beaches in Japan that you need to visit. Whether you want to soak in the sun, snorkel or just relax in a picturesque setting, these beaches will take your breath away. So pack up your sunscreen and get ready to discover a side of Japan you never knew existed.
Stunning Beaches in Japan You Need to Visit
Japan’s beaches offer a unique blend of natural beauty, culture, and adventure, from crystal-clear waters to powdery white sand. So, let’s discover some of the most beautiful beaches in Japan.
Yonaha Maehama Beach, Miyako Island
Yonaha Maehama Beach is a true gem among Japan’s beaches located on Miyako Island in Okinawa. With crystal-clear turquoise waters and powdery white sand stretching over seven kilometres, this beach is a paradise for anyone seeking a relaxing and picturesque beach experience.
The beach is on Miyako Island’s western coast, facing the Pacific Ocean. The island is accessible by plane or ferry from mainland Japan. Once you arrive, Yonaha Maehama Beach is easily accessible by car or bus.
When you arrive at the beach, you’ll be struck by the beauty of the turquoise water and white sand that stretches as far as the eye can see. The water is quiet and perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving, thanks to abundant marine life and clear visibility. Yonaha Maehama Beach is also an ideal place for sunbathing and picnicking. You can rent parasols and sun loungers or spread out a towel and enjoy the view.
One of the unique features of Yonaha Maehama Beach is its sand, which is made up of fine coral particles. The sand is so fine that it produces a high-pitched sound when you walk on it, earning it the nickname “singing sand”. It’s a truly fascinating experience to walk on the beach and hear the sand singing beneath your feet.
Yonaha Maehama Beach is also known for its stunning sunsets. When the sun descends below the horizon, the sky transforms into a magical display of pinks, oranges, and purples, leaving an unforgettable impression. You can watch the sunset from the beach or take a sunset cruise for an even more breathtaking view.
One downside of Yonaha Maehama Beach is that it can get crowded in the high season, especially on weekends and holidays. If you prefer a quieter, more secluded beach, you should visit it on weekdays or outside the peak season.
Jodogahama Beach, Iwate Prefecture
Jodogahama Beach, located in the Miyako Bay of Iwate prefecture in northern Japan, is a picturesque stretch of coastline with stunning turquoise waters and unusual rock formations.
The beach, part of the Sanriku Fukko National Park, is surrounded by cliffs and dense forests, creating a unique and peaceful atmosphere. The water is clear and calm, making it ideal for swimming and snorkelling during summer.
One of the most unique features of Jodogahama Beach is the strange rock formations that dot the shoreline. These unusual and captivating formations have been shaped over time by the strong waves and winds of the Pacific Ocean. Some rocks are even said to resemble animals or objects, making for a fun and interactive beach experience.
The beach is also popular for kayaking and boating, and rental facilities are on site. Visitors can enhance their experience by taking a boat tour to explore the picturesque coastline and rock formations from a different perspective.
Jodogahama Beach is particularly beautiful in winter when the snow-capped cliffs starkly contrast the bright blue water. The beach is also a famous spot for photographers, with many stunning views and vantage points to capture.
One downside of Jodogahama Beach is that the water temperature can be quite cold, even during summer. Swimmers may need to wear wetsuits to enjoy the water activities fully, and those who are sensitive to the cold may find it uncomfortable to swim in the chilly waters.
Nishihama Beach, Okinawa
Nishihama Beach, located on the picturesque island of Hateruma in Okinawa prefecture, Japan, is a stunning white sand beach with crystal-clear turquoise waters.
The beach is a popular destination for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts, offering abundant marine life to explore, including colourful coral reefs and schools of tropical fish. Equipment rental and diving tours are available on-site for visitors who want to explore the underwater world.
With its soft white sand and gentle sea breeze, Nishihama Beach is also a great place to sunbathe and relax. The wide and spacious beach offers visitors plenty of areas to spread out and enjoy the scenery.
A special feature of Nishihama Beach is the observation tower located at one end of the beach. Visitors can climb the tower to enjoy a panoramic view of the beach and the surrounding sea. The tower is also a popular place to watch the sunset, which colours the sky in stunning shades of orange and pink.
The beach is also known for its bioluminescent plankton that glows in the water on some evenings. This natural phenomenon creates a surreal and magical atmosphere that is truly unforgettable.
One potential downside of Nishihama Beach is that it is relatively remote and difficult to access. Visitors must take a ferry from Ishigaki Island to Hateruma Island, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Additionally, the island has limited facilities, so visitors must plan accordingly and bring their own food and supplies.
Amami Beach, Oshima Island
Amami Beach on Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, is a stunning white sand beach with crystal clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
The beach is enveloped by lush vegetation and towering cliffs, providing visitors with a picturesque backdrop. The waters at Amami Beach are relatively calm and shallow, making it an ideal place for families with children to enjoy a day at the beach.
Visitors can also rent snorkelling and diving equipment on-site to explore the nearby coral reefs and underwater world. For those who prefer staying on land, hiking trails lead to scenic viewpoints and waterfalls nearby.
One unique feature of Amami Beach is the abundance of sea turtles that can be seen swimming in the waters off the beach. Visitors often glimpse these magnificent creatures as they surface for air or swim close to the shore. The beach also has several visitor facilities, including showers, restrooms, and a small cafe serving refreshments and snacks.
One potential downside of Amami Beach is that it can be quite crowded during peak tourist season, which may detract from the relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. Additionally, some visitors have reported that the facilities can be limited, particularly during busier times, so bringing your own snacks and drinks is advisable. The beach can also be difficult to access for those without a car or local knowledge, so visitors may need to plan their transportation carefully.
Furuzamami Beach, Zamami Island
Regarded as one of Japan’s finest beaches, Furuzamami Beach is a stunning white sand beach on the pristine island of Zamami in Okinawa Prefecture.
The crystal-clear turquoise waters of the beach make it a great place to enjoy swimming, snorkelling, and diving. The sand is soft and powdery, and the gentle slope of the shoreline makes it a safe and relaxing spot for families with children to spend their day.
Sea turtles are a common sight in the waters around Furuzamami Beach, and lucky visitors may even spot these gentle creatures up close. Besides water-based activities, visitors to Furuzamami Beach can enjoy several hiking trails that offer scenic viewpoints and a chance to discover the island’s abundant vegetation and wildlife.
One unique feature of Furuzamami Beach is the annual Coral Festival held in the summer, where visitors can learn about the local marine life and culture through interactive exhibits, performances, and traditional food and crafts. Visitors can take advantage of the facilities at the beach, including restrooms, showers, and a small restaurant offering delicious Okinawan cuisine and fresh seafood.
One potential downside of Furuzamami Beach is that the water can sometimes be rough and choppy, especially during typhoon season or on windy days. This can make swimming or snorkelling less enjoyable or even dangerous for less experienced swimmers.
Hirizo Beach, Shizuoka
Hirizo Beach is a hidden gem in the small fishing village of Higashiizu in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Tucked between cliffs and dense forest, this secluded beach is a true paradise for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.
The beach is characterised by its clear, emerald-green waters and pristine white sand, which create a stunning contrast with the surrounding cliffs and trees. The tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty of Hirizo Beach make it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a serene day at the shore.
Activities available at the beach include swimming, snorkelling, and fishing. The calm waters make it a safe place to swim and snorkel, while the abundance of fish in the area provides an exciting opportunity for anglers.
One of the unique features of Hirizo Beach is its stunning view of Mount Fuji on clear days. The iconic mountain can be seen in the distance, adding to the breathtaking beach scenery. Another unique aspect is the beach’s prohibition of single-use plastics, demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and preserving the environment.
While Hirizo Beach is a bit more challenging to reach than other beaches on this list, the effort is well worth it. It is accessible by a narrow, winding road leading down to the beach, but the scenic drive through the mountains and along the coast is an experience.
Bibi Beach, Itoman
Located on the southern coast of Okinawa Island, Bibi Beach is a hidden gem that offers a secluded and serene escape from the crowds. The beach is situated in the charming town of Itoman, surrounded by lush vegetation and towering cliffs that provide a breathtaking backdrop.
Bibi Beach is known for its clear turquoise waters and soft white sand, which makes it a perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is also popular for snorkelling and diving due to its diverse marine life, which includes tropical fish, sea turtles, and colourful corals.
One of the unique features of Bibi Beach is its serene atmosphere. The beach is quiet and uncrowded, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a peaceful and relaxing getaway. The natural surroundings and gentle waves crashing against the shore create a soothing ambience.
While Bibi Beach is not as developed as some other beaches in Okinawa, some facilities are still available for visitors, including restrooms and showers. The beach also has a small beachside restaurant that serves delicious seafood dishes and refreshing drinks.
In addition to water activities, Bibi Beach is a great starting point for exploring the surrounding areas. The nearby Itoman Fish Market offers a glimpse into the local fishing culture, and the Okinawa World theme park is just a short drive away.
With its pristine waters, soft sands and breathtaking scenery, Japan offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From the northernmost Hokkaido island to the southernmost tip of Okinawa, Japan offers a wide range of experiences. Visitors can soak in the sun, swim in crystal clear waters and enjoy a variety of water sports.
Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Japan’s beaches have something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen and head to one of these seven stunning beaches for an unforgettable experience in the Land of the Rising Sun.