To celebrate Marine Day, Japan’s national holiday that falls on the third Monday every July, here we present five beaches that are well worth visiting if you want to head farther afield during your next trip to the country.
Jōdogahama (Iwate Prefecture)
This rocky beach is famed more for its stunning scenery than its surf and sand, although it does offer splendid swimming in the hot months. Located in the city of Miyako, this coastline was hit hard by the March 11, 2011, tsunami, but has recovered nicely to offer its views to crowds of visitors once more.
Kujūkuri Beach (Chiba Prefecture)
With a name meaning “ninety-nine ri,” signifying its impressive length, this beach doesn’t disappoint. It’s near enough to Tokyo to attract plenty of beachgoers in the summer, but expansive enough that it rarely feels crowded. With no reef to intercept the waves, Kujūkuri is a key destination for surfers and people who want to enjoy its seemingly endless stretches of fine sand.
Shichirigahama (Kanagawa Prefecture)
If you want crowds, this is one beach to come to. Located near Kamakura and the bridge-connected island of Enoshima, and offering a fine view of Mount Fuji, Shichirigahama is packed during the hot season with people looking for a good time in the Shōnan coastal district. With a steep drop-off, the beach isn’t the best choice for swimmers, but it attracts surfers year-round.
Tottori Sand Dunes (Tottori Prefecture)
The only large sand dune area in Japan, this coastal feature of Tottori is one of the prefecture’s biggest tourism draws. The dunes stretch some 16 kilometers east to west and extend more than 2 kilometers inland in places. The peaks of the tallest dunes stand as high as 90 meters above sea level.
Yubujima (Okinawa Prefecture)
This tiny sand island sits just off the east cost of Iriomotejima. While the swimming here may not be the best, Yubujima is located in the fantastically clear waters of the Yaeyama island chain of Okinawa Prefecture. It’s located even closer to Taiwan than to the prefectural capital of Naha on Okinawa Island. Enjoy the exotic atmosphere even more by taking one of the water buffalo taxis across the shallow channel at low tide.
The translation and editorial team at Nippon.com. Get in touch with the contact page on this site or through our social media accounts linked at the top and bottom of each page.