Shirahama Beach (Shimoda)
Despite being only around 2 hours train ride from Tokyo this remains one of Japan’s most beautiful beaches. The name Shirahama translates to “white sands” and this pretty well describes the 800 metre crescent of beach. Combine this with crystal clear blue water and it isn’t difficult to see why this is one of mainland Japan’s most popular beaches.
Shirahama is situated on the Izu Peninsula, an area renowned for its tourist attractions and natural sights including mountains, rock formations and hot springs. The beach is just a few kilometers from Izu’s main town, Shimoda, so easily accessed.
The beach here has a pretty laid back feel in the summer months. There are plenty of places to eat and hang out and there is a mix of beachgoers, from families to surf dudes.
With such clear water this is a good place to snorkel. There can also be fairly good surf here, but this tends to be less so in the summer months which are regarded more as bathing season.
At the southern end of the beach is a small shinto shrine set on a rocky outcrop overlooking the beach. Shirahama Jinja, as it is known, is a great spot for photos or just taking in this most appealing of Japanese beaches.
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