The Beach Guide

Top 25+ Japan Beaches

'

Many people would not immediately think of Japan as a nation of great beaches. However, comprising a chain of nearly 7,000 islands stretching down to the tropics Japan has more than a few world class beaches. If fine white sand beaches with clear blue water are what you are looking for then Japan may be just your cup of tea.

There is a great variety from the northern to the southern tip of this Pacific island chain. In the south there are coral reefs and warm turquoise seas year round; in the remote north the sea borders Russia and can freeze over in the winter. Whilst it seems obvious that the tropical beaches of Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands are going to have the widest appeal, there are fantastic beaches throughout this island nation.

  • Akajima Beach // Okinawa

    Akajima Beach
    © JordyMeow / CC BY

    Akajima, pronounced Akashima, is an island forming part of the Kerama Islands group in Japan's Okinawa Prefecture. Nicknamed "Aka", this is a popular holiday destination from both Okinawa and the mainland. Situated roughly midway between the northern tip of Taiwan and mainland Japan's southern-most point, Aka enjoys a near tropical climate. It has a permanent population of just over 300 residents which it shares with… read more »

  • Katsurahama Beach // Shikoku

    Katsurahama Beach
    © 京浜にけ / CC BY

    Katsurahama Beach is a popular destination, located around 30 minutes from the city of Kochi on the island of Shikoku. This pretty stretch of sand is backed by a promenade and the trees of Katsurahama Park. Towards the western end the beach curves round to a small headland which is home to a shrine.

    Whilst it is fine to sit on the beach soaking up the… read more »

  • Tokashiku Beach // Okinawa

    Tokashiku Beach
    © Snap55 / CC BY

    Tokashiku beach is a beautiful white sand beach on the island of Tokashiki, one of the Kerama Islands about 32 km (20 miles) west of Okinawa island. The crystal clear waters off the beach here are regarded as one of the best places to spot sea turtles, which along with many species of tropical fish inhabit the bay here. 

    Besides the turtles, the snorkelling off Tokashiku beach isn't the greatest… read more »

  • Mibaru Beach // Okinawa

    Mibaru Beach
    © inf_supTJ

    Mibaru is one of the finest beaches on the island of Okinawa itself. The long stretch of white sand leading into the crystal clear turquoise ocean will is a familiar them with the beaches in Japan's tropical south, but what makes Mibaru stand out are the various rock formations along its length. At lower tides these greenery-topped rocks form part of the landscape of rockpools and coral… read more »

  • Furuzamami Beach // Okinawa

    Furuzamami Beach
    © Hashi photo / CC BY

    Furuzamami Beach is located on the island of Zamami which is located around an hour's high speed ferry ride from the main island of Okinawa. Most would agree it is well worth the journey and the beach is regularly rated as one of Japan's finest.

    This tropical beach is graced with a wide, gently curving stretch of powder white sand fringed with coral reefs in the… read more »

  • Nishihama Beach // Okinawa

    Nishihama Beach
    © iloverjoa / CC BY

    Nishihama Beach is found on Hateruma, the most southerly inhabited island in all of Japan. This remote slice of tropical paradise lives up to expectations with Nishihama consistently topping out the polls on Japan's best beaches.

    Given the island is sometimes referred to as "Hateruma Blue" it is little surprise the waters are a crystal clear azure in colour. Combined with powdery white sands which seem to stretch… read more »

  • Kondoi Beach // Okinawa

    Kondoi Beach
    © maru0522 / CC BY

    Set on Taketomi island, one of the most southerly in Japan, Kondoi beach is well within the tropics. The small island is much less built up than its neighbour Ishigaki, which is the de facto capital of the Yaeyama Islands. From here you can catch a ferry which takes less than half an hour to get you over to Taketomi.

    Kondoi beach is found on the… read more »

  • Maehama Beach // Okinawa

    Maehama Beach
    © eyeblink / 123RF

    Yonaha Maehama is often cited as Japan's best beach and it is easy to see why. The fine white sand of this beach stretches seven kilometres around the south west coast of Miyakojima island. Here the water is warm, calm and crystal clear with a hint of brilliant green / blue.

    Despite its tropical appearance this is not a desert island beach and there are… read more »

  • Shirahama Beach (Shimoda) // Shizuoka

    Shirahama Beach (Shimoda)
    cafe-lab

    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,… read more »

  • Odaiba Beach // Honshu

    Odaiba Beach
    © Steven Johnson / CC BY

    Nestled among the concrete dockside of Tokyo Bay is the 800 metre (half mile) golden crescent of Odaiba Beach. There is no pretence that the beach here is anything but man made with the backdrop of high-rise buildings reinforcing this. Despite its urban setting there are trees lining the beachfront and an area of parkland runs along this section of coast.

    The view out from the… read more »

  • Emerald Beach // Okinawa

    Emerald Beach
    © shihina / 123RF

    Emerald beach is located on the tip of the Motobu Peninsula in the north of Okinawa's main island, Honto. The name comes from the beautiful greeny-turquoise colour of the clear waters here which are every bit as clean as they look. Emerald beach is actually part of the Ocean Expo Park which extends for 3km along the coast containing such things as a "native Okinawan… read more »

  • Kotohikihama // Kyoto

    Kotohikihama
    lensonjapan

    Set within a national park, the long pristine pale golden sands of Kotohikihama beach are both beautiful and quite unique. Described as "singing sand" the sand here is famous for emitting a squeaking sound when walked on. This is the result of the combination of the quartz sand and exceptionally clean water.

    Kotohikihama beach is designated a national natural monument and a great deal of effort… read more »

  • Aharen Beach // Okinawa

    Aharen Beach
    © Sean Pavone / 123RF

    Aharen Beach is situated on the west coast of Tokashiki Island, part of the Kerama group an hour's boat trip from Okinawa's main city, Naha. The curving white sand bay here is backed by high hills covered in lush vegetation leaving little doubt that you are in the tropics. Just off the shore, under the clear, aquamarine water is coral reef making Aharen a great… read more »

  • Sunayama Beach // Okinawa

    Sunayama Beach
    © Tagstock Japan

    Sunayama is situated in the north of Miyako-jima Island which is part of Japan's tropical Okinawa Prefecture. This pleasant little white sand beach is immediately identifiable by the rock arch at the southern end of the beach. The arch was formed by the exposed coral reef being eroded by the sea over the centuries.
    Besides the arch, Sunayama beach's main feature is its powdery… read more »

  • Aragusuku Beach // Okinawa

    Aragusuku Beach
    © eyeblink

    Located just around the corner from Yoshino Beach is the lesser, but equally lovely, Aragusuku Beach. This beach is yet another Okinawan gem with white sands gently sloping into the shallow tropical sea before yielding to colorful coral reefs. This makes it a popular spot with tourists and locals alike who come here to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and safe bathing.

    Where… read more »