Top 20 Beaches to Visit in the Kanto Region This Summer
After the wet and gloomy rainy season comes summer! There are loads of perfect places to make summer memories in the outskirts of the Kanto region, from popular swimming beaches, to romantic isolated islands, and some sweet unknown beaches. Here are some of the best places to go swimming at the beach in Kanto.
Aug 26 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
Top 10 Kanto Beaches That All Locals Know
1. Maehama Beach
Starting off this list is Maehama beach on Kozushima, an isolated island in Tokyo Prefecture. This beach is truly picturesque, with its white sand that stretches a kilometer from Kozushima Port and its glistening cobalt blue water. Guesthouses line the nearby area and you can walk straight out onto the beach, so why not stay here and have fun out on the beach all day?
Maehama Beach lies on the west side of the island, so it is famous for its sunsets. You can get here from Tokyo by jet boat or large passenger boat from the Takeshiba Pier terminal or by plane from Chofu Airport. There's no doubt that you'll be in high spirits from the start of your journey!
2. Sokodo Beach
Next on the list is Sokodo Beach on Hachijoshima, known for its extremely clear water. This beach has great accessibility, with the shortest route being a 55-minute flight from Haneda Airport. For those who want to enjoy a more leisurely mode of transport, it is recommended to take the 10-hour boat ride from Takeshiba Pier terminal.
Sokodo Beach is known not only as a swimming beach, but also as a great diving spot. When you snorkel here you will see coral and if you're lucky, you may even encounter a sea turtle. During swimming season there are also lifeguards on duty, so this place is perfect if you're bringing children with you.
3. Okinoshima Beach
Okinoshima Beach in Chiba Prefecture is known for its gentle waves. It used to be a remote island 500 meters from the mainland, but it eventually became connected with the peninsula due to effects from the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. In the beach water quality surveys conducted by Japan's Ministry of the Environment each year, the beach is certified above A rank and the water is so beautiful that the coral living here is spreading further into the surrounding area.
Accessibility from Tokyo is great as you can get here in 1.5 hours by train or about an hour by car. The surrounding area is also a historical spot, with an underwater Jomon archaeological site and the Akayama Underground Bunker of the Tateyama Naval Air Force. A guided tour is highly suggested for those interested in Okinoshima's history. Why not come here to make some great memories with your children during the summer holidays, or do some independent research?
4. Moriya Beach
Moriya Beach can be reached by train as it is only a 10-minute walk from JR Kazusa-Okitsu Station. Out in the open sea 170 meters from the shore floats Watashima Island with its eye-catching red torii gate. It was chosen as one of the best 100 beaches in Japan for its incredibly clear water.
The beach is watched over by members of the lifesaving club of International Budo University, so this is a safe place to bring children for a swim. The waves are gentle here too, making it a fun place to bring the whole family. Just be aware though that camping, BBQ's, and water sports aren't permitted here.
5. Sarushima Beach
Next up is Sarushima Beach in Kanagawa Prefecture. This is the only uninhabited island in Tokyo Bay and it used to be a stronghold of the former navy. The brick tunnels and the fort ruins still remain here to this day. With excellent access just 10 minutes from Mikasa Pier, this is a great sightseeing location where you can feel a bit like an explorer on a deserted island.
Swimming season starts in mid-July every year and there are also lifeguards on duty. Fishing and BBQ's are allowed here, so it's recommended for family outings or even couples' outings. There is no accommodation on the island so it's important to check the returning boat schedule. If it's crowded, the boat may reach maximum capacity quickly, so be sure to enjoy swimming while keeping an eye on the time.
6. Zushi Beach
Zushi Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in Kanagawa Prefecture. The beach opens for swimming season in late June, which is a little earlier than other beaches. The beach has great access from the city center and the swell is calm, making this an outstanding beach for both adults and children.
Another of its features is the approximately 40 beach houses. Outside the swimming zone you can also enjoy marine sports such as wind surfing, yachting and sea kayaking. During the summer holidays, events for children are also held, so those who are interested should make sure to check the Zushi City official website and take the kids on a beach outing here for a fun time!
7. Yuigahama Beach
Like a holy land of swimming spots, Yuigahama Beach has been drawing vacationers to its sandy beach since the 1800s. Did you know that the activity of sea bathing in Japan came about as a type of medical treatment in which the impact of the waves promoted blood circulation? With the opening of the railway, the number of holiday villas in the area increased and it became a modern popular spot.
Yuigahama is a lively spot, with 19 beach houses sprawled out on the 890 meter stretch of beach. There are also surfing and body boarding lessons held here that even beginners can easily try out. There are many paid parking lots in the area, so you can stop by here on a drive to Kamakura or Enoshima. The stunning view at sunset is also quite extraordinary.
8. Miura Beach
Miura Beach is the largest beach on the Miura Peninsula and is easily accessed from the city. Many swimmers make their way here each year for this reason. One of the attractions of this beach is that it stretches for a kilometer and so it is easy to secure a spot even on a holiday. Another point is that its 2019 swimming season is also much longer compared with other beaches, lasting from the end of June until the end of September.
Every August, the Miura Beach Summer Evening Festival Fireworks Show is held here and is attended by around 110,000 people. The view of the night sky illuminated by 3,000 fireworks is very romantic, so it's a great spot for a date. There's no mistaking the lovely summertime memories you'll create as you sit and watch this dynamic fireworks display.
9. Yugawara Beach
Yugawara is known as an onsen (hot spring) town, but did you also know that it has a swimming beach? A unique quality of Yugawara Beach is its slightly black sand. The water is shallow and the waves are gentle so you can relax and play even if you're bringing children along.
If the weather is clear, you may even be able to see Hatsushima, Oshima Island, and the Izu Peninsula. Various events are also held here in summer such as a samba parade, the Yassa Festival, fireworks events, and summer evening temple festivals. If you're worried about the weather or the beach being crowded, you can check the live camera on Yugawara's official website.
10. Oarai Sun Beach
This is a popular beach in Ibaraki Prefecture. It is known as a wheelchair-friendly beach, with wheelchair accessible change rooms and toilets so that even people with disabilities and the elderly can use them. Not only that, you can also rent special amphibious wheelchairs.
Oarai Sun Beach can be enjoyed by the whole family. The parking lot has some 7,000 spaces, so there's no need to worry about being able to find a parking space. There is also a camping ground nearby which offers an extremely popular plan that includes the use of on-site BBQ facilities. The fire will be lit for you and will even be cleaned after you're done, so why not stop over here after going for a swim?
Top 10 Kanto Beaches Off The Beaten Path
1. Isshiki Beach
Isshiki Beach is surrounded by the natural landscape of the Hayama Imperial Villa. This is a hidden gem, where you won't find a crowd like you would at nearby Zushi Beach. The shore, with its private beach atmosphere, is highly recommended for couples. Another attraction to enjoy here besides swimming is gathering shells by the seashore.
As you walk down the many alleyways leading to the beach, you will feel like an explorer discovering the ocean as the blue sea gleams in the distance. Multicolored boats and parasols lined up on the white sand make for a very pretty scene, and this beach is even considered one of the best 100 beaches in the world. The parking lots nearby can get pretty crowded, so it's better to arrive early in the day.
2. Morito Beach
At Morito Beach, you can enjoy a swim while being able to see the sights of Mt. Fuji and Enoshima. This is the widest beach in Hayama, extending approximately 400 meters. Lifeguards are stationed during swimming season, and health and safety rules are implemented here, making it a safe place to enjoy your day at the beach.
At sunset, the Morito evening glow spreads as far as the eye can see. This evening glow is considered one of the 50 most picturesque scenes in Kanagawa. On a fine day, you can distinctly see the outline of Mt. Fuji, making this quite a popular spot to snap a photo. This stunning view will be enough to ease your exhaustion after playing in the water all day.
3. Koshigoe Beach
Koshigoe Beach is within walking distance from both Koshigoe Station and Enoshima Station on the Enoshima Railway. From the roughly 220 meter shoreline, the scene of Enoshima stretches out before you. There are many hidden spots near this beach that are only known by the locals. Public toilets and showers are also provided here.
There is a fishing harbor nearby so shops in the area offer a variety of fresh seafood. However, be aware that BBQ's are not allowed on the beach. There are four parking lots in the area. It is suggested to use either the one in front of Koshigoe Beach or the one by Koshigoe Station. There is a time limit at both of these lots so be sure to keep an eye on the time.
4. Tsujido Beach
When it comes to the beaches at Shonan, a beach bustling with young people usually comes to mind. You might be thinking that it probably isn't a good place to bring children. If that's you, then Tsujido Beach is a good recommendation. This is the perfect spot to bring children because the water is shallow and calm, and there's a playground in Tsujido Seaside Park, which is located right beside the beach.
This beach isn't just for children though. You can see Enoshima from the shore, and the number of people here is comparably few, so you can enjoy the scenery in peace. Tsujido Beach is also a famous surfing spot, and you can rent out body boards. Shonan first-timers should definitely try this spot out.
5. Yokobori Beach
Yokobori Beach is located in the east side of Doami Beach in Kanagawa. You can get here by walking along the rocks from Doami Beach. This is a small beach, only 40 meters long, so it feels just like a private beach. The waves here are gentle so you could bring your child here for their first ever swim.
You will be surprised at how clear the water is at Yokobori Beach. There are rocks to either side of the sand which are inhabited by different kinds of crabs. Nearby are other places to visit on your trip such as Keikyu Arabatsubo Marine Park and day villas where you can watch the tide. How about visiting a rotenburo (open air bath) to view the natural landscape and relax after your beach day?
6. Shinmaiko Beach
Next on the list is the secret paradise in Chiba Prefecture, Shinmaiko Beach. The tide of crystal clear water rises and falls on the 85 meter wide, 350 meter long beach. In the distance is the Yokohama Bay Bridge and Landmark Tower, and on a clear day you may also be able to see Mt. Fuji.
In the background stands the Tokyo-wan Kannon statue, which was built for world peace. It watches over Tokyo Bay at 56 meters tall. The Tateyama Expressway passes through the area, so access by car is great. There is also a bus that runs from the nearest station, Sanukimachi Station. There are also some stylish cafes in the area, which makes it fantastic for a seaside drive.
7. Shirosaki Beach
Shirosaki Beach in Chiba Prefecture has gentle waves and and has the clearest water in the Minamiboso area. There are lifeguards on duty, and there are also beach houses, public toilets, and showers. The beach is popular for families with children. It isn't too wide nor small at a stretch of about 300 meters.
The beautiful beach is a distinct swimming beach but there are rock pools nearby that are inhabited by crabs and small fish. This is perfect for children who can't swim yet. There is the famous spot on the Kamogawa River, Kamogawa Sea World, and accommodation facilities located in the area, with even a hotel within walking distance. This spot is recommended for those who aren't satisfied with just a swimming beach.
8. Ishihama Beach
Next on the list is Ishihama Beach in Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture. A feature of this beach is its white sand shore lined with pine trees, for which it has been chosen as one of the hundred white sand and green pine beaches in Japan, as well as one of the 100 best swimming beaches. The beach is small, being only 100 meters long, but there are toilets, free showers, and change rooms here, so you can enjoy a swimming day in comfort.
The surrounding area is a well-known loggerhead sea turtle hatching ground and is the northern limit of hatching grounds on the Pacific coast of Japan. The Uki Uki Produce Center sells local produce and is recommended for buying souvenirs. Nearby is also a day trip onsen and lodging facilities. The view of the ocean from a rotenburo will no doubt have you feeling rejuvenated.
9. Takahagi Beach
Takahagi Beach is easily accessible, as it is 10 minutes by car from the Takahagi interchange, or a 10-minute walk from Takahagi Station. At 200 meters, this white sand beach is comparatively longer than some of the other lesser known beaches on this list. There are lifeguards on duty and events for children are held during summer vacation, so a lot of families with children can be seen here during swimming season.
If you want to have a swim during the day, you might want to visit Takato Obama Beach, which is located 10 minutes away by car. The picturesque landscape with its steep cliff formed by the erosion of the waves has made this one of Japan's top 100 beaches. It has been known for its scenic views since the latter half of the Edo period (1603 - 1868) and is a place which has been visited by many cultured people. At night you can delight in the view of the sky full of stars.
10. Toshiki Beach
The last beach on the list is Toshiki Beach on Izu Oshima Island in Tokyo Prefecture. Natural pools surrounded by volcanic rock block the waves so the water is very calm. Spend the day here as you please; the water is deep so you can jump in, and small children can gather shells and look at the marine life in the rock pools.
Snorkelling is especially recommended here. Under the glistening cobalt blue surface of the water live fish such as clownfish and a species of knifefish unique to the Izu Islands. There is also a camping area on the shore from which you can watch the sunset and go stargazing. However, it is a rugged, rocky beach, so be sure to watch your step, not only when swimming but also if you're just taking some photos.
Experience a Somewhat Unique Summer at the Beaches in the Kanto Region
Now you've got a few great spots for both popular beaches and beaches that are off the beaten track in the Kanto region! When it comes to beaches in Japan, for most people, somewhere in Okinawa comes to mind, but Kanto has many amazing choices as well. There are also loads of spots near these beaches where you can go sightseeing or engage in various activities. Try out something new this summer and go out to one of these Kanto beaches to make some summertime memories with your loved ones.
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Translated and republished with permission from: SPIRA (formerly known as Relux Magazine)
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.