Beaches in Japan
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Apr 22, 2012 2:58 AM Last Post By: Tokyo_girl
Apr 18, 2012 12:55 PM
Beaches in JapanHi there
I will be in Japan for 15 days in early August. In addition to visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Yokohama and Hiroshima I would like to spend a few days at the beach. As Okinawa is too expensive I'm considering spending 3 or 4 days at a beach of the Inland Sea. I might choose Miyajima but perhaps you know a better spot.
The destiny I am looking for should have a nice beach, however, I do not want to lie at the beach the whole time. Therefore, the place I'm looking for should also give me the possibility to activate myself somehow. A few sights would be great, maybe a small town close-by and also a little bit of nightlife.
Do not get me wrong. The main goal is to relax a few days. Nevertheless, the destiny should give me some options if I am bored of doing nothing. ;)
Thanks for your help.
Edited by: Nicolai85
Apr 18, 2012 2:52 PM
1Mainland Japan's beaches are not known for being particularly beautiful, and nothing comes to my mind.
Miyajima is perhaps a bit small for 3 or 4 days.
Apr 18, 2012 3:26 PM
Apr 18, 2012 7:52 PM
3I asked this very question a few weeks ago and got shut down with "beaches on mainland Japan are ugly"
They won't compare to the better beach destinations around the world, but there are a few options I found:
1. Shirahama - a couple of hours south from Osaka. The sand here has been imported from Australia. Looks nice. Seems to have a popular hot spring right on the ocean water. See here - http://wikitravel.org/en/Shirahama
2. Shimoda - On the izu peninsula which is closer to Tokyo. Pretty sure it has good public transport connections
What might be nicer is staying at a coastal town on the Sea of Japan coast. Don't think they are beachy but still a place for relaxation.
Apr 18, 2012 8:10 PM
4I haven't done any swimming on the Japan Sea Coast, though I have been there many times but my guess is the Pacific side will have much cleaner water. The coast line itself is quite beautiful in many parts but it gets a fair bit of debris too - though there have been a lot of efforts made to clean it up. There are lots of nice places but as 3# mentions, maybe not so beachy.
I have been swimming off the Sanriku in Iwate and Miyagai, several years before the tsunami, and while there are no waves, and not so much in the way of beach, the water was beautiful. I think it still to early to go to the Sanriku, but even Chiba (Kujikuri) has warm water and is relatively pleasant. (Some people are avoiding it because of concerns about radiation).
Miyazaki may be a little out of the way on your schedule, and Shimoda, or the Izu Islands might be a reasonable option.
Apr 19, 2012 9:43 AM
Apr 19, 2012 12:56 PM
Apr 19, 2012 3:38 PM
7Which beaches have you been to, just out of interest Petrovic?
I go to Kujikuri from time to time, I find it quite pleasant.
I probably wouldn't swim at Kamakura, or on much of the Japanese sea side that I have been to (the water is colder there too AFAIK, but the Pacific side of Honshu (pre -tsunami and radiation ) had places where you can swim easily in beautiful water eg Jodogahama - very swimmable.
People often say Japan has no beaches worth swimming in, but I wonder how much of the comment is based on experience, and how much is based on repeating a narrative that has developed (perhaps with a comparison being made of thailand, hawaii or the gold coast.)
There are no surfing beaches comparable with Hawaii or the Gold Coast, and it's not going the as cheap as a Thai beach holiday, but I think iit would be an overstatement to say Japan is a total write off for beaches.
Apr 20, 2012 11:18 AM
8Miyajima is a good choice with a very nice sand beach and excellent facilities. On top of the famous Torii & Shrine you have other sights like Iwakuni and "Hiro" with its nightlife close by if it rains. Swimming is good too.
Up north there's Matsushima close to Sendai - nice enough sand beaches on the mainland as well as (at least) one of the islands, all with spectacular views but I don't know about swimming (was there mid-December). No concrete breakers anywhere.
I haven't been to Amanohashidate northwest of Kyoto yet but it sounds pretty good - I'll go there on my next trip (or the one after that...)
All three of the above will probably draw big crowds in August - if I had to guess I would expect Matsushima to be quietest.
Apr 20, 2012 5:12 PM
9You would figure with so much coastline and such hot summers that Japan would have great beaches. But there isn't much beach culture here. Miyazaki would be a good bet. It's known as a bit of a surfing mecca in Japan. Haven't gone yet so YMMV. I did drive through Itoshima last week and it has a very active surfing scene and lots of beach side restaurants and cafes. It's easy to access from Fukuoka, though I'd recommend a car for getting around. Scenery is lovely and all the surf is winter surf. By the time it's summer the water should be pretty calm.
Apr 21, 2012 1:47 AM
10I went to Shodoshima (Inland Sea) in March once and was amazed at how clear the water was. It did look like Thailand! The sand was white and the water clear and calm. I haven't been in summer. As for the Japan Sea side, there are a lot of popular beaches in Ishikawa. My husband does a triathlon every summer in Suzu (Noto Penninsula) and the water is gorgeous. Depending on beach, there are concrete blocks or not. Suzu didn't have any. Uchinada, a seaside town near Kanazawa, has a big beach culture with bars and restaurants. Not particularly pretty, in my opinion, but full of people in summer.
Apr 22, 2012 2:58 AM
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