Being a long, thin island, as well as many surrounding islands, Japan has perhaps the most beaches of any country in the world. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sea of Japan and East China Sea on the other, there is a wide variety of the types of beaches where you can find that perfect place for your ideal holiday. There are numerous small islands surrounding Japan, beaches are literally everywhere.
From the more popular climate of Okinawa on the southern end to the northernmost end of the country you will find such a wide range of beaches in Japan that you will want to visit them all. The time of year you visit will also determine which beaches you will find the most preferable. Many Japanese beaches have restrictions such as no noise after sunset and no alcohol, which makes them even more ideal for families or anyone wanting a more peaceful time at the water.
The Best Beaches in Japan
1. Okinawa Island
Okinawa Island is one of the three main island groups of the Okinawa Prefecture (also known as the Ryukyu Islands), which is located at the southernmost point of Japan. The Prefecture is made up of dozens of small mostly uninhabited islands. This island is world famous for its splendid subtropical weather, crystal clear turquoise water and beautiful white sandy beaches. Some of the most beautiful coral reefs you will ever see abound here, along with all of the magnificent marine life that goes right along with it, making scuba diving and snorkeling the most popular activities.
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2. Miyako Island
Miyako Island is also a part of the Okinawa Prefecture. It is the fourth largest island, and also boasts of having some of the best beaches in Japan. The beautiful coral reefs are full of colorful marine life and are an ideal place to snorkel. Further out in the water you will find some of the best diving around. The island is generally gorgeous green rolling hills with vast sugar cane fields. There are few towns on the island, some of which have some great restaurants and bars where you can enjoy some night life after a day lounging on the magnificent beach.
3. Kume Island
Kume Island, also known as Kumejima, is one of the lesser developed islands where you are more able to find that perfect beach that is more secluded and quiet. It is one of the best islands to get a great sampling of the Okinawan culture and have a truly relaxing holiday. Like all of the area, the most popular activities are scuba diving and snorkeling. The entire island is small enough that you could explore the interior in one day, giving you an alternative to spending your entire stay on one of the fine beaches.
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4. Ishigaki Island
Ishigaki Island is the main island of the Yaeyama Island group, and is the central hub for transportation and commerce in the region. This makes it easy to fly into as well finding all of the stores, restaurants, bars and shops you need to make your stay that much more comfortable. The many beaches on this island are extremely nice, with a wide variety to choose from, some with the typical white sand and others that are rocky with finely crushed coral.
5. Amami Oshima
Amami Oshima is a spectacular island with many beaches covered in the famous white sand. It is generally less crowded than neighboring Okinawa making for a more relaxed vacation. For even more seclusion, Kakeromajima Island is just a short ferry ride or kayak trip away. You could easily find a place on either island where you can totally escape the world for a while. Camping out at one of these beaches can be the best way to experience Japanese beach life at its finest for those that are more adventurous.
If you are staying in or around Tokyo and want to get out on the ocean, there are many options available to you. Odaiba is the most convenient, being near the Decks shopping mall. It is a man-made beach that is popular with locals and tourists alike for getting away and sunbathing or playing beach volleyball. It is an ideal spot to watch a spectacular sunset, and then to see Rainbow Bridge and the city’s skyscrapers lit up at night is extremely amazing. And then you are close to the city so you can enjoy shopping, fine dining and a terrific night life.
There are so many islands and peninsulas that have a myriad of beaches in Japan that you could spend many days, or even years, of holidays in this amazing country and not see them all. No matter what type of beach you find to be ideal for you, you are sure to find it here. From big cities to isolated beaches, there is something for everyone here.