Beaches Around Tokyo

ByBert Wishart
Jun 27, 2020

Beaches Around Tokyo

As the summer heat rises it’s tempting to retire to your air-conditioned room with your necktie fan on full blast. However, with Japan being an island nation we are completely surrounded by the sea, and thus, beaches. So get out from that darkened room and head for the coast.

Beaches in Japan

Beaches in Japan may seem like something of an alien experience on the first encounter. For a start, very few people actually make it into the water, no matter how inviting it is. The water is predominantly reserved for children and flirting students. Those who do make it into the water generally find it shallow – particularly at the manmade beaches – which makes the mass preponderance of floating devices rather confusing.

The majority of people prefer to stay on the shore under parasols or tents that are rented or brought from home (sunbathing is unusual) while for the more energetic there are often rigorous beach games such as volleyball. Most beaches have small restaurants or huts selling food, snacks, and drinks (it is usually accepted to drink alcohol on Japanese beaches), and some places even have barbecue sections where you can grill your food. There is usually a lifeguard on duty and a beach house (umi no ie) at which you can shower and change. Some even have lockers in which you can leave your valuables.

Zushi beach

Perhaps the easiest beach to get to from both Tokyo and Shinjuku stations due to the frequent and relatively cheap train services to and from here, with stops in Kawasaki and Yokohama along the way. Once arriving at Zushi station, you won’t even need to worry about so many details since the abundant shops, stands and bars line the roads on the way to the beach.

  • Getting there: Use the JR Shonan-Shinjuku or Yokosuka lines to get to Zushi station. You may also use Keikyu to Shin-Zushi as well.
  • Map

Enoshima and Kamakura beaches

The beaches of Kamakura are extremely popular in the summer months for visitors from both Tokyo and Yokohama. As well as the sea and sand, the 4km island of Enoshima, a short train journey west (or even a beautiful coastal bike ride should you wish to rent bicycles) is a pleasantly touristy distraction with Enoshima Shrine, caves, and a nearby aquarium. Try the local shirasu fish delicacy.

99 beach

Ninety-Nine Beach is the colloquial name given to Kyujukyurihama on the eastern tip of Chiba. It’s known for its great view of the first sunrise of the year, but it’s a great place in the summertime too.  Because of its undersea topography and relatively strong onshore winds, you shouldn’t swim out of sight of the lifeguards, but the wide sandy beaches and occasional tasty seafood outposts make it a very nice day trip.

  • Getting there: Either take the Wakashio Limited Express from Tokyo station or access Chiba Station and take the JR Sotobo line to Oami station and catch the 大網02 bus to the beach.
  • Map

Hayama-Isshiki beach

A holiday destination for Japan’s Imperial family since 1984, Hayama-Isshiki beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in Japan thanks to its high-quality sand and the fact that it is less crowded than some of the other popular beaches. If you aren’t a fan of sand there are lawns on which to loll, and if you want to get a bit sporty then bodyboarding, windsurfing, and jet skiing are all allowed.

  • Getting there: JR Shonan-Shinjuku or Yokosuka Lines to Zushi station and change onto a Keikyu Bus number 12 (located to the left outside the ticket gates) bound for Hayama. Alight at Isiki Kaigan. One hour 30 minutes
  • Map

Onjuku beach

The white semi-circle flat sandy beach of Onkjuku on the Boso peninsula is considered so beautiful that it has inspired a children’s’ song, a fact represented by statues of camels carrying a prince and princess on their backs. Partially due to its fame, Onjuku is a particularly popular beach, especially amongst young adults who come to meet, surf, ride banana boats, and party with each other throughout the summer.

  • Getting there: Take the Wakashio line for Tokyo JR station towards Awakamogawa and it is less than 90 minutes on a direct line to Onjuku.
  • Map

Ōarai beach

Something of a tourist haven, the town of Ōarai attracts 3 million visitors a year, drawn to such attractions as water sports, the aquarium, the golf course, and, of course, the beach. With clear water, white sand, and surfers bobbing in the silver crested waves, the Ōarai, and Sun Beach Bathing Beaches, are known for being some of the most pleasant in the Kanto region. They are shallow beaches that become extremely popular in the summer months with plenty of activities to keep you occupied. Camping facilities are available.

  • Getting there: From Tokyo take the Ltd Exp Hitachi route to Mito from where you can take the Kashima Rinkai Railway to Ōrarai in under two hours.
  • Map

Ubara beach

Thanks to its rocky outcrops and bright blue sea, Ubara beach was selected as one of Japan’s ‘100 Most Scenic Beaches’. Ubara beach is a little light on the entertainment side of things – there are few public facilities and just a handful of small restaurants – but it more than makes up for it with its outstanding natural beauty. It’s not somewhere to come to party, but the shallow, peaceful waters are ideal for reflecting on the sheer splendor of Japan’s coastline. Being less crowded –and windy – than other spots, it’s a perfect place to bring the kids.

  • Getting there: In a little over an hour and a half, you can get from Tokyo to Ubara by way of Kazusa Ichinomiya using the Ltd. Exp Wakashio and JR Soboto lines.
  • Map


Updated by Jason L Gatewood

Photo: “鵜原海岸の鳥居” by houroumono (CC BY-SA 2.0)
“Zushi Beach Sand Castles” and “Enoshima Beach Stands” by Jason L Gatewood

About the author

Bert Wishart editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Bert whiles away his precious time on this Earth by writing about popular culture, travel, food and pretty much anything else that is likely to win him the Pulitzer he desperately craves.

3 comments so far

Shonan SPosted on10:26 pm - Jul 25, 2015

Kugenuma Kaigan is great all year round for surfing and body boarding. Nice surf pavillion for changing, lockers, warm showers etc. Local crowd is cool. In the summer, all surf boards are limited during the day to the far right near the river, but body boards everywhere. Beach houses are fun, and prices never change.

Look for me..I am in the water all the time.

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