Though renowned for offering some of the most unique experiences in the world, Japan is far from being recognised as a beach destination amongst the Indian travellers. Often confined to impressions of skyscraper cosmopolitan cities like Tokyo, Osaka and more, the fact that the country is an archipelago surrounded with a wealth of beautiful beaches is more often than not forgotten.
Keeping that in mind here is a list of the top summer getaway beach locations that Indian tourists can explore when visiting this charming nation.
Jodogahama Beach, Tohoku region
Located on the Rikuchu Coast, about 600 km north east of Tokyo, Jodogahama Beach sits on a peaceful inlet formed by volcanic white rocks and pebbles making it contrast beautifully with the surrounding green pine grove and reminding visitors of the beauty of traditional Japanese rock gardens.
According to legends, a Buddhist priest who once visited compared the beach’s beauty to Buddha’s Paradise giving rise to the name Jodogahama which means Buddha’s Paradise Beach. The Jodogahama Visitor Centre that stands nearby is a great place to get an insight of the area or just to grab a map of the nearby hiking trails. For those looking for a more relaxing activity, a number of cruises depart from the beach to tour the nearby waters and islands, as well as the famous diving and snorkeling site-the ‘Blue Cave.’
Odaiba Beach, Tokyo
Tokyo’s famous beach, Odaiba Beach is still one of the most visited areas in the city. Shopping malls, a pier and plenty of amenities surrounding the beach keeps visitors entertained and happy.
During summer, the city organises volleyball and sailing competitions in Odaibo beach, and in July, people stop by to see paper lanterns lit up during the Matsuri, a Japanese festival. Odaiba Beach is the perfect half-day escape for visitors to Tokyo, especially if one wants to combine it with some dining and shopping.
Manza Beach, Okinawa
Located in the mainland of Okinawa, southern-most prefecture of Japan, Manza Beach is a beach paradise. It is surrounded by several large hotels and is just an hour drive from the Naha Airport.
One can easily book a room offering an ocean view, where one can walk out of their guestroom to take a walk on the sandy shores.
Technically, Manza Beach is on ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort’s property, but guests don’t need to stay at the resort to enjoy the beach, as it is open to the public. With white sands, clear waters and lots of sports activities, visitors are sure to be delighted when visiting the beach. However, do keep in mind that one will have to pay to use the sports activities that the beach offers, though you won’t have to worry as it comes at affordable and reasonable prices.
Apart from these, come take a walk to the nearby Cape Manzamo, a scenic rock formation that offers a beautiful backdrop for travel photos.
Diving is also a popular activity here.
Kamakura beaches, Kanagawa Prefecture
Located adjacent to each other, Yuigahama and Zaimokuza are Kamakura’s two most popular beaches due to their convenient location and good facilities. Situated about 70 km southeast of Tokyo, it is no wonder that because of this both get very crowded during the summer season.
The two beaches collectively span about one km of coastline, providing a lot of space for sunbathing and swimming. They also offer all kinds of marine activities including surfing, fly boarding, and wakeboarding.
Sea-kayaking, paddle boarding, and water-biking are some of the water sports that Zaimokuza Beach is popular for.
Hirizo Beach, Shizuoka Prefecture
Situated in the southern region of the Izu peninsula of Shizzuoka prefecture, about 200 km southeast of Tokyo and about 130 km further away from Kamakura beaches, Hirizo Beach is bordered by very steep cliffs and is only accessible by a ferry ride. The emerald water and mountains complement each other with their same colour, and the scenery makes people awe with its sheer beauty. The ultra-transparent sea water makes the water here a paradise for snorkelers, and many aquatic creatures can be seen up close, which is enough entertainment for a day out to this spectacular stretch along the southern coast of Izu peninsula.
Takenohama Beach, Hyogo Prefecture
A hidden gem along the northern coast of Hyogo prefecture, about 150 km north-west of Kyoto, Takenohama Beach’s crystal-clear water has been given top marks for its beauty.
Located on the JR line the beach is easy to get to not only from Kyoto, but also from Osaka, Kobe and Himeji, with an average of three and a half hours. Soft white sand stretches about 1 km along its crystal-clear blue waters.
The beach is a perfect destination for families and for those seeking sun, beaches and relaxation. The local snorkelling centre offers sea kayak tours from April to October as well as rents out snorkelling gear. The beach is also one of the best places for canoeing in Japan.