The Most Beautiful Beaches in Japan

| © sean0812 / Pixabay

Japan is a beautiful country, renowned for the many gorgeous landscapes that the relatively small country manages to portray. Tall picturesque mountains, like Fuji, and lush green bamboo gardens, like in Arashiyama, typically come to mind. Yet, Japan is also home to incredible beaches, and travelers should not discount it as a seaside getaway, even though there’s strong competition in nearby Southeast Asia. Here are the top beaches in the nation.

Yonaha Maehama Beach

Widely regarded as the most beautiful beach in Japan is Yonaha Maehama, located on Miyako Island in the tropical island paradise of Okinawa. Located 400 miles from much of mainland Japan, Okinawa is a getaway for non-natives and Japanese alike, as the island atmosphere is more relaxed and the land less spoiled than the rest of the country. This four-mile stretch of pristine beach is rarely crowded. Campsites and hotels are located along the shore.

Yonaha Maehama Beach, Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan

Yonaha Maehama’s soft sand beach.

Kondoi Beach

Kondoi Beach is also located in Okinawa, on Taketomi Island. This tranquil spot is far more accessible than Yonaha Maehama – it’s only a short ferry ride from Ishigaki, Japan’s top tourist destination in 2018. This crescent-shaped sketch of white sand is the longest on Taketomi Island, and the water’s shallow depth makes it the most swim- and snorkel-friendly.

Kondoi Beach, Taketomi Island, Okinawa, Japan

Kondoi Beach

Nishi no Hama Beach

Yet another Okinawa spot (rest assured some of Japan’s best beaches are located elsewhere) is Nishi no Hama on Hateruma Island. Hateruma is Japan’s southernmost inhabited island, so this beach’s fine, white sand is relatively untouched. People love this beach in particular because of the contrast between the ivory sand and emerald water.

Nishi no Hama, Hateruma Island, Okinawa, Japan

Nishi no Hama


Shirahama is located in southern Wakayama, the Kansai region’s natural wonder. Shirahama (which means “white beach”) is actually largely artificial, with imported sand from Australia making up much of the coastline. However, this spectacular beach is also known for great watersports, oceanside onsen, and incredible cliff formations, making it a worthwhile getaway.

Shirahama Beach, Wayakama, Japan

Go to Shirahama for the white sand, stay for the incredible rock formations.


Ibusuki is a small seaside town in southern Kyushu, one of Japan’s main islands. This quaint town is a great escape from the crowds of nearby Kagoshima, with delicious seafood, magnificent hot springs, and fascinating archaeological sites. The main draw of Ibusuki, however, are the volcanic sand beaches, obsidian and steaming. Visitors bury themselves from the neck down in the sand as an unusual, albeit relaxing, spa treatment.

Ibusuki, Kagoshima, Japan

Ibusuki more resembles a tropical island than mainland Japan

Miho Beach

Miho Beach may not be made up of the fine, white (or black) sand as the others on this list, but this isn’t what compels visitors to this place. Located in Shizuoka, the home of majestic Mt. Fuji, the tall mountain towers over the beach, making for an unforgettable sight. The beach is covered in stones and lined by legendary pine trees and is a great place for swimming or cycling.

Miho Beach, Shizuoka, Japan

Mt. Fuji from Miho Beach

Jodogahama Beach

The name of this beach means “Pure Land,” the name of the Buddhist paradise, which was inspired by the jagged islands that rise from the calm water of this protected area. Part of the Sanriku Recovery National Park in Iwate, Jodogahama is a popular spot for swimming, hiking, and exploring the nearby caves and unique rock formations.

Jodogahama Beach, Miyako, Iwate, Japan

Rocks that evoke images of the Pure Land at Jodogahama Beach

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article