5 Less Crowded Beaches Near Tokyo

Beat The Crowds At These Secret Spots

By The Savvy Team
August 20, 2020
Lifestyle

Schools are out and Tokyo temperatures are so hot you could literally fry an egg on your own forehead, meaning everybody’s only got one destination in mind: the beach. Avoid the crowd and keep safe with these non-busy beaches around Tokyo.

While there’s no shortage of sand to sink your toes in within easy reach of the city, the most popular beaches near Tokyo can often get very crowded. It’s important to #StayHome as much as we can but you also need to get out and take some fresh air to keep your mental health in check. When in the need of a beach outing, try one of these 5 beaches near Tokyo.

These family-friendly, clean, and non-busy beaches are locally known but less advertised—you’ll be sunbathing with neighborhood families instead of herds of pale, fun-starved office workers (ahem, not us at all… ).


Onjuku (Chiba)


 

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Acapulco’s sister city, Onjuku’s long and wide stretch of white sand has enough room for all of the long-haired surfers that come for the waves and stay for the evening barbecues on the beach. There aren’t so many facilities, just a short row of food and drink stands set up during the summer. Pick up supplies in the main town—which has a relaxed, surfer-chic vibe—and watch the pros catching the waves. You can even have a go yourself, several shops and guesthouses offer board rental and lessons.

Savvy Tip

It’s better to shop when you arrive before heading to the coast as the closest supermarket (スーパーおおた) is about a 20 – 25 minutes walk from the beaches’ main entrance.

Access

The closest station is Onjuku station on the JR Sotobo line from where the beach is about a 15-minute walk. Fast Wakashio limited express trains run from Tokyo Station and take 80 minutes for ¥4,070. Local trains are half the price (¥1,980) but can take more than two hours with transfers. Buses also depart from Tokyo station, reaching Onjuku in about two hours (¥1,900).


Inamuragasaki (Kanagawa)


 

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Sandwiched between the more famous beaches of Kamakura and Enoshima, this small and secluded spot is a lovely place to watch the sunset—especially when Mt. Fuji reveals itself between Enoshima and the mainland in the distance. Inamuragasaki is a beach to relax and unwind, head there to enjoy a calm and refreshing outing outside of the always busy Tokyo life.

Savvy Tip

Walk to Inamuragasaki Park right next to the beach if you need a shaded break from the heat.

Access

From Tokyo station, take the JR Yokosuka line to Kamakura station and switch to the charmingly old-fashioned Enoden monorail to Inamuragasaki station (approx. 80 minutes for ¥1,160).


Hayama Isshiki (Kanagawa)


 

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Instead of heading to Zushi, take a short bus ride from the station to reach this scenic beach, which even has the Emperor’s stamp of approval (his Imperial Villa sits just behind Hayama Isshiki facing out to sea). Apparently, Isshiki is so picturesque it’s often used as a setting for amateur films, and in the evenings the temporary beach shacks are filled with artsy types chatting late into the night. Lately, Isshiki seems to be more popular and slightly more crowded especially in the main area: walk along the shore to enjoy more space!

Savvy Tip

Wait for next summer to grab a drink at Blue Moon (pictured), Isshiki’s beach bar hotspot offering everything from cocktails with tiny umbrellas to spa treatments.

Access

From Shinjuku station, take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line to Zushi station and get on a Keikyu bus bound for Hayama. The stop is Isshiki Kaigan. The trip takes around 90 minutes and costs about ¥1,200.


Ishihama (Ibaraki)


 

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Another of the 100 best beaches in Japan, this beautiful strip of white sand is edged with emerald pine trees and clear blue water like something out of a travel brochure. Because of this, it can get busier than the other beaches on this list but there are plenty of other things to do in the surrounding Ishihama Vacation Area, like hiking and or dipping in hot springs. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, lifeguards and seasonal facilities are not operating this summer but you can access the beach year-round.

Savvy Tip

The Ishihama coastline is famous for cormorant birds that are used in traditional Japanese fishing (ukai). Spot them scoping out unsuspecting beachgoers’ food at the southern end of the beach.

Access

From Tokyo station, you can take the two-hour JR Hitachi limited express train to Hitachi station, then switch at Mito to the JR Joban line to Juo station (¥4,880). From Juo, it’s about a 20-minute walk.


Chigasaki (Kanagawa)


 

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If Inamuragasaki is too crowded to practice social distancing, try pushing further to Chigasaki beach in Kanagawa. Like a lot of beaches in Japan, you might need to walk a few meters on the shore to find a calm spot but you will surely be in awe with the view: the silhouette of beloved Mt. Fuji will accompany you every step of the way.

Savvy Tip

Grab a few drinks and join the locals BBQing while gazing at the soothing view of the sun setting behind Mt. Fuji.

Access

From Tokyo station, take the JR Ueno-Tokyo local train to Chigasaki station (¥1,170), the beach is about a 20-minute walk from the station. You can also take a bus to Nakakaigan stop to half down this walk.

If you really want to avoid the crowds, just head to the beach outside of the “official” season which typically ends around the last weekend of August. The beach shacks will be closed and the lifeguards back to university, but the weather is still good until the end of September.