In recent years, Japan has enjoyed a surge of visitors from the UK. According to the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the amount of visitors increased by ¼ between January and July in 2016 compared to the first half of 2015. During the aforementioned period, visitors in Japan were estimated at 14.01 million, which surpassed the 11.05 million recorded in 2015.
By 2020, Japan expects to see their foreign guests double in anticipation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Due to the increasing amount of visitors from the UK, the country's tourism industry expects the numbers to go as high as 40 million.
Despite the ongoing surge of visitors, however, it would seem that plenty of places in Japan remain unexplored by the foreign masses. Guests from the UK, in particular, spend most of their time trawling Tokyo's busiest streets and are mostly unaware that Japan has a lot of beautiful beaches where tourists can relax.
Japan's beaches are just as beautiful as the ones being advertised in places such as Bali but unfortunately don’t quite get as much mainstream media coverage. So with that in mind, here are several beaches near Tokyo that you can visit as well as providing UK citizens useful information regarding travel.
Hayama-Isshiki Beach is just a 20-minute bus ride from Tokyo's Sangaoka stop. The beach is one of the most popular destinations for city dwellers that want to take a quick break from urbanity and enjoy the sun. The green and lush surroundings make it seem a little bit like Okinawa, and the atmosphere here is usually very laid back. It is surrounded by rock formations and natural flora, making it a popular site not only for vacationers but also many film crews who’ve shot movies here in the past.
You'll arrive in Onjuku Beach in about an hour and a half if you ride the express Keiyo line train Wakashio from Tokyo Station. Alternatively, you can take local trains but it usually takes more time to get to Onjuku Beach.
Onjuku Beach is known for its images of camels next to lamp posts. The reason for this becomes apparent when you get near the beach and see the Tsuki No Sabaku memorial, which is in homage to a famous Japanese song.
Onjuku Beach is in a beautiful, wide semi-circle shape with very flat contours. It is the perfect spot for beach dates or picnics, as it offers a very romantic setting at night. You can also rent longboards, shortboards, funboards, and stand up paddleboards and learn how to surf with professionals at Onjuku Beach.
You can get to Tatadohama Beach in Izu by taking a train at the Izukyu-Shimoda Station. Going to the beach takes two and a half hours by bullet train, and about three and a half hours if you take the Tokaido Line through Ito.
Don't be turned off by the long train rides, as Tatadohama is one of the most impressive beaches in Japan. The waters here are crystal clear, and there are thick forests surrounding the area. The beach has really strong waves throughout the year, making it a popular spot for surfers. At night, Tatadohama's hot springs are a hit especially amongst the more mature demographic.
Travel information to Japan
The likelihood is if you’re from the UK, you will be traveling from London before catching a direct flight to Japan. The first thing to consider when traveling to London is the immense traffic you’ll likely have to encounter/contend with especially during rush hour.
Public transport can get very crowded given the amount of people that live in the city. Therefore, it is advised to add at least an hour or two to your travel time to be safe. If you want to limit your travel time, plan your journey so that you miss the city’s rush hour periods (7am-9am, 5pm-7pm).
Alternatively, you can stay at a hotel near the airport so you won't have any problems getting caught up in traffic. This makes sense especially if you have an early or late flight to catch. If you're flying from Gatwick Airport, leading airport-based company Parking4Less listed several nearby hotels including Copthorne and Sofitel as viable options for travelers.
Whatever way you end up choosing to travel to Japan, once you get to the country it will be the start of a very memorable trip to one of Asia’s most wonderful countries. Japan's beaches are tourist friendly, and the best thing about them is that they can be reached easily by train or bus.