Tokyo Area Guide: Beaches near Tokyo 東京の近くのビーチ
One thing that Tokyoites like to do is visit the beach, usually as a day trip or on a weekend getaway. Surprisingly there are a large number of beaches within easy reach of Tokyo, with it only taking about an hour or so to get onto a beautiful, white sanded beach. Beaches near Tokyo can be easily reached by public transportation, such as the shinkansen, or by hire car.
Enoshima is also nearby to Kamakura, so many people like to combine the two into a weekend or day trip. Just like Odaiba in Tokyo, Enoshima has become a hip place for youngsters to hang out, but there is plenty to do for visitors of all ages.
The main reason to come is of course for the beaches, which line the east and west of the island. There are also beaches on the mainland near the approach to Enoshima, and a few of these are patrolled by lifeguards. As a result they are very popular with swimmers and surfers, so be sure to get here early before the crowds if coming at the weekend or on public holidays. Most beaches on Enoshima have rental facilities for things such as deck chairs and parasols.
Enoshima Shrine, in the center of the island, is a well known shrine in Kanto. What makes it stand out is a naked statue of Benzaiten, the goddess of music and entertainment, which is a rare sight. Enoshima Aquarium is also another great destination, especially for the kids. It's a large, modern aquarium which displays life found in the surrounding sea. There are regular shows, such as dolphin and seal shows.
For those that want a bit of history as well the Samuel Cocking Garden is worth a visit. Named after a British merchant who bought much of the island after the Meiji Restoration, the area features a stunning botanical garden. It is open from 9am to 8pm and located near Enoshima Shrine.
Access To Enoshima
You can access Enoshima by arriving at three different stations. These are Katase-Enoshima Terminus on the Odakyu Enoshima Line, Enoshima Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway, and Shonan-Enoshima Station on the Shonan Monorail. To get here from Tokyo, it's easiest to take the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku Station (around 70 minutes. Transfers may be required to reach Katase-Enoshima.
Zushi, close by to Enoshima, is another great day trip from Tokyo. It is the closest natural beach to Tokyo and is therefore usually done as a one day trip.
Zushi has some temples and a similar feel to Kamakura, but is a lot quieter. The beaches are also less crowded than in Enoshima, with a rather old-school, retro feel. This certainly isn't the Gold Coast, but it's a great place to get out the deck chair and enjoy the view.
Zushi Beach is a short, well sign posted walk from the Zushi train stations. At a couple of kilometers there will usually be a good spot to settle down, and during the summer it is patrolled for swimmers. What makes Zushi Beach extra special is that on very clear days sunbathers are able to see Mount Fuji in the distance. Head to the southern end for the best view. Compared to others nearby Zushi Beach is also quite a clean beach.
The main town of Zushi has some nice cafes and streets to walk around. Hiroyama Park is often recommended by locals as it provides a great view of Mount Fuji, plus has lots of facilities such as a large playground. The park also has a small zoo, with monkeys and other little creatures to view.
Access To Zushi
You can access Zushi using the Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station or the Shonan-Shinjuku Line from Shinjuku. The journey only takes around 1 hour. It's a short walk to the coast from the station.
Zushi offers a variety of places to stay to suit all budgets including the Japanese inn KKR Zushi Shotei-en right near the beach.
While Onjuku does not have as many attractions as Zushi or Enoshima, it's a much quieter town. Along the way to the beach you will see camels on lampposts and other signage. Eventually you will come across Tsuki No Sabaku, a statue of camel riders. It's a little odd to see this in Japan, but makes for a rather unique, if strange beach experience. The statue is a reference to a song written about this lovely beach.
You won't find as many noisy kids here as on other beaches, so most visitors just come and relax on the beach all day. The beach itself is rather wide, so visitors can easily play a bit of volleyball or football, plus there are a few cafes and small supermarkets nearby.
Access To Onjuku
You can access Onjuku by taking the Keiyo Line train from Tokyo Station. It takes around 90 minutes.
Located at the bottom of the Izu Peninsula, Tatadohama is a small town south of Shimoda with a relaxed vibe. As is to be expected in Kanto, it is easy to get to, safe and offers some very comfortable places to stay and eat.
The beach in Tatadohama offers clear water and almost white sand. This has to be one of the most authentic beach experiences that people can get on a day trip from Tokyo. The back of the beach is lined with stunning forests and surfers and sunbathers are able to get a good view of the mountains lining the peninsula to the north.
Tatadohama is a hot spot for surfers and it seems many come just for this. The beach offers some great waves and is patrolled for safety. The waves are usually good but easy for learners, so come here if you are starting up. There are also great facilities for use, such as showers, huts and more. While it does not offer as many attractions as Zushi or Enoshima, it makes up for it with its few chilled out cafes and bars.
Access To Tatadohama
Tatadohama is best accessed using the Super View Odoriko Limited Express from Tokyo Station to Izukyu-Shimoda Station (2.5 hours). From here you can take a regular bus to Tatadohama Beach.
Matthew is a blogger and writer living in Tokyo, Japan. He writes for Super Cheap Japan, a travel guide dedicated to budget travel in Japan. You can read more of his work at www.supercheapjapan.com