Tokyo offers a few beaches along its coast, but the water quality in the city is rather low, although it has been improving steadily over recent decades. Many more beaches are located within a 1-2 hour train ride in nearby Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures and on the Izu Peninsula.
The beaches around Tokyo allow for sunbathing and swimming, and many are also good for surfing and windsurfing. Unlike the beaches in Okinawa, most beaches around Tokyo are not ideal for snorkeling and diving except for a few on the Izu Peninsula.
The swimming season around Tokyo spans July and August, during which time lifeguards are on duty. Some beaches offer permanent toilet and shower facilities, while temporary beach huts open during the swimming season, providing beachgoers with additional showers, changing rooms, shaded rest areas, food, drinks and beach paraphernalia for rent. Some beaches near urban areas prohibit alcohol consumption, exposed tattoos, noise and fireworks.
There are a handful of sand beaches in the city were people can enjoy sunbathing. However these beaches have some of the country's strictest rules, and swimming is generally prohibited due to the poor water quality in the bay. At some beaches it is okay to wade into the shallow parts of the water, but fully submerging yourself or your face may be prohibited.
Odaiba Beach is an 800 meter long man-made beach located on Odaiba. Sand was brought over from the Izu Islands to create this artificial beach. Swimming in the waters is not allowed, but the beach is popular for sunbathing and beach sports events, and also offers panoramic views of metropolitan Tokyo across the bay. Public toilets and paid showers are available nearby.
Located in Kasai Rinkai Park across the river from Tokyo Disney Resort, this beach has recently started to lift the ban on swimming temporarily during the swimming season when the water quality allows. Public toilets, showers and changing rooms are available nearby. Asides from the beach, the park includes an aquarium, bird sanctuary and Ferris wheel.
The Shonan Coast stretches over a few dozen kilometers along the shoreline of Kanagawa Prefecture. Many of the beaches along the Shonan Coast are popular for sunbathing and swimming, while surfing, windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding can also be done at some locations. Being close to the city, the rules at some of the beaches along the Shonan Coast can be fairly strict. Beaches along the coast can usually be reached in 5-20 minute walks from a nearby train station.
20 min walk from Kamakura Station or 5 min walk from Yuigahama Station
Yuigahama and Zaimokuza are two popular swimming beaches that are located beside one another on the coast of Kamakura. During the summer holidays, temporary beach huts and rental shops open along the sand and provide beachgoers with shade, food and drinks. Public facilities include toilets and outdoor showers.
Five minutes on foot from Enoshima or Katase-Enoshima stations
Directly next to Enoshima are two popular swimming beaches which are patrolled by lifeguards during the season. Restaurants and shaded rest houses line the coast, play popular music and offer deck chairs and parasols for rent during the summer holidays.
About ten minutes on foot from Kugenuma Kaigan Station
Kugenuma Beach is one of the more popular surfing beaches along the Shonan Coast. Volleyball and tennis courts are set up on the beach with equipment laid out for anyone to play. Beach huts, rest houses and rental shops can be found on the smaller swimming side of Kugenuma beach, but not on the surfing side.
20 minute walk from Chigasaki Station
Chigasaki Beach is about six kilometers long and connects to the above listed Kugenuma Beach. The western end of the beach near central Chigasaki is most popular for sunbathers and swimmers as lifeguards patrol that end, and there are a number of temporary beach huts providing showers, rental equipment, food and shelter.
The Miura Peninsula is a small peninsula south of Yokohama. The more popular beaches on the peninsula are found in the towns of Zushi and Hayama along the western coast which offer views of Mount Fuji on clear days. The rules tend to be strict, especially around Zushi Beach. Most of the beaches on the peninsula are within a short bus ride from a nearby train station.
15 minute walk from Zushi Station
Zushi Beach is a popular beach on the northwestern end of the Miura Peninsula. Stretching for about one kilometer, the beach offers swimming and sunbathing at its central and northern end, while water sports like windsurfing are carried out around the southern end. Temporary beach huts and rental shops line the sand and offer shade, toilets, showers, food and drinks.
10 min by bus #12 from Zushi Station (Morito Kaigan, 200 yen one way)
The 350 meter long Morito Beach lies about two kilometers south of Zushi Beach. During the swimming season the beach is lined by temporary beach huts and rental shops, while lifeguards patrol the area. Morito Shrine is located beside the beach, and the shore in front of the shrine offers nice panoramic views.
15 minutes by bus #12 from Zushi Station (Isshiki Kaigan, 250 yen one way)
Another kilometer further down the peninsula's western coast is the 650 meter long Isshiki Beach. It has temporary beach huts and rental shops during the swimming season. A short walk away is Chojagasaki Beach, a smaller beach with limited facilities. Swimming at either beach is only allowed in the designated areas, and lifeguards are present during the swimming season.
Located a little further away, the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture offers many of the best beaches near Tokyo, especially around its southern tip. Some of the beaches are even somewhat enjoyable for snorkeling. There are generally fewer rules at the beaches in Izu compared to those closer to Tokyo. Most only prohibit barbecuing and camping.
Atami Sun Beach
Ten minute walk from Atami Station
Atami Sun Beach is an approximately 400 meter long beach in the middle of the city. Rental shops, restaurants and convenience stores are found nearby. The beach can get very crowded during the summer with as many people on the shore as in the water.
10 minute walk from Izutaga Station or 20 minutes by bus from Atami
Nagahama is a 400 meter long beach not far from Atami. Popular for swimming and sunbathing, it is also considerably less crowded compared to Atami Sun Beach. Temporary beach huts, rental shops and food stalls open for business during the swimming season.
The 800 meter long Shirahama Beach is one of the peninsula's most famous and popular beaches. Convenience stores and shops along the main road offer food, drinks and rental equipment. Public toilets can be found along the main road as well.
20 minutes by bus from Shimoda Station, followed by a short walk along a relatively steep slope to the beach
Kujuppama Beach is a small and slightly hidden beach southeast of Shimoda. Despite its size and location, the beach is fairly popular with swimming and sunbathing visitors. Facilities at the beach include a rental shop, food stand and toilets. Kujuppama Beach is best accessed by car, as bus service is very infrequent.
Two minute ferry ride from Nakagi Port (1500 yen for a 1-day pass)
Hirizo Beach is right by the southern tip of the peninsula and can only be reached by a two minute boat ride. The waters surrounding the small, rocky beach are perfect for snorkeling and swimming. The beach gets very crowded during the summer holidays. There are only porta toilets at the beach, while other facilities like rental shops, scant food and drink stores can be found near the boat terminal.
Noribama Beach is located right beside the popular attraction Dogashima in western Izu. The 150 meter long, sandy beach is bordered by Dogashima's dramatic stone formations, offering very scenic views. Beach huts and rental shops line the beach, and there are ample public facilities like toilets nearby.
The western and southern coasts of the Boso Peninsula face the Pacific Ocean and are lined by beaches. The most famous of all is Kujukurihama Coast, an almost 60 kilometer stretch made up of several beaches. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, surfing is very popular at many beaches. Lifeguards patrol the waters and temporary beach huts and rental shops offer additional facilities during the summer.
20 minutes by bus from Togane Station, followed by a five minute walk
Katakai Beach lies in the middle of the Kujukurihama Coast and is one of the most visited beaches in the area. Surfing is very popular here in addition to swimming and body boarding. Numerous beach huts and rental shops line the shore, and public facilities include toilets and outdoor showers. One of the food specialties at Katakai is grilled hamaguri clam which is sold at almost all beach huts.
Seven minute walk from Onjuku Station
Onjuku Beach is a popular, crescent-shaped beach located in Onjuku. Swimming, body boarding and surfing are popular activities here. Beach huts and rental shops line the shore and public facilities include toilets and outdoor showers.
15 minute walk from Futomi Station, the a short ferry ride to the island (1350 yen for a 1-day pass)
Niemonjima Island is made up of one large island and a number of smaller rock outcrops in the sea. The ferry crossing takes less than five minutes, and there is a single store on the island that serves both a restaurant and rental shop. Swimming and snorkeling are popular in the small eddies and waters around the island. There is a walking course around the island which can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Note that there are no lifeguards on the island.
Ibaraki Prefecture faces the Pacific Ocean and offers several very spacious beaches with wide and shallow shores that can easily accommodate a lot of people without feeling overcrowded. Body boarding, swimming and sunbathing are the more popular activities in Ibaraki. Lifeguards patrol the waters and temporary beach huts and rental shops offer additional facilities during the summer.
Oarai Sun Beach
20 minute walk or five minute bus ride from Oarai Station
Oarai Sun Beach is one of the biggest beaches (if not the biggest) in Ibaraki Prefecture. The massive beach has shallow waters that stretch for a long distance, and there are many beach huts and rental shops offering warm showers, food and beach equipment. Free toilets and outdoor showers are also available. The beach is close to the Resort Outlets Oarai, an outlet shopping mall with restaurants.
Ten minutes by bus from Choshi Station, followed by a five minute walk
Hasaki Beach is the southernmost beach in Ibaraki Prefecture. The large and wide beach has shallow waters that stretch for a long distance. Surfing and body boarding are popular activities in addition to swimming and sunbathing. Beach huts and rental shops offer food and beach equipment, and public facilities include toilets and outdoor showers. Parking is free at Hasaki which may be a draw for those arriving by car.