As you explore skyscraper-filled Tokyo neighborhoods like Shibuya and Shinjuku, it can be easy to forget that the ocean sits just a few miles away. While Tokyo Bay itself is not somewhere you'd want to swim, there are plenty of beaches near Tokyo where you can find sun and surf. Whether you head southwestward into Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures, or eastward to Chiba and Ibaraka, these are the best beaches in the vicinity of Tokyo.
Yuigahama Beach, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Kamakura is one of the top day trip destinations from Tokyo, albeit usually for attractions like the Daibutsu-ji "big Buddha" and other relics from the time centuries ago when Kamakura was Japan's capital. However, Kamakura (and Kanagawa prefecture in general) sits right on the sea, which means that many of the best beaches near Tokyo are here. In particular, Yuigahama Beach is popular for its proximity to the center of the city, clean sand, and great waves for the surfing crowd.
How to Get There: Ride the JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura (56 min, 920 yen), then transfer to the Enoshima Electric Railway (2 min, 190 yen).
Shirahama Beach, Shimoda, Shizuoka
If you're looking for a beach near Tokyo that's among the best beaches in Japan (rather than just pleasant or passable), look no farther than Shirahama Beach. Located near Shimoda city in Shizuoka prefecture, Shirahama boasts silvery sand and clear waters that gleam a brilliant turquoise on a sunny day. They're plenty warm for swimming during summer, and a stay here makes a perfect epilogue to a climb up Mt. Fuji, which sits about an hour to the north.
How to Get There: Ride the Shinkansen Kodama from Tokyo to Atami (47 mins), then the Limited Express Odoriko train to Izukyu-Shimoda (84 mins; total journey price 7,460 yen).
Sun Beach, Oarai, Ibaraki
Ibaraki prefecture in general is an underrated getaway from Tokyo, a largely rural and understated area near the capital, which many travelers unassumingly lump in with the Tohoku region. Their loss is your gain, as is the case when you take to the sands of Oarai Sun Beach, which is woefully empty most days of the week. If you decide to take a weekend trip here instead of just coming for the day, this eastward-facing beach is a perfect spot to appreciate Japan's famous rising sun.
How to Get There: Ride the Hitachi Limited Express from Tokyo to Mito (73 mins, 2,270 yen), then transfer to the Kashima Rinkai Railway (14 min, 320 yen).
Ubara Beach, Katsuura, Chiba
If your flight to Japan lands at Narita Airport, you'll probably notice the miles of beaches just to the east of the field, though you'll likely be too high in the sky to pick out any details. Even though Ubara Beach in Katsuura city (which, like Narita Airport, is in Chiba prefecture) is a rather anonymous beach, its clean water and sand still qualify it to stand among the best beaches near Tokyo. You can even watch planes come in for their final approach as you frolic in the waves!
How to Get There: Ride the Wakashio Limited Express direct from Tokyo (86 mins, 1,940 yen).
Akiya Beach, Yokosuka, Kanagawa
Akiya Beach, near Yokosuka city in Kanagawa prefecture, is one of two entries on this list of beaches near Tokyo to feature views of Mt. Fuji. A cameo by Japan's most famous mountain isn't all that will delight you during your swim here, which juxtaposes warm, golden sands with harsh rock walls and pine trees that evoke the vibe of a chilly winter day. Swim or surf: The lack of crowds along the Akiya Coast makes it a popular destination for board-bound Tokyo beachgoers.
How to Get There: Ride the JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo to Zushi (61 min, 920 yen), where buses (every 10 min, 370 yen) will take you to Akiya Beach, also sometimes listed as "Akiya Coast."
Ajigaura Beach, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki
If you've done more than a little research into Japan, you've probably come across Hitachi Seaside Park, where carpets of bluish purple nemophilia flowers bloom every April, giving the country's famous "sakura" a run for their money, at least on Instagram. Even if you can't visit the park during spring (Tip: Equally gorgeous flowers bloom here most of the rest of the year, too.), another option near Hitachinaka city in Ibariki prefecture is Ajigaura Beach. Like the other beaches near Tokyo in Chiba and Ibaraki, the scenery here is rather minimalistic, but it's the perfect place to beat the summer heat, or to clear your head on a hazy winter day.
How to Get There: Ride the Tokiwa Limited Express from Tokyo to Katsuta (87 min, 2,270 yen), then transfer to the Hitachinaka Seaside Railway bound for Ajigaura Station (27 min, 570 yen).
Onjuku Beach, Isumi, Chiba
Speaking once again of Chiba prefecture, Onjuku Beach is another great choice if you're looking for beaches near Tokyo, but don't want to venture too far from the city. Located near Isumi city, Onjuku Beach remains obscure even among many Japanese, which means it's unlikely you'll encounter significant crowds here, even if you visit on a weekend or during the middle of summer.
How to Get There: Ride the Wakashio Limited Express directly from Tokyo to Onjuku (80 mins, 1,940 yen).
Southern Beach, Chigasaki, Kanagawa
What's better than a beach with millions of grains of golden sand, almost no tourists, and a location less than two hours from Tokyo by car or public transportation? One that offers sweeping views of Mt. Fuji, of course! Southern Beach in Chigasaki city, Kanagawa prefecture is definitely one of the best beaches near Tokyo, whether you come in summer for a swim or a surf, or for a pensive walk in winter when Fujisan's snow cap is at its most prominent.
How to Get There: Ride the JR Tokaido Line directly from Tokyo to Chigasaki (54 mins, 970 yen).