Is the landscape in Japan really beautiful?
On the beach in Japan 砂 浜
Shirahama, the beach of the saints
In addition to the Kôya Temple Mount and the Kumano Kodō Pilgrimage Trail, the beautiful beaches of the Kii Peninsula (which stretch from southern Osaka to the sanctuary in Ise) are sometimes forgotten. For example, the most famous beach on the west coast: Shirahama. This crescent-shaped coastal region with a white sandy beach (literally shira-hama) is bordered by a shady avenue lined with hotels. There is also a renowned thermal spring here, so that no summer wishes remain unfulfilled.
One of the special sights of Shirahama is hidden behind a ledge to the left of the beach: the Saki no yu Onsen, one of the oldest and most valued baths in Japan. Here you can sit outside and enjoy the view of the ocean and at the same time lie in the warm thermal water.
But be careful, in summer Shirahama can hardly save itself from visitors! The months of May, June and September are therefore preferable for an excursion. You can also drift a little further south, in the direction of Kushimoto, because the Kii Peninsula has beaches in abundance - many of them less known, but also less well equipped.
Emerald Beach, like in the tropics
When you think of beaches in Japan, you come first Okinawa in mind, this sub-tropical archipelago full of palm trees and coral reefs that can be described as the Riviera of Japanese vacationers. You shouldn't expect deserted, wild beaches in this stronghold of mass tourism. But there is Beaches like cut out of postcards with turquoise blue water and a pristine beach: for example Emerald Beach in the north of the main island of Okinawas (Honto), one of the few freely accessible beaches on the islands (for many others, entry costs between 500 and 1,000 yen). Emerald Beach extends over 500 meters and is located in the middle of a public park with an aquarium and museum (Ocean Park Expo). Protected to the sea by large coral rocks, this is the only lagoon beach in Japan.
Yumigahama, Tokyo's first choice
Izu, a peninsula that was formed in part by the volcanic activity of Mount Fuji, is home to the holiday resort of the same name, which is highly valued for its beaches and small harbors.
In the south of the peninsula, near Shimoda (one of the two large train stations in Izus, next to Atami in the north), there is a kilometer-long, pine-lined beach. Yumigahama is an ideal destination for young people for a picnic or a beach fire in summer (as opposed to the more familiar Shirahama beach). A few kilometers north is Shimokamo, one of the famous hot springs in the area, where there is a tropical garden in addition to the thermal bath.
Asakawa Ozuna, the quiet beach
If you want to make sure not to be disturbed by crowds, you are in good hands on Shikoku Island. The south coast in particular is often deserted, unlike the urban regions in the north around Takamatsu or Matsuyama.
Here, in the perhaps somewhat deserted but charming south, is the beautiful Asakawa Ozuna beach and just across the street from the Pacific. Even in the middle of August, it is rather quiet for bathers and despite the low number of visitors, the beach is well equipped (parking spaces, showers, toilets, automatic lockers). A little further on, surfers will find the perfect wave, either in the south at Kaifu (dem Mecca for Japanese surfers, right at the mouth of the river of the same name) or in the north, on Tainohama Beach.
Nokonoshima, the urban beach
Lying on the beach with your feet in the water, you can see the skyline of the city of Fukuoka with its numerous skyscrapers. The pointed Fukuoka Tower is particularly striking. The beaches on the small island of Nokonoshima (right in the middle of Hakata Bay) may not be the wildest and not a big insider tip, but they are easy to get to (10 minutes by ferry from Meinohama jetty) and provide a good retreat in front of the noisy industrial city of Fukuoka. The gardens of Nokonoshima are known for their lush flower beds (daffodils, cosmeen et cetera). It blooms here all year round.
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