Beachin' fun near near bases on Kanto Plain

Beachin' fun near near bases on Kanto Plain

by Jessica A Paje

The sweet summer months are upon us. It’s time to make a splash in the ocean, curl up our toes in the sand, and prepare for that perfect tan. Here is a list of 12 beaches located in the Shonan area of Miura Peninsula, Kanagawa prefecture. Starting from the east side of the peninsula to the west, you could potentially visit all of these beaches in one day if you wanted to. Each destination is accessible by car, train or bus and is located within one hour or less of Yokosuka's Naval Base Japan. Enjoy and have a sun-sational summer!

1. Sarushima Island in Yokosuka

Also known as Monkey Island, Sarushima Island is the only natural island and former military fortress that sits in Tokyo Bay. Popular for barbeques and swimming. Expect large crowds to designate this area for beach parties. Snack pavilion, grill & umbrella rentals, toilets, and rinse stations available onsite. If not there for the beach, take a stroll along the uninhabited hillside to enjoy the lush greenery and wonderful views of Tokyo Bay. Accessible only by ferry, round-trip fees are 1,300yen (Adults) and 650yen (Children). Just a 10-minute walk from Yokosuka Naval Base, Womble Gate.

2. Hashimirizu Beach in Yokosuka

Located off of the beaten path, you can enjoy a leisurely swim at Hashimirizu. Popular for shell fishing like clams. Small boat shops and restaurants cooking fresh fish are in the area. Toilet facility is available at the entrance near Seaside Route-16. Recommend access by car. Pay Park lot is available at 200yen/30minutes. In the same parking lot, take advantage of filling up your bottles with the spring water on tap for free. By train, take taxi from Maborikaigan Station.

3. Kannonzaki Beach, Boardwalk, Park & Lighthouse in Yokosuka

Also known as Kenritsu Kannonzaki Park, this area boasts a sandy beach, grassy area, unique rock formations, a lighthouse, snack shop and boardwalk that runs just behind Keikyu Kannonzaki Hotel. Beachgoers love to swim out to the tiny pier that sits close to the shore, but far enough to enjoy a nice jump into the cool ocean water. Arrive early to pop up your tent in the grassy area in preparation for a fun-filled day of sunbathing and barbequing! Walk around the bend to find artists painting a portrait of the lighthouse. Located just beyond the Yokosuka Museum of Art at the end of Seaside Route-16, pay 890yen for parking. Bus or taxi from Uraga Station.

4. CapeTomyozaki in Nishiuraga, Yokosuka

Most commonly referred to as the “Secret Beach” among foreigners in the local area, Cape Tomyozaki is home to Tomyodo Lighthouse, a wooden Japanese style lighthouse rebuilt in 1988. This lovely, secluded beach is gaining more popularity with the sea glass and pottery hobbyists. Its lighter, beige-toned sand, occasional tide pools, and rock formations make this location perfect for sunbathers, children who want to explore, swimmers and fisherman. Access by car is highly recommended. Ample parking is available for 1,000yen (occasional free weekdays). Or, take taxi from Uraga Station on the Keikyu Line.

5. Kurihama Seashore at Perry Park

A large, quiet, soft sandy beach that sits just across from Commodore Matthew C. Perry Park and adjacent to the Tokyo Wan Ferry servicing the Kurihama and Kanaya Ports. Popular for jet skis, children who love to build sand castles and groups that set up tents for grilling. Keep an eye out on the annual Kurihama Perry Fireworks Festival. Free parking along Perry Park or 15-minute walk from KeikyuKurihama or Kurihama Station. Convenience stores nearby.

6. Miurakaigan Beach in Miura City

The largest and most accessible on the peninsula attracts high-speed watercraft, windsurfers and sunbathers along the sandy beach. More than 1km long, there are many dining facilities in the surrounding area. Annual fireworks festival is held in August and showcases 3,000 fireworks! Ample parking (some paid, others free) and just a 3-minute walk from Miurakaigan Station.

7. Akiya Beach in Yokosuka City

Adjacent to unique rock formation at Tateishi Park and Restaurant Don, Akiya beach offers a large sandy area for setting up tent to picnic and listen to sound of the crashing waves. On clear days catch views of Mt. Fuji. Located off of Route 134 on the west side of the peninsula, free parking is available in the Tateishi parking lot. Arrive early to avoid the long line.

8. Morito Beach in Hayama

An intimate, pet-friendly beach offers silky soft sand beneath your feet. Surfers and swimmers alike flock to this beach as an alternative to the ever-so-popular, Isshiki Beach in Hayama. Visit the makeshift restaurant shacks offering good food and cold drinks. Many Pay Park lots available or access by bus from Zushi or Shin-Zushi Stations.

9. Isshiki Beach in Hayama

Chosen as one of the World’s Best 100 Beaches (No. 65) by CNN in 2014, Isshiki Beach sits just beyond Hayama’s Imperial Villa. Two crescents of sand separated by a small grassy isthmus invite those who like to windsurf, kayak, and swim. Or, those who just want to relax in the grassy area with their pets. Be sure to visit the well-known bamboo shack, Blue Moon, for its ambiance, great food, drinks and concerts on the weekend. Blue Moon celebrates its 18th anniversary in 2014. Due to Isshiki’s proximity to the Imperial Villa, beach guests should kindly arrive and leave as quietly and respectfully as possible.

10. Zushi Beach

Due to its strong winds and small waves, this beach is popular for windsurfers and stand-up paddle boarding. Sunbathers and families with small children also enjoy this area due to the nice, flat layout of the sand near the surf. Previously deemed as “Foreigner friendly” and home to the annual MTV Zushi Beach Fest, the city of Zushi has imposed restrictions due to an increase in complaints over the last few years. Signs posted require beachgoers to cover tattoos, no loud music, no barbecues and no alcohol. From the south end, Mt. Fuji is visible on a clear day. Beach huts close by 6:30pm. 15-minute walk from Zushi or Shin-Zushi Sta. Pay Park lot on the North end of the beach.

11. Kamakura’s Yuigahama Beach

Yuigahama is the most popular of the three coasts in Kamakura (Zaimokuza and Koshigoe are the others). Many beach houses and windsurfers, similar feel to that of Zushi Beach. Signs posted on the shoreline indicate beachgoers should cover tattoos, keep music below 80db, do not drink too much, do not frighten others, no littering, smoke in designated areas, do not light fires on the beach, keep animals out of the water, and do not use dangerous equipment. Exit from one of four train stations; each within 5-10 minutes walking distance (Hase, Yuigahama, Wadazuka or Kamakura Station). Large underground Pay Park available, just beneath Kamakura Seaside Park.

12. Shonankaigan & Kugenemakaigan at Enoshima

These adjacent parks both command awesome views of the popular tourist attraction, Enoshima Island. Great place to surf, swim, sunbath, and play volleyball. Many showers, shops, beach houses, and restaurants. Enoshima Information Booth on the corner. Lessons available for surfing and bodyboarding. Pay Park lots available at 260yen every 30 minutes. Beaches close at 8:00pm daily.

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