Izu peninsula is a haven from the nearby megapolis: white sand beaches, dramatic Fuji sunsets, world-class diving and watersports, mountains, waterfalls, jungly interior linked up via small roads and charming Edo-Meiji era townships. All of this with some of Japan’s best onsen to warm up in at the end of a long day.
With such a lot to offer, the place is hardly one of the Tokyo region’s best kept secrets by any means, though the amount it has to offer will surprise anyone visiting for the first, second, third … or even hundredth time.
Making an exhaustive list of Izu’s top beaches would end up an entire book, but here are four highlights which showcase the diversity on offer in this world-away from the world.
This one is conveniently close to the northeast end of the peninsula, and thus to the megapolis and the Shonan coast. It’s not so famed for its beach but the city of Atami is a real gem. Full of Showa charm (and yes, sadly at times of neglect), it’s a seaside town with good, easily swimmable beaches of darker sand and a whole lot to do between swims. Discover our full report about Atami.
Ose Beach, Cape Ose
This one is super hard to get to on long, winding roads but totally worth it for the small, charming beach and its prime Fuji viewing position. There are some nice rock jumping possibilities, a solid campsite and a traditional shrine to visit. Out of season watch out for divers though! Discover our full report about Ose Beach.
Shimoda and Around
Probably the best-known and most historic city on the peninsula, Shimoda boasts some great cultural highlights from the Commodore Perry era. This means you can mix up swimming with sightseeing, and the beaches, including the legendary Shirahama, are among the best in Japan.
Discover our full report about Shimoda.
The emerald-green seas and beautiful volcanic rocks that dot the coast in the rugged southern tip of the peninsula are the stuff of tropical pirate-island fantasy. It’s the best spot for snorkelling and floating in clean, glorious oceans surrounded by nature. Discover our full report about Minami Izu.