Looking for a beach get-away near Yokohama? Ready for a day of sand and sun in Tohoku? Looking for a place to spend the day in Wakayama? How about swimming in Shikoku?
The islands of Japan offer many beaches to choose from but having so many choices can be overwhelming! This is the second post in a series where we provide beach suggestions from KA Moms!
Atami Sun Beach in Shizuoka 熱海サンビーチ
Atami Sun Beach is a man-made sandy beach behind a breakwater with easy train access from Tokyo Station. The beach has sand trucked in from Shirahama in Izu so the quality of the sand is good even if the beach is crowded. The town of Atami is perched on a hillside above the beach. When you arrive by train it is a 10 minute downhill walk to reach the water. The hike back up the hill at the end of the day can get tiring but there are bus and taxi options for the return trip.
Since the beach is sheltered it does not have the large waves of other Pacific coast beaches, making it an ideal place for children to swim.
Our family has made a few trips to Atami mainly for the beach but also to enjoy some of the other wonderful sights in the area. Here is a plan for an overnight trip.
When planning a trip please check exact train times, check-in, breakfast, check-out etc. These times are shared just to give you a general idea of a plan.
A few pointers:
☆ Some of the Tokaido trains leave from areas other than Tokyo Stn. such Shinjuku, Ikubukuro and Omiya.
☆ We love to get eki-ben (lunch boxes sold at the station) to enjoy on longer train rides. It is part of the culture that should not be missed! Tokyo Station offers a wide variety in eki-ben. Atami has more limited choices around the station. Ekiben generally should not be eaten on “local” trains so if you take Acty get a Green Car seat if you are planning to enjoy a meal on the train. (http://justbento.com/handbook/bento-culture/all-about-ekiben-japanese-train-station-bentos)
☆ Many hotels will provide pick-up/drop off at local train stations. Be sure to ask ahead of time if you would like to use this service.
☆ You can bring your own beach gear or rent a limited number of things from the hotels across from the beach. We bring our own things.
☆ Atami is known for the seaside fireworks displays. If you want a hotel room with a view you need to book early. If your place doesn’t have a view most likely you will receive a front row seat in the area reserved for people who are spending the night in town.
☆ The Yu~Yu~ Bus 湯〜遊〜バス is a great way to get around the area when sightseeing. With a one-day “free pass” you can get on/off the bus as many times as you’d like. The bus does go on some winding roads so those who get car sick easily should plan to visit many of the stops.
☆ A trip to Atami can be combined with a trip to Odawara, Hakone, Hatsushima or Izu.
Traveling has always been a part of life for Houdini whether through books, tales from friends or family vacations. As her kids grow she enjoys the adventures that come with traveling with children and exploring places within a few hours travel of Tokyo.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain