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Miyagi Beach Guide

Swim & surf Miyagi this summer

· Activities,Nature,Leisure,Beaches,Summer

By Wesley Keppel-Henry

Updated July 16, 2021

When Japan's hot, humid summer weather finally hits Tohoku, nothing beats a day spent cooling off at the beach! Below is a list of all the official swimming beaches currently open in Miyagi, plus three a short way south of the border in Fukushima. These beaches are all free and open to the public. The guide is ordered north-to-south, starting with the sublime island-bound Kodanohama Beach in the northern reaches of the prefecture.

2021 update: Due to concern over coronavirus, several of Miyagi's swimming beaches will officially be closed this summer. Beach facilities (restrooms, showers, etc.) will be locked, and swimming or spending time at these beaches strongly discouraged.

The Miyagi beaches which will be open are those in the north of the prefecture along the Sanriku Coast, in Kesennuma, Motoyoshi, and Minamisanriku. In addition to the Miyagi beaches, swimming beaches in Fukushima will also be open. Naturally, coronavirus prevention measures will be in place. For details on which prevention measures are being enforced where, see the Details links below.

Kodanohama Beach 

小田の浜海水浴場

Kesennuma, Miyagi

A gorgeous swimming beach located on Oshima Island, just off the coast of Kesennuma. In fact, it has been named the second-best swimming beach in all of Japan by the Ministry of the Environment! As one would expect of the second-best swimming beach in the nation, it boasts pristine white sand and calm waters. SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) is also available, through the Oshima Paddle Club (reservations required).

2021 official season: July 22–August 22

Water quality: AA

Amenities: Toilets, showers, changing rooms, beach huts

Details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Details (Japanese): miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: Map here

Access: About 40 minutes by bus from Kesennuma Station (気仙沼駅) or Shishiori-Karakuwa Station (鹿折唐桑駅). Board an Oshima Line (大島線) bus bound for Oshima (大島), alight at Asane (浅根) bus stop. Bus maps here, timetable here.

Oya Beach

大谷海水浴場

Kesennuma, Miyagi

This summer (2021), Oya Beach will reopen for the first time in over ten years! Kesennuma’s spacious Oya Beach was once one of the most popular beaches in the country. Not only was it selected as one of the Top 100 Swimming Beaches by the Ministry of the Environment, it was also famous for being the closest swimming beach to a train station in all of Japan. Closed since 2010 (one year before the Great East Japan Earthquake), the city plans to reopen it this July.

Within easy walking distance of the beach and BRT Line station is the newly opened Michi no Eki Oya Kaigan (道の駅 大谷海岸), a shopping complex featuring a farmers' market and food court, making it easy to come to Oya Beach on a whim, without having to worry about packing supplies for the day.

2021 official swimming season: July 17–August 22

Water quality: Has not been tested since reopening

Amenities: Lifeguards, showers, changing rooms, beach vendors, toilets

Details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: Map here

Access: 4-minute walk from Oyakaigan Station

Koizumi Beach

小泉海水浴場

Motoyoshi, Miyagi

Koizumi Beach was named one of Japan's Top 100 Swimming Beaches by the Ministry of the Environment! Before the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake it was also good for surfing, but that may have changed since the concrete sea walls were erected.

2021 official season: July 17–August 22

Water quality: AA

Amenities: Lifeguard, showers , changing rooms, beach vendors, toilets

Details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: Map here

Access: 20-minute walk from Rikuzen-Koizumi Station

Sun Ole Sodehama Beach 

サンオーレそではま海水浴場

Minamisanriku, Miyagi

A swimming beach reopened in 2018 for the first time since the 2011 tsunami. It boasts a 300-meter man-made sandy beach. The uninhabited island Areshima is connected to Sun Ole Sodehama by footpath. If you start feeling weary of all the sun and sand on the beach, refresh yourself with a stroll on this shady forest island.

2021 official season: July 17–August 22 (Open weekends only during July, every day during August)

Official hours: 10:00–15:00 weekdays, 9:30–16:00 weekends & holidays (August 11–14 count as holidays)

Water quality: A

Amenities: Toilets, free showers, food stalls (peak days only), BBQ area (reservations required)

Details: m-kankou.jp

Location: Map here

Access: About 1.5 kilometers on foot or by rental cycle from Shizugawa Station

Watanoha Beach 

石巻市営渡波海水浴場

Ishinomaki, Miyagi

This swimming beach reopened in 2018 for the first time since the 2011 tsunami. It is conveniently located near central Ishinomaki, within walking distance of an artisanal bakery, fish market, and convenience store.

2021 official season: None (closed due to concern over coronavirus)

Official hours: 10:00–15:00

Water quality: B

Amenities: Showers, changing rooms, toilets

Details: miyagi-kankou.or.jp

Location: Map here

Access: 30-minute walk from Watanoha Station

Shirahama Beach 

白浜海水浴場

Ishinomaki, Miyagi

One of two "Shirahama" beaches in Ishinomaki City, this one lies on the mainland. Due to its out-of-the-way location in the far north of Ishinomaki, this beach draws much smaller crowds than others and is said to have a "hidden beach" vibe.

2021 official season: None (closed due to concern over coronavirus)

Water quality: B

Amenities: Toilets, changing rooms, showers, foot-washing station

Details: miyagi-kankou-or.jp

Location: Map here

Ajishirahama Beach 

網地白浜海水浴場

Ishinomaki, Miyagi

A scenic swimming beach on Ajishima, a small island off the coast of Ishinomaki. The island boasts a number of homey minshuku inns and boat service to cat island Tashirojima, making it a great spot for weekend getaway.

2021 official season: None (closed due to concern over coronavirus)

Water quality: B

Amenities: Showers, changing rooms

Details: city.ishinomaki.lg.jp

Location: Map here

Access: About 1 hour by boat from the Ajishima Line Chuo Terminal (網地島ライン中央発着所). The Chuo Terminal is a 15-minute walk from Ishinomaki Station. Board boat bound for Ajishima (網地島), alight at Aji Port (網地港). Details and timetable here.

Tsukihama Beach 

月浜海水浴場

Higashimatsushima, Miyagi

This scenic beach on the southern tip of Miyato Island in Higashimatsushima is well-loved as a swimming beach for its calm waves. It lies in a protected cove, so it's well suited to young children and novice swimmers.

2021 official season: None (closed due to concern over coronavirus)
Official hours: 9:00–15:30

Water quality: B
Amenities: Showers (fee), toilets. The nearby Oku-Matsushima Taiken Network offers English-friendly sea kayak rental and other seafaring experiences (reservations required).

Details (English): visitmiyagi.com 

Details (Japanese): miyagi-kankou.or.jp 

Location: Map here
Access: About 8 kilometers from Nobiru Station. Taxis and rental bicycles are available.

Katsurashima Beach 

浦戸桂島海水浴場

Shiogama, Miyagi

Live the dream! Swim at a beach located on one of Matsushima Bay's iconic islands. In addition to swimming, the islands little-used roads and wooded trails make it a nice spot for a chill, island-vibe nature walk.

2021 official season: None (closed due to concern over coronavirus)

Official hours: 10:00–16:00

Water quality: B
Amenities: Lifeguard, food stalls, showers, toilets

Details (English): sendaimotions.com/blog/katsurashima 

Details (Japanese): miyagi-kankou.or.jp 

Location: Map here

Access: About 30 minutes by ferry from Marine Gate Shiogama (マリンゲート塩釜), followed by a 10-minute walk. Board Shiogama municipal ferry (市営汽船) bound for Hojima (朴島). Alight at Katsurashima (桂島). Timetable here (Japanese) and here (English)*.

*The English timetable is current, but the fare table is out of date. For up-to-date fares, please see the Japanese page.

Shobutahama Beach 

菖蒲田浜海水浴場

Shichigahama, Miyagi

First opened in 1888, it is the third-oldest swimming beach in Japan and is said to have been Tohoku's most popular swimming beach, in the years before the 2011 tsunami. It's popular with surfers as well as swimmers. It reopened in 2017 and has been hosting a number of festivals ever since, such as surf competitions and the Seven Beach Festival.

2021 official season: None (closed due to concern over coronavirus). See here for official notice. Furthermore, from July 15 to August 31 Shichigahama Town will be conducting official patrols of Shobutahama Beach, as well as surrounding beach areas, to enforce compliance with the beach closure. For details, see here.

Water quality: B

Amenities during official season: Lifeguard, showers, changing rooms, toilets

Details (English): visitmiyagi.com

Details (Japanese): shichigahama.com 

Location: Map here

Access: About 30 minutes by bus from Tagajo or Hon-Shiogama Station. From Tagajo Station (多賀城駅) or Hon-Shiogama Station (本塩釜駅), board Gururinko (ぐるりんこ) bus bound for Shichigahama Kokusai Mura (七ヶ浜国際村). Alight at Shobutahama Kaisuiyokujo-mae (菖蒲田浜海水浴場前) bus stop. Tagajo Station bus timetable here. Hon-Shiogama Station bus timetable here.

Fukanuma Beach 

深沼海水浴場

Wakabayashi Ward, Sendai

In 2019, Fukanuma Beach reopened for the first time since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, but on a VERY limited basis. The beach was open for just four days, and those wishing to visit had to apply in advance. There are no plans to open the beach for 2021, but it does look like the city plans to reopen the beach in future years, at least for special public events (see here for details).

2021 official season: None

Water quality: To be tested when the beach reopens

Details: miyagitabi.com

Location: Map here

Tsurushihama Beach

釣師浜海水浴場

Shinchi, Fukushima

Tsurushihama is a little-known swimming beach boasting some of the best water quality in Japan. It's located in Shinchi Town, just south of the Miyagi–Fukushima border. Closed since the 2011 tsunami, it reopened in 2019. In addition to swimming, it's also a (locally) popular beach for playing beach sports like beach volleyball. 

2021 official season: July 21–August 16

Official hours: ~15:30

Water quality: AA

Amenities during official season: lifeguard, toilets, showers

Details: fukutubu.jp

Location: Map here

Access: 15-minute walk from Shinchi Station

Haragamaobama Beach 

原釜尾浜海水浴場

Soma, Fukushima

Closed for some years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, but reopened in 2018 to the great joy of Soma residents. Before the disaster, it had been named one of the Top 88 Swimming Beaches in Japan by the Ministry of the Environment.

Official season for 2021: July 17–August 22

Official hours: 9:00–16:00

Water quality: AA

Amenities: Toilets, showers, beach toy and parasol rental

Details: city.soma.fukushima.jp

2021 details: soma-kanko.jp

Location: Map here

Access: 13 minutes by bus from Soma Eigyo-sho (相馬営業所) bus stop (right near Soma Station). Board Matsukawa Ura・Haragama (松川浦・原釜) loop bus bound for Soma Port (相馬港), alight at Obama (尾浜). See Navitime for timetables.

Kitaizumi Beach 

北泉海水浴場

Minamisoma, Fukushima

A popular beach for surfing as well as swimming. Before the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the beach used to regularly host international surf competitions. It resumed that tradition to some degree in 2019, with the Minamisoma Beach Fes. The beach is located next to Kitaizumi Seaside Sogo Park, which features a playground, campground, and more!

2021 official season: July 22–August 22

Water quality: AA

Official hours: 9:00–16:00

2021 details: fukutubu.jp

Location: Map here

Access: 15 minutes by bus from Haranomachi Station

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