Going to the beach is a great way to take advantage of the hot weather during the summer in Iwakuni, Japan! Find out which beach is best for you!
Taking the kids to the ocean during the summer is a lifesaver for me! It is so nice to pack a lunch and get to the beach by 9 o’clock. We spend a couple of hours there before the sun gets too hot, then home for naps!
First, let’s talk about Glass Beach. It is the closer of the two to Iwakuni, about 15 minutes from the main gate on base or 11 km. The entrance is pretty tricky! You would never guess that the turn would lead you to the beach, so keep your eyes open for the location in the picture!
There is limited parking, but that’s ok as this beach generally has way less people. In fact, the last few times we went, only a couple of other people or families were there at the same time as us. There are bathrooms near the parking lot…the male bathroom doors are non-existent, so you are in full view of the parking lot! I have noticed that there are a lot of spiders and mosquitoes in these bathrooms, so beware! Nearby, there is a typical old Japanese playground that is pretty worn, but still fun.
Take the stairs down and you will see such beautiful water and views! This is where most people usually set up. The beach isn’t that big but it’s easy to find some shade. There are also bathrooms down to the right. Head to the left and you will go through a tunnel leading to another side of the beach. Our church has actually had some baptisms here – it’s a beautiful setting for such a special occasion!
During the summer the water is warm and it’s easy to get into. We spent almost 5 years in northern California where I wouldn’t even let the water touch my toes, let alone get in all the way! There is more seaweed in the water here than at Yuu beach.
There is a pretty epic looking obstacle course and zipline here but it was shut down, probably because the wood is so old. Hopefully, they open it back up sometime!
Overall this is a great area, especially if you want to get away from the crowds! Also if the shade is important to you, this is where you will be able to find some!
Yuu Beach is about another 8-10 minutes from Glass Beach. The entrance is pretty obvious as there is a sign and you can see the sand from the road. The parking is ample but I’ve never been there on a truly busy day. We try to avoid the crowds by going in the morning during a weekday!
There is a restaurant, some vending machines and little stores next to the parking lot. There are some nice bathrooms that are pretty big and have both Western-style toilets as well as Japanese-style. Jeannie is pretty particular about what toilet she uses, and she uses these no problem! There are water faucets next to the bathrooms to rinse the sand off of your feet, helpful for right before you get to your car.
Then there is the beach! This is a beautiful sand beach where you can lay out a blanket, put up a sunshade and set up a nice little camp for the day! There is no shade on the sand, so if you want it, you’ll need to bring your own!
The water is beautiful, clear and warm (warm is a relative term, it wasn’t as warm as the beaches in Cancun). You’re able to walk out pretty far before it starts getting too deep. The kids and I would walk out and watch the fish swim around us!
We have seen poisonous fish washed up on the beach and heard recently of someone that was stung by a jellyfish (that they picked up to throw…and stung themselves with by accident!). Just like at any beach you’ll want to exercise caution around the water and wildlife!
There is an area with picnic benches that are covered if you want to have a picnic here. It’s at the top near the buildings, to the far right if you’re facing the beach.
With two toddlers I feel perfectly comfortable taking the kids on my own. There is plenty of beach for them to play in and the water is calm and not too deep. It’s easy to get from the car to the beach with the kids and all of our stuff!
Yuu Beach has our vote for the best beach near Iwakuni! Especially if you go at the right time!
I love that there are beaches so close to where we live, but it’s also nice to take a beach vacation every once in a while. Some of the best Japan beaches we’ve been to have been in the Okinawa prefecture, where both of our kids learned to snorkel. Read here about how we taught our 2- and 3-year-olds how to snorkel at such a young age.
The overall best beaches in Japan are the beaches of Ishigaki. Kabira Bay has warm water, soft sand, the water is brilliantly blue, and the views are incredible. If you’re looking for Japan beaches, Ishigaki is the place to go!
If you prefer fresh water to salt water check out these waterfalls!
Have you been to either of these locations? Which is your favorite?