Futatsugame Beach, Sado (Photo: Kosado/CC By SA 4.0)
Futatsugame Beach, Sado (Photo: Kosado/CC By SA 4.0)
- 3 min read

5 of Niigata's Best Beaches

Explore beautiful destinations along the Sea of Japan coast

Niigata Prefecture often brings up visions of ski resorts, snow, and sake - but there's plenty more to the region than just those things! There are some great beaches in this part of Japan, and this guide covers five of the best.

Sasagawa Nagare

Home to some unique rock formations, white sand, and beautiful transparent waters, Sasagawa Nagare offers visitors some incredible scenery to appreciate. This stretch of coast spans approximately 11 kilometers and is dotted with official places to swim, plus plenty of unofficial spots, too. You can explore more of the Sasagawa Nagare coast in this Japan Travel article.

Sasagawa Nagare Beach
Sasagawa Nagare Beach (Photo: hatake_s/CC BY ND 2.0)

Senami Onsen Beach

Stretching out for almost a kilometer, Senami Onsen Beach is spacious enough that even with the crowds that accompany peak season, you don't feel cramped. The beach was named as one of Japan's 100 Best Beaches by the Ministry of the Environment, and it's a fantastic destination to visit if you'd like to soak in an onsen before or after your beach trip – there are numerous hot spring accommodation options nearby that overlook the Sea of Japan.

Senami Onsen Beach
Senami Onsen Beach (Photo: abu_9495/CC By SA 3.0)

Kujiranami Beach

Just a minute on foot from Kujiranami Station (JR Shin-etsu Main Line) you'll find Kujiranami Beach, which is dotted with interesting rock formations. The wide sandy shores and shallow waters make this a perfect child-friendly beach destination, and some of the rock pools created by the formations are great for snorkeling or observing marine life. In addition, there are several accommodation options, cafes, and restaurants nearby.

Kujiranami Beach
Kujiranami Beach (Photo: Fumihiko Ueno/CC By SA 3.0)

Sawada Beach

Praised for its central location, Sado Island's Sawada Beach is within easy walking distance of lodging options and eateries. The waters of the beach are calm and shallow, too, making it a popular spot for families with young children. For those who'd like to camp in the area, there is even a free campground close by (the Kubota campsite) which typically opens from the late April until late October timeframe.

Sawada Beach, Sado Island
Sawada Beach, Sado Island (Photo: Jeff Wong/CC By ND 2.0)

Futatsugame Beach

Another Sado Island entrant on the list, Futatsugame Beach is the spot you can see in the cover photo for this guide. It's so highly revered that it features on the list of the Top 100 Sea-Bathing Spots in Japan, and even received two stars in the Michelin Green Guide, a publication which focuses on destinations with significant natural beauty.

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Sleiman Azizi a year ago
Sado Island gets the thumbs up from me. I know there's a lot of work being done to promote the island as a travel destination. Well worth the visit.
Kim Author a year ago
Glad to see the prefecture getting some love! Lots to do from a tourist perspective and often without the crowds!
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