Hirizo, Izu's Beach Paradise
Japan may not be known for its beaches but the paradisiacal qualities of the ocean at Hirizo Beach have put it on the map as one of the unmissable spots in Izu. Glowing green blue waters, tropical fish, and some of the best snorkeling in the region provide more than enough entertainment for a day out to this spectacular stretch along the southern coast of Izu.
Known as Hirizo-hama in Japanese, Hirizo Beach is found on the southernmost tip of Izu Peninsula. An area peppered with scenic beaches, Hirizo Beach trumps its counterparts primarily thanks to its clear, calm waters which offer maximum visibility of the diverse sea life living among the abundance of coral.
While the area is beautiful in itself surrounded by rugged cliffs and views out over the bright blue ocean, the real attraction lies beneath the shimmering surface of the sea making Hirizo Beach one of the best snorkeling spots you’ll find without flying down to Okinawa, Japan’s tropical island. While the rocky beach most certainly isn’t a good sunbathing spot, it’s the best place to set up a tent to protect your belongings before taking to the waters to discover why the area is celebrated as a snorkeler’s paradise.
To get your hands on snorkeling equipment, there are a huge number of seaside shops in the surrounding towns. If you’re planning more than one snorkeling trip, it might be worth buying your own snorkel from a watersports shop. Alternatively, there are several companies that offer snorkel hire including some hotels and guest houses. Underwater cameras are also surprisingly easy to hire out for those classic snaps of you “finding Nemo”.
Many companies also offer full-day snorkeling tours which come in at around 10,000 yen with everything included such as snorkeling equipment, ferry, instructor, and lunch. Nakaki Ferries offer tours for groups of just 20 people which makes for a leisurely tour of the area compared to the crowded ferry that carries you across to the beach.
As the beach can’t be accessed by road, there is a ferry that takes visitors across to the beach in less than five minutes. Of course, being one of the most popular beaches in the Kanto region has its downsides; although ferries go back and forth frequently from the beach, there are often queues and the beach becomes crowded, especially during the summer months. With no facilities, including eateries, on the beach you’ll need to come prepared or pop back on the ferry to find a place to eat in Nakagi. The beach is less crowded early in the morning or during off-peak times but be prepared for some pretty icy temperatures with the sea not particularly warm even at the height of summer.
An ideal day in this area would involve an early morning trip to Hirizo Beach for solo snorkeling or trying your hand at some fishing followed by a lazy afternoon discovering the other nearby areas such as Yumigahama Beach for springy, soft sand and Aiai Cape for some of the best views of Hirizo Beach from above.
- Facility Name
- Hirizo Beach
- Shizuoka Pref. Kamogunminamizuchou Nakagi
- Ship only operated by Mid July-Late Sep.
- This beach is only accessible by boat from the Nakagi area in Minamiizu Town, Kamo County, Shizuoka Prefecture. Protected by a unique geographical environment, here visitors can enjoy untouched natural beauty. The beach’s waters are the clearest in Izu, and the pebbles at the sea bottom five meters down can be seen clearly from the surface. The beach has become famous in recent years as an excellent spot for snorkeling, and many come here to view a beautiful ocean world of colorful fish and coral. Be aware that there are no shower facilities or toilets at the beach.
- Information Sources:
- NAVITIME JAPAN