Sponsored by Takahama Town
A Stunning Beach in Close Proximity to Kyoto!
When we think of relaxing white sand beaches with clear blue water in Japan, our first thought is usually Okinawa or Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. I myself am guilty of having thought that all of Japan’s resort like beaches were located many hours away by bullet train or airplane. And as someone who has taken his fair share of vacations in Japan prior to moving here, I know that not everyone has the time to make such a long journey. But I have great news for anyone travelling to Japan with hopes of seeing some of its famous beach landscapes. Located just a short train ride away from famous Kyoto is the beach side town of Takahama in Fukui Prefecture!
Takahama is home to one of Asia’s two Blue Flag certified beaches, both of which are located in Japan. And great news for anyone traveling with a JR PASS, you will be able to reach this amazing spot using your pass!
Exciting Scenery and Activities in Takahama!
Takahama offers not only a breathtaking landscape, but also some really great outdoor activities. Whether you want to relax your body and mind with some SUP Yoga or explore the small, foliage-covered islands along the coast, Takahama has something for everyone. With some difficulty in narrowing them down, here are my top 3 recommendations of things to do while in Takahama!
#1 SUP Paddle Boarding!
Before arriving in Takahama, I’d never heard of SUP (Stand Up Paddle) before, and after learning what it was, I never imagined that it would be something I’d ever do. I must admit that before heading out to sea I was a bit hesitant because although I love the beach, I am afraid of the open ocean. To my surprise, SUP turned out to be one of the most exciting and at times relaxing experiences of my life!
My SUP Instructor: Yukiko Yamamoto
Yukiko, who is an amazingly talented lifeguard among her other equally impressive accomplishments, was my instructor for the day. Not only is she a great lifeguard, but she is also a great teacher. With her help, I was able to build up a bit of confidence, and her relaxed style of instruction helped me to stay calm out on the ocean. Plus having a world-famous lifeguard by my side, my previous fears were pretty much melting away.
My SUP Experience:
The experience overall was great, and I really recommend it to anyone who visits Takahama. The excitement of paddling out into the ocean and riding up along the shores of the small islands along the coast, was balanced by moments of peaceful serenity while floating in the warm water of Wakasa-Wada Beach. SUP is a great activity for everyone regardless of your fitness level!
#2 SUP Yoga
If you’re into yoga or if you’re thinking about trying it out for the first time, then SUP Yoga at Meikyodo Cave has to be among the best places in the world to do it. This was my first time actually trying yoga, and although I can’t say that I did very well and probably won’t be a daily yoga practitioner in the future, I can say that it was a really fun experience.
SUP Yoga is really accessible to anyone that wants to try it out. I have terrible balance so I fell off of my board about 3 or 4 times, but the reward for failure is going for a nice swim, so it was one of the few instances where I was glad to be bad at something. Whether you’ve been doing yoga for years or it’s your first time giving it a try, I can guarantee that you’ll end your session in a good mood.
#3 Exploring the Shiroyama Park/Meikyodo Cave Area
Takahama is surrounded by lush green mountains and the coast has a few small islands that you can explore on foot. You can relax in the sun around Shiroyama Park or follow the trail around Meikyodo Cave. The path that goes through the small Meikyodo Cave island leads up to an observation deck that gives you a stunning view of Wakasa-Wada’s Blue Flag Beach, as well as an incredible view of the mountains that lie along the Sea of Japan.
While walking around the surrounding area, my guide was able to find a path that led down to the water on the island to the left of Meikyodo Cave. The hike through the island is a peaceful one, you’re either walking along side the light blue waters of Takahama or hidden in the cool shade of the thick foliage. There are even a few unique spots to visit, like a small mound of stone which was once a shrine for the fishermen of the village.
Links for planning your trip to Takahama Blue Flag Beach
Takahama is a location that invites visitors of all types to enjoy a short getaway from the big cities. Even if you need a breather from the crowds of tourists in nearby Kyoto, Takahama is a convenient escape using your JR Pass. Whether you’re looking to relax with some SUP Yoga, add some adventure into your trip with SUP, or if you just want to take a walk around and see what you can find on your own, Takahama is sure to satisfy.
SUP Yoga/SUP: http://seastar-takahama.com/
Takahama Tourism Info: https://www.wakasa-takahama.jp/
Access to Takahama:
From Kyoto Station, take the JR Maizuru Line to Higashi-Maizuru, then the JR Obama Line to Wakasa Takahama. Duration: approx. 2 hours, cost: approx. 4,400 yen.
For a more detailed guide on how to get to this amazing beach check out my article on Easy Access to Wakasa Takahama from Kyoto Station.