Hamamatsu Nakatajima Sand Dunes

After visiting Hamamatsu Castle and the Hamamatsu Festival Pavilion I went to the nearby Nakatajima Sand Dunes.

smilie Visited: April 4th 2012 smilie

Hamamatsu Nakatajima Sand Dunes

 Exploring the Nakatajima Sand Dunes

The sand dunes are located in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture (map), and are only a few steps away from the Hamamatsu Festival Pavilion, so it’s a good idea to visit both in one go. For access information please refer to the information box at the end of this post.

Hamamatsu Nakatajima Sand Dunes

One of Japan’s three largest sand dunes

The Nakatajima sand dunes are one of Japan’s three largest sand dunes besides the ones in Tottori City (Tottori Prefecture) and the Kujuukurihama (Chiba Prefecture, map).

I’ve not been to the one in Chiba, but I’ve been to the famous sand dunes in Tottori and they were really breathtaking! If you ask me the sand dunes in Tottori are the best in Japan! Once I post about them, you’ll understand why.

If you visit the festival pavilion in Hamamatsu, it’s definitely worth to check out the sand dunes as well. If you’ve never seen sand dunes in Japan, it’ll be a nice experience, but for the “real thing” you definitely should go to Tottori instead.

Hamamatsu Nakatajima Sand Dunes

You don’t need much time. I also only spent about 10 minutes there. If you don’t have a busy schedule, I recommend taking a walk.

Hamamatsu Nakatajima Sand Dunes

The sand dunes are stretching 4km from east to west and 600m from north to south. It’s just a few steps to the Pacific Ocean.

Hamamatsu Nakatajima Sand Dunes

Sand dunes in Japan? How come?

The Nakatajima Sand Dunes were created by sediment deposits that came from the Southern Japanese Alps. The Tenryu River brought it all the way into the Pacific Ocean. As the sea currents and wind are quite strong there, sand is brought from the bottom up onto the shore. The wind will constantly change the shape and look of the sand dunes. While the sand dunes have been around for several thousands of years, the area has been decreasing ever since. In the past 40 years the shoreline shrank by roughly 200m.

Hamamatsu Nakatajima Sand Dunes

On a windy day you can see “ripple marks” in the sand.

I was pretty much the only one there on that day. It’s a lot of fun to leave your footprints in the sand!

Hamamatsu Nakatajima Sand Dunes

The Hamamatsu Kite Festival takes place at the Nakatajima Sand Dunes from May 3rd to 5th. It’s also a great place to see a wonderful sunset or sunrise! Many people come to see the first sunrise of the year on New Year’s Day (hatsuhinode, 初日の出).

Hamamatsu Nakatajima Sand Dunes

Since March 2011 you have tsunami warning signs almost everywhere, but I found this one extremely cute!


T O U R I S T     I N F O R M A T I O N
Opening Hours: always open
Holidays: none (but from May 3rd – 5th the kite battles of the Hamamatsu Festival are held there)
Entrance fee: free
Time required: 5 min. – 1h (there’s not much to see, just sand, so it all depends on how much time you have)
TEL: (+81)053-452-1634 (Hamamatsu Tourist Information)
Access: From JR Hamamatsu Station take bus #6 bound for “Nakatajima Iki” (~ 15 min.) and get off at “Nakatajima Sakyu”. From there it’s only a 2 min. walk.


After visiting Hamamatsu Castle, the Hamamatsu Festival Pavilion and the Nakatajima Sand Dunes I still had enough time to go somewhere else. My next stop of the day was Kakegawa Castle which is also in Shizuoka Prefecture.


  • The only time I went to Hamamatsu I stopped there for a concert and then drove on. Maybe next time I’ll take a better look at what the city has to offer!

    • I only spent a very short time in Shizuoka Prefecture, but I got to see so many awesome things. A lot of interesting sights can conveniently be reached by short train rides from JR Shizuoka Station.

  • Sounds like it is definitely worth checking out as its close to Hamamatsu Castle and the Hamamatsu Festival Pavilion. Reminds me a lot of places I would see back home in Australia.

  • This kind of reminds me of the dunes back in Yuma, AZ. We would pass them whenever we took a road trip to Sandiego from CA… Still… Japan’s dunes don’t have anything on those ;-)

    The thing is, this shows how you can find interesting places just about anywhere you go in Japan. There’s so much history that you can find aweseome little secrets right next to big famous places. If you don’t take a walk around you miss half the stuff. Thanks for sharing.

    • I think I’m fascinated by sand dunes, beaches and the ocean, because it’s so completely different from the landscape I’m used to! ^___^;
      And I totally agree with you! People should always take the time and explore the side streets and leave the tourist spots to see what else Japan has to offer. And obviously there’s a lot! ;)

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