Tune in to Shonan Beach FM

Jazz and easy listening from coastal Japan

Tune in to Shonan Beach FM
Local airwaves: 78.9 FM
Online: Shonan Beach FM website
Radio app or digital audio player: https://shonanbeachfm.out.airtime.pro/shonanbeachfm_c

I like listening to radio stations in foreign languages, especially when I’m working or writing. It creates a similar feel to that of a coffee shop—you get a soundtrack of music and voices, but with less temptation for distraction since you can’t understand what they’re saying. And so, one morning while browsing Radio Garden—an extremely cool website that lets you tune in to radio stations from around the world using a globe as your dial—I settled in on a green dot near Tokyo and found Shonan Beach FM.

A drone shot from Shonan Beach FM studios up and over the marina and into Sagami Bay.
Video of Sagami Bay sourced from Shonan Beach FM web assets.

Shonan Beach FM broadcasts from Zushi, a small city on the coast of Sagami Bay in Kanagawa Prefecture. This stretch of coast is a popular spot for day trippers from Tokyo—it’s only about an hour away by train—with good surfing, beach sports, family attractions, and stunning views of Mt. Fuji from the beach. You can actually catch that view for yourself from the comfort of home—Shonan Beach FM has a live cam looking out to the bay that you can watch on their website.

Despite primarily being in Japanese, the Shonan Beach FM website is easily navigable for English speakers with the help of Google Translate. There you’ll find the weekly show schedule, DJ bios, and a running playlist archive. You’ll also find a full PDF archive of their free quarterly magazine¹, which includes their timetable, the latest on their monthly concert series “Shonan Jazz by the Sea,” information on local shops and attractions, and cover art by Hideto Suzuki.

Illustrations for Shonan Beach FM by Hideto Suzuki.

Tune in and you’ll mostly get “jazz and easy listening,” as one of their bumpers promises, and blocks of local news and weather during the week. On the weekends, you get a more eclectic mix—Western hits from the last several decades, Latin music, city pop, and a program dedicated to songs from cinema. (When I tuned in on Sunday, they were playing Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band’s cover of “P.I.M.P.”, which featured prominently in Anatomy of a Fall.)

Because Tokyo is eight hours ahead of me, I listen to Shonan Beach FM when I want to inject some late night vibes into my daytime. Whether I'm looking to unwind or focus up with chill music, programs like Jazz After Dark, Lights Out, and Midnight Jazz will broadcast coastal Japan's evening vibes straight to me in London. Add in the live stream of Sagami Bay and it's like I'm really there, enjoying jazz by the sea on my handheld radio.

Shonan Beach FM: "We love the beach"

  1. Any Japanese Night Water readers out there who want to send me a physical copy?