When you think of Japan, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the exquisite sushi or the sashimi packed with umami goodness? Perhaps it’s the shopping extravaganza in Ginza or the serene onsen experience in Hakone? Well, on your next family trip to Japan, why not try something a bit different? The Land of the Rising Sun isn’t just about fantastic malls and mouthwatering cuisine. Surprisingly, it’s the second country in the world with a wealth of golf. Japan golf courses cater to golfers of all skill levels, and some even offer rental shoes and complete club sets. Imagine teeing off surrounded by lush greenery. Intriguing, right? So, without further ado, let’s explore the top golf courses in Japan.
Best Golf Courses in Japan
Hirono Golf Course
Address: Miki, Shijimicho Hirono, Japan
Securing the top spot in the list of best golf courses in Japan is the Hirono Golf Course, a creation of Charles Hugh Alison in the 1930s. This golfing gem is a frequent presence on global top 100 lists, earning the 13th spot in Golf Digest’s ranking of the world’s 100 most remarkable golf courses.
Distinguishing features of this course include strategic bunkering, sandy terrain, and tree-framed greens. Although not sprawling in size compared to some golf courses, it offers an abundance of intrigue and challenge, thanks to its unique holes and layout.
Weekday visitors can enjoy a round for ¥15,730, while Saturdays see a rate of ¥20,130, and Sundays are priced at ¥25,630.
Kawana Fuji Golf Course
Address: Kawana, Ito, Shizuoka 414-0044, Japan
Following closely behind the esteemed Hirono Golf Course, the Kawana Fuji Golf Course is a masterpiece by the renowned C. H. Alison, leaving an indelible mark on golf course architecture and design in Japan. Nestled alongside the Kawana Hotel, it serves as both a golf resort and an idyllic choice for a weekend retreat.
This golfing haven, which first welcomed players in 1936, is widely recognized as the epitome of Japanese golf courses. Recent honors include an inclusion in Golf magazine’s 2020-2021 list of the world’s top 100 golf courses.
Tokyo Golf Club
Address: 1984 Kashiwabara, Sayama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
Established in 1913, the Tokyo Golf Club holds a prestigious position as the oldest golf club in the Kanto region. Following two previous locations, the Asaka course at its present site was unveiled in 1932, featuring the brilliant design of Komyo Ohtani. In commemoration of its centennial celebration in 2013, the club enlisted the services of American golf course designer Gil Hanse to revitalize the course.
Renowned for its esteemed and demanding layout, the course exudes a traditional Japanese golfing ambiance throughout its lush greens and fairways. Normally an exclusive members-only club, it does extend invitations to guests introduced by members, allowing them to play on weekdays. Reservations are obligatory in all instances.
Naruo Golf Club
Address: Kanagadani-1-4 Nishiuneno, Kawanishi, Hyogo 666-0155, Japan
Founded in 1920, Naruo Golf Club boasts a rich history, and its Ina River Course, envisioned in 1930 by Joseph Earnest Crane along with his two elder brothers, stands as a testament to its legacy.
Joseph Earnest Crane, hailing from a lineage of a British father and Japanese mother, left behind a remarkable heritage of splendid golf courses in Japan, skillfully harnessing the native landscape elements to craft a stimulating and exhilarating course.
In line with the tradition of many Japanese golf clubs, Naruo Golf Club primarily caters to its esteemed members. Nonetheless, it graciously extends the privilege of weekday play to visitors introduced by its members.
Ono Golf Club
Address: 1225 Kishicho, Ono, Hyogo 675-1343, Japan
Designed by Osamu Ueda, who also played a pivotal role in the creation of Japan’s renowned Hirono Golf Course, Ono Golf Club’s course made its debut in 1961. Nestled within the scenic expanse of Harima Chubu Hill Prefectural Natural Park, this course exudes a classic garden-like ambiance, sprawling gracefully over its undulating terrain, and meandering along the shores of Kamo Lake.
Over the course of its illustrious history, Ono Golf Club has hosted numerous prestigious tournaments, including the esteemed Japan Open and the Kansai Open. To secure a tee time, one must be accompanied or introduced by a club member. The rates for visitors stand at ¥23,250 on weekdays, ¥28,750 on Saturdays, and ¥32,050 on Sundays.
Yokohama Country Club
Address: 1025 Imaicho, Hodogaya Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 240-0035, Japan
The Yokohama Country Club has proudly hosted a multitude of prestigious tournaments, including the Japan Open and the Japan Women’s Open. Originally envisioned by Takeo Aiyama, the course underwent extensive modernization and enhancements from 2014 to 2016, courtesy of Coore & Crenshaw, resulting in a more seamlessly integrated topography.
The meticulously maintained grounds offer a truly delightful golfing experience. Pricing varies, contingent on factors such as the course selection (East Course or West Course), the specific month of play, and whether you opt for the services of a caddy.
Thoughtfully designed as an urban oasis with convenient access from Tokyo, this club remains a favored destination for dedicated golf enthusiasts residing within the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.
Kasumigaseki Country Club
Address: 3398 Kasahata, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-1175, Japan
Established in 1929, the Kasumigaseki Country Club proudly holds the title of the fourth oldest golf course in the Kanto region, boasting a formidable 36 holes divided into the East and West courses. Its distinct charm includes a wealth of more than 120 bunkers and compact, challenging greens, all framed by picturesque ponds and serene pine forests.
Having hosted four Japan Open tournaments, this course is a frequent pick for significant golfing events, primarily due to the exceptional skill it demands from players. To secure a tee time, reservations are essential and should be made through a club member well in advance, typically 2 to 3 months ahead. Non-members are welcome but must be accompanied by a club member to access this prestigious course.
Osaka Golf Club
Address: 31 Fuke, Misaki, Sennan District, Osaka 599-0303, Japan
Established in 1987, the Osaka Golf Club was brought to life by Osamu Ueda, a renowned golf course architect celebrated for his work on the Ono Golf Club and various other prestigious projects in Japan.
This course stands out with its captivating three-dimensional layout, featuring elevated greens and bunkers inspired by the renowned architect Alison. The invigorating sea breeze adds an extra layer of challenge for even the most seasoned golfers, while the backdrop of the soothing waves creates an unforgettable golfing experience.
Reservations are a must to secure you a spot on the greens of Osaka Golf Club – one of the best golf courses in Japan.
Kasagi Golf Club
Address: 33, Kasagi-higashiyama, Kasagi-cho, Soraku-gun Kyoto 619-1303
Nestled in the tranquil city of Kyoto, this picturesque golf club is conveniently located just a 30-minute drive from Kintetsu Nara Station. Surrounded by a lush canopy of green trees and serene waters, this 18-hole golf course offers a peaceful haven for golf enthusiasts. The impeccably maintained course boasts a distinctive layout that caters to more experienced players. For travelers and golfers exploring the area, Kasagi Golf Club offers the convenience of club and shoe rentals, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Booking your tee time is a breeze through their user-friendly website, providing you with easy access to an enjoyable round of golf.
Takebenomori Golf Club
Address: 1046-1, Nakada, Takebe-cho, Mitsu-gun Okayama 709-3132
Nestled in the scenic landscapes of Okayama, Takebenomori Golf Club offers captivating views for golf enthusiasts. This semi-private 18-hole golf course warmly welcomes guests who make advance reservations. Visitors arriving via public transportation can easily access the club by taking a short eight-minute taxi ride from Takebe Station, which conveniently drops them at the club’s entrance.
Takebenomori Golf Club caters to both male and female players with a selection of rental clubs, making it an ideal destination for couples to enjoy a game together. The club also features a restaurant serving seasonal delicacies and an on-site gift shop for any additional golfing needs. To unwind after a rewarding day on the greens, gentlemen can indulge in a relaxing soak in the hot tub available on the premises.
Kawagoe Green Cross
Address: 865-1 Furuya-hongo, Kawagoe-shi Saitama 350-0002
Kawagoe Green Cross is a semi-private golf club in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, known for its unique features. Guests have the convenience of boarding a complimentary club bus from Minami Furuya Station, making access a breeze.
What sets this club apart is the memorable 4-minute boat ride required to reach the course, adding a touch of adventure to your golfing experience. For those who prefer to travel light, club, and shoe rentals are available, eliminating the need to bring your own equipment. The course layout is designed to accommodate beginners, but the real challenge arises when you find yourself playing near the picturesque ponds and lakes that dot the landscape.
Miho Golf Club
Address: Tsuchiura, Miho-mura, Inashiki-gun Ibaraki 300-0404
Miho Golf Club, a creation by the renowned Robert Trent Jones Jr., graces the landscape of Ibaraki Prefecture. Located a mere 2-hour drive from central Tokyo, this 18-hole golf course has earned its place among the favorites of golf enthusiasts. Its versatile terrain caters to golfers of varying expertise, from advanced players to seasoned professionals.
As a semi-private club, Miho Golf Club extends its welcome to guests, provided reservations are made in advance. It’s an excellent choice for tourists seeking a memorable round of golf, complete with club and shoe rental services. Keep an eye on the calendar as this club occasionally hosts golf tournaments, ensuring you choose the perfect date for your visit.
Nikko Country Club
Address: 2833 Tokorono, JP-09 321-1421 Nikko, Japan
Nikko Country Club offers a host of amenities alongside its impressive 18-hole golf course. Guests can enjoy a dining experience at the restaurant, unwind in the clubhouse, practice their swings at the driving range, or opt for an overnight stay in the lodge.
This semi-private golf course caters to players of all skill levels, drawing both locals and tourists seeking a memorable golfing experience. Keep in mind that there are specific dress codes for both men and women, so it’s essential to dress appropriately. For those planning to use the club bus or stay in the lodge, the club’s website provides valuable information to help streamline your visit, so be sure to check it out before your arrival.
Pine Lake Golf Club
Address: 1353-2 Hieizan, Shikano, JP-28 677-0033 Nishiwaki, Japan
Designed by the esteemed Robert Trent Jones Jr., this golf course is accessible to the public, so there’s no need to be a member to enjoy it. With reasonable pricing, it’s an excellent choice for both local residents and visitors to Nishiwaki. Be sure to explore their website for information on pricing, including discounted days of the week. Keep in mind that this 18-hole course is renowned for its level of difficulty, earning a reputation as one of the most challenging golf courses in Japan, which may pose a formidable challenge for beginners.
Hirakata Kokusai Golf Club
Address: 4546 Tsuda, Hirakata-shi Osaka 573-0123
Founded in 1959 in Osaka, Hirakata Kokusai Golf Club draws an emerging number of tourists and locals alike. Accessibility is a breeze, with guests keen on experiencing this semi-private club being able to hop on the complimentary club bus at either Hirakatashi Station or Tsuda Station. For added convenience, the club also provides complete sets of clubs and shoes available for rent. Given its popularity, it’s advisable to secure a reservation before your visit, as the golf course can get quite busy at certain times.
Above, we have introduced you to the top 15 most wonderful golf courses in Japan. Actually, this country has a large number of beautiful courses with highly qualified facilities, which you can visit without any equipment. So, do try them out, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help to arrange your trip.