Niijima, known for its white sandy beaches, is quite possibly the only place in the prefecture of Tokyo where you get a combination of crystal clear waters and bright white sand. Once a year at this perfect summer destination, a month long music event takes place on the beach.
WAX: An annual month long music event on the beach
The event, called WAX, is now in its 12th year running this month long event every summer. Located on Wadahama beach, it’s right next to a separate swimming beach, and as it’s close to Niijima’s hotel and restaurant district, it’s easily accessible by bike too.
On public holidays and nights before public holidays, WAX first opens in the late afternoon as a beach lounge, and later in the evening the DJ starts spinning, transforming the place into a live music venue. With different vibes to enjoy depending on what time you go, it’s a multipurpose summer event not to be missed.
Not just music! Other things to enjoy at WAX
WAX offers everything you would want from a beach vacation.
First, the white sands. While swimming is not allowed at Wadahama beach, it’s right next to Maehama beach where it is, and both boast beautiful white sands. On some nights, you have the pleasure of feeling the gentle sea breeze coming from the ocean.
Once WAX kicks off in evening, music of various genres depending on which night you go starts to play. A stage is set up on top of the sands for people to dance on, and everyone sways to the DJ’s music, regardless of gender or nationality.
With music playing on the beach, the experience isn’t complete without some drinks.
In addition to beer on tap and a variety of cocktails, what’s unique about this bar is that they carry local island shochu. It’s a very Niijima experience, getting to dance on the beach while sipping local island sake.
There are also hammocks on the beach for you to relax on. A little way away from the DJ booth, it’s the perfect location to relax and enjoy the comforting sea breeze, music playing softly in the distance, all the while watching the sky filled with stars as you sway gently in the hammock. It’s enough to feel intoxicated even if you haven’t had a drink.
The stairs are made out of driftwood. The little touches here and there are what makes this event so unique to Niijima.
Tips for first timers
WAX is open to everyone. Opening hours as well as music genre vary day to day, so it’s worth looking up the schedule on their website.
You pay an entrance fee at a booth as you enter the venue (entrance fee varies depending on the night’s event). You get a wristband which allows you to exit and re-enter multiple times. There’s a 24 hour onsen hot spring nearby, so if you get there and feel like the party hasn’t quite started yet, or you danced so hard you’re exhausted, you can pop over to the onsen for a quick break to recuperate.
In 2016, WAX will be open until September 4th. For anyone going to Niijima, or those who are still in the process of planning out their summer activities, we highly recommend including WAX on your summer itinerary.