Best Beaches in Kansai

ByJustin Hanus
May 19, 2023

Best Beaches in Kansai

With temperatures on the thermometer rising, heading down to a nearby beach to cool off and relax becomes more enticing. If you live in the Kansai region of Japan, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to nice beach spots within a drive of an hour or two. From tourist hotspots to hidden wonders, here’s a pick of the best ones.

Nishikinohama, Osaka

One of Japan’s most visually stunning beaches and named among the best examples of the city’s green spaces, Osaka’s Nishiki Beach is popular with tourists, especially during the summer months of July and August. It gets its name from the intoxicating contrast between the pale sand and the lush dark green pine trees that line the beach (nishiki means “two colors” in Japanese). Located within an hour’s drive of central Osaka, the beach forms part of a more expansive park complex. You can swim, sunbathe, stroll, enjoy a barbecue, or even sign up for water sports such as windsurfing or jet-skiing.

Website: (in Japanese)

Taganohama, Kobe

If you’re looking for that perfect secluded paradise beach option, hop over to the west side of Awaji Island to Tagano Beach. While locals and tourists flock to nearby Kobe’s Suma beach, this hidden gem goes relatively unnoticed because it is a bit further afield. You’ll find gorgeous white sand, clear waters, herbal springs, and pretty beach houses. Because it’s on the island’s west side, it’s a great location to see the sunset. To reach, take a bus from Sannomiya station across the spectacular Akashi Kaikyo bridge, or drive or cycle.

Address: 2476-3 Taga, Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture 656-1521

Shirahama, Wakayama

With a name meaning “white beach,” Shirahama offers picture postcard views, and it’s no surprise that it regularly features among Japan’s best beach resorts. Located in Wakayama, Shirahama draws in thousands of beachgoers during the summer months thanks to its white sands (imported from Australia), emerald green sea, and brilliant rock formations. The beach stretches out for over 600 meters, and nearby campsites, restaurants, and family entertainment facilities exist.


Keino Matsubara Beach, Hyogo

Another fabulous sunset beach on Awaji Island in the southwest of the island, Keino Matsubara Beach, has acquired the nickname “proposal beach” over the years. You can probably guess why… that’s right, the romantic surroundings provide the perfect environment for getting down on one knee. Keino Matsubara beach stretches 2.5 kilometers, all lined with over 50,000 black pine trees. You can swim or take a gentle stroll through the sand, stopping to look out towards nearby Shodo Island.

Address: Matsuo Ongino, Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture

Amanohashidate, Kyoto

Amanohashidate in northern Kyoto is one of Japan’s three most scenic spots. Famed for its 3.5km natural sand bridge, known as the ‘Bridge to Heaven,’ it is right next to Kasamatsu Park, where you can view the spectacular scenery from the 400 ft-high observatory. There are two beaches here – one with a temple and hot springs perfect for relaxing and another where you can try water sports such as sea kayaking and stand-up paddling (SUP).


疋田 渉, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About the author

Justin Hanus editor

Leave a Reply