Best Beaches in Kansai

ByJustin Hanus
May 19, 2023

Best Beaches in Kansai

Japan is not one of the first countries that spring to mind when you think of beach culture, but in fact, the country has plenty of beautiful coastlines, with the Kansai region boasting many memorable beaches consisting of pale sand and lush turquoise water. Fancy a dip this summer? Here are a few suggestions on where to head to.

Nishikinohama (Osaka)

One of Kansai’s most spectacular outdoor spaces, this beach gets its name from the contrast between the white sand and surrounding green pine trees that make for postcard-perfect pictures. This is because nishiki means “two colors” in Japanese. One of the region’s most popular beach resorts during the hottest summer months, Nishikinohama is located within a larger park area less than an hour’s journey from central Osaka. Great for swimming and sunbathing, there are also BBQ facilities and various watersport opportunities onsite.

Website: (in Japanese)

Amanohashidate (Kyoto)

In northern Kyoto prefecture, Amanohashidate is famed as one of Japan’s three most scenic spots. This coastal wonder consists of a 3.5 km natural sand bridge, best viewed by taking the chairlift to neighboring Kasamatsu Park and heading to the 400 ft-high observatory. You can see the bridge in all its glory against a  mountainous backdrop from the observatory. There are two beaches here – one lined with pine trees with a temple nearby, and the other where you can try kayaking and stand-up paddling (SUP), among other watersports.


Shirahama (Wakayama)

Is this the best beach in Kansai? There are plenty who will tell you it is. Shirahama translates as “white beach,” perfectly describing the white sand here imported from Australia that contrasts brilliantly with the emerald green sea and surrounding rock formations. Located in southern Wakayama prefecture, renowned for its beaches, Shirahama is like a slice of Hawaii in Japan, a narrow 600 m stretch filled with surfers and bathers. The area also has campsites, restaurants, and plenty of entertainment, making it hugely popular in July and August.


Sen’nan Marble Beach (Osaka)

This beach, covered in white marble stone, is in Osaka prefecture, close to Kansai International Airport. It’s known informally as “Lover’s Beach” and has a red heart-shaped marker on the beach. An excellent place for watching sunsets and planes land and take off, the beach is next to another Osaka favorite, Terui Southern Beach. A 2 km-long park was built on the beach in 2020 with facilities including shops and a “glamping” campsite, attracting more tourists.

Website: (in Japanese)

Omimaiko (Shiga)

A slightly different beach attraction as it’s a pebble beach on Biwako, Japan’s largest lake. Omimaiko is usually a bit quieter and free from tourists than many sandy beaches, surrounded by the Hira mountains and lined with pretty fir trees. There are also BBQ facilities on the beach, making it great for evening parties in the summer.

Address: 1095 Minamikomatsu, Otsu, Shiga 520-0502

FC dc desu, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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