6 Best Beautiful Beaches Near Osaka: Dreamy Summer Destinations in Kansai

·10-min read
6 Best Beautiful Beaches Near Osaka: Dreamy Summer Destinations in Kansai
6 Best Beautiful Beaches Near Osaka: Dreamy Summer Destinations in Kansai

There are numerous beaches near Osaka, spread around the Kansai region, with gleaming white sands and crystal waters that contrast with the clear blue summer sky.

Included among these spectacular Kansai-area destinations are, Keino Matsubara on Hyogo’s Awaji Island, Shirarahama in Wakayama, Makino Sunny Beach on the shores of Lake Biwa in Shiga, and Osaka’s new Sen’nan Marble Beach and Sennan Long Park.

1. Keino Matsubara Beach (Hyogo): Beautiful sunsets seen from a pine forest

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Photo: PIXTA

Keino Matsubara Beach, which is about 2 hours JR Osaka Station via train and highway bus, is located on the west side of Minamiawaji City in southwestern Awaji Island.

It’s known for its scenic charm and 50,000 black pines spread along a 2.5 kilometers stretch. In 1928, the area was designated as a national scenic spot, and in 1955, it was designated as Setonaikai National Park.

Keino Matsubara is the largest beach on Awaji Island and typically opens in summer, although it’s closed in 2021. Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has selected 100 ocean areas and lakes nationwide at which visitors can swim comfortably, and among those, Keino Matsubara is one of the most highly rated.

The best time to visit, other than for daytime swimming, is in the evening. The sunset across the Harima Sea, selected as one of the “100 Best Sunsets in Japan,” is a magnificent sight, and the contrast with the pine forest is exquisite.

Visitors also get a beautiful view of Shodo Island just offshore and Goshokuhama beach to the north. Keino Matsubara is also home to “Proposal Road,” lined with Ibushi tiles unique to Awaji Island that have been inscribed with pledges of undying love.

Health & Safety Measures
Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature / entry denied to anyone feeling unwell / masks required / temperature checks enforced

Recommended hotels nearby

Awaji Hamarikyu Takumi
Matsuhokotsuro 970-6, Minamiawaji, Hyogo
Maiko

Rakuten STAY VILLA Awaji - Vacation STAY 85827
Matsuhokotsuro 886-2 , Minato, Hyogo
Maiko

Keino-matsubara Beach
Matsuhokotsuro, Minamiawaji, Hyogo 656-0304
TEL: 0799-43-5221 (Minamiawaji City Commerce and Tourism Division)
Access: Approximately 70 minutes by express bus bound for Fukura from Sannomiya Station or approximately 50 minutes by express bus bound for Fukura from JR Maiko Station, then about 10 minutes by taxi from Kosaitan bus stop

2. Shirarahama (Wakayama): A large resort with a tropical mood

Shirarahama is 2 hours and 40 minutes from Osaka’s JR Tennoji Station via limited express train and bus. Originally named Shirahama, this 620-meter white sand beach is one of Kansai’s most iconic beaches.

Located in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, it’s the town’s main beach for sightseers and is visited by about 450,000 people every year. Selected as one of the “100 Best Beaches in Japan,” the Shirarahama celebrated its 20th anniversary as a sister beach to Waikiki Beach in Hawaii in 2020.

Shirarahama is a shallow beach and the smooth quartz sand is comprised of 90% silicic acid. The contrast between the emerald green sea, blue sky, and pure white sand is breathtaking.

In summer, umbrellas color the beach like flowers and palm trees provide a tropical mood. Watching the sunset from the beach is very popular, but sunrise is also recommended, when the early morning light reflects off the sand.

Shirarahama Beach will be open from July 1st to August 31st, 2021. The nearby “Shirasuna” mixed bathing outdoor bath invitingly offers hot spring bathing on the beach (bathing suits allowed).

Health & Safety Measures (Shirarahama)
Sanitizer installed / disinfection of showers and public toilets / hourly announcement to maintain social distance

Health & Safety Measures (Shirasuna open-air bath)
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of shops and facilities / hand sanitizer installed / regular disinfection / staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature / limited capacity / increased space between seats / admission restrictions / entry denied to anyone feeling unwell / masks required / temperature checks enforced

Services for international guests
English pamphlets at the tourist information center, and foreign language signs on the beach.

Recommended hotels nearby

Shiraraso Grand Hotel
868, Shirahama, Wakayama
Shirahama

Daigo - Vacation STAY 04946v
Shirahama-cho 1384-18 Daigo, Kanayama, Wakayama
Shirahama

Shirarahama Beach
Shirahama-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama Shirahama
Shirahama
0739-43-6588

3. Sen’nan Marble Beach (Osaka): A favored destination for lovers

Sen’nan Marble Beach, about an hour from Namba Station on Osaka’s Nankai Electric Railway, is a rare white marble beach. It overlooks Kansai International Airport, making it possible to watch planes taking off from Kansai Island.

The beach is Osaka Prefecture’s first certified “Lovers’ Sanctuary,” and the beach’s heart-shaped marker has become a popular photo spot for couples and families.

Along with the adjacent Tarui Southern Beach, the sunset view has been selected as one of the “100 Best Sunsets in Japan” and is a must-see. The sun sets in the same direction as Kansai International Airport, creating a fantastic scene.

Tarui Southern Beach, connected with Sennan Marble Beach to form an L-shape, is a sandy beach with a panoramic view of Kansai International Airport, and you can swim while watching the planes taking off and landing. (Closed in 2021)

Stand-alone villa in the glamping area (Urban Camp Hotel Marble Beach)
Stand-alone villa in the glamping area (Urban Camp Hotel Marble Beach)

Stand-alone villa in the glamping area (Urban Camp Hotel Marble Beach)

In 2020, an area of about 2 kilometers along the beach was transformed into Sennan Long Park, Kansai’s largest recreation facility, featuring a variety of ways to enjoy the outdoors.

In front of Marble Beach, there is a glamping area with a jacuzzi, independent villas with ocean views, a “marche area” where you can enjoy local food, and a community area with restaurants and cafes.

Health & Safety Measures
Barbecuing at Sen’nan Marble Beach is temporarily prohibited. Measure vary at other facilities

Services for international guests |
Sennan City has an English tourist pamphlet that includes a description of Sennan Marble Beach, the Long Park website has an English version, and there are English signs at the beach.

Recommended hotels nearby

Hotel Aston Plaza Kansai Airport
Minami Nakayasumatsu 674-1, Izumi-Sano, Osaka Prefecture
Hagurazaki

Hotel Bay Gulls
Kinku Port Kita 3-5, Tajiri, Osaka Prefecture
Hagurazaki

Sen'nan Marble Beach
Rinkuminamihama, Sennan-shi, Osaka 590-0535
TEL: 072-483-8191 (Sennan City Industrial Tourism Division)
Access: Approximately 10 minutes on foot from Okadaura Station on the Nankai Main Line

4. Amanohashidate (Kyoto): One of the three most scenic spots in Japan

The view from Amanohashidate Viewland
The view from Amanohashidate Viewland

The view from Amanohashidate Viewland

Around 3 hours by limited express train from JR Osaka Station, Amanohashidate is a scenic spot facing the Sea of Japan in northern Kyoto Prefecture. It’s known as one of the three most scenic spots in Japan, along with Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture and Miyajima in Hiroshima Prefecture.

The views from the Kasamatsu Park observatory, where you can see Amanohashidate from the north side, and from Amanohashidate Viewland on Mt. Monju on the south side are both captivating must-sees.

The view from Kasamatsu Park
The view from Kasamatsu Park

The view from Kasamatsu Park

The Kasamatsu Park overlook is popular because, from that vantage point, Amanohashidate looks like a rising dragon. It’s also famous as the birthplace of the oddly named “Crotch Peep,” in which viewers bend at the waist and look back through their legs, resulting in an interesting inverted view of Amanohashidate, the sky, and the sea.

Amanohashidate has two beaches. Both offer good-quality waters, calm waves, and places to rest in the shade of the nearby pine trees.

One is Amanohashidate Beach, just a 5-minute walk from Amanohashidate Station on the Monju side, which has beautiful blue pines and white sand beaches. There are tourist attractions such as Chionji Temple and Amanohashidate Viewland in the vicinity, and after swimming, you can relax at the Chie-no-Yu hot spring.

The other, Amanohashidate Fuchu Beach, is near the Amanohashidate Activity Center, where you can enjoy watersports like sea kayaking and stand-up paddling by reservation. In 2021, the beach is open from July 22nd to August 16th.

Recommended hotels nearby

Genmyoan
Jimonjyu 32-1 , Miyazu, Kyoto
Amanohashidate

Auberge Amanohashidate
Monju 310, Miyazu, Kyoto
Amanohashidate

Amanohashidate
Monju, Miyazu-shi, Kyoto
Amanohashidate
0772-22-8030

5. Makino Sunny Beach (Shiga): Beautiful water and scenery unique to Lake Biwa

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Photo: PIXTA

Makino Sunny Beach, about a 2-hour train ride from JR Osaka Station, is considered the most beautiful beach on the shores of Lake Biwa. White sands and pine forests stretch for about a kilometer from Takagihama in the north to Chinaihama in the south, and were selected as one of the “100 Best White Sands and Green Pines in Japan” in 1987.

Makino Sunny Beach overlooks two more scenic spots in Chikubu Island and Kaizu Osaki, which are among Lake Biwa’s eight most scenic areas. In addition, it has a good reputation for clean water and has been selected as a “special selection” in the lake category of the Ministry of the Environment’s “100 Select Beaches.”

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Photo: PIXTA

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Photo: PIXTA

You can enjoy Lake Biwa’s beautiful scenery all day long, like the view of the lake from the pier, which is especially eye-catching when colored by the sunrise and sunset.

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Photo: PIXTA

The lake terrace’s 13-meter tall observatory is a symbol of Takagihama and an ideal viewing point for both the lake and surrounding area throughout the year. It’s a recommended spot for taking pictures of the sunrise and sunset.

Health & Safety Measures (Takagihama)
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of shops and facilities / staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature

Services for international guests (Takagihama)
Staff use tablets for translation when conversing with guests

Makino Sunny Beach Takagihama
Makinocho Nishihama, Takashima-shi, Shiga 520-1811
TEL: 0740-28-1206 (Takagihama Auto Campsite), 0740-27-0325 (Chinaihama Auto Campsite)
Access: 10-minute walk from JR Makino Station

6. Isonoura (Wakayama): Kansai’s surfing sanctuary

Isonoura, a beach located in Nirigahama, Wakayama City, is popular among surfers in the Kansai region and is Osaka’s closest surfing area. From Osaka Namba Station, take the Nankai Main Line toward Wakayama, changing to the Kada Line at Wakayamashi Station, before getting off at Isonoura. From there, it’s just a short walk away.

It’s a popular destination for surfers, from beginners to advanced wave riders. The scene of the sunset across the ocean, palm trees, and surfers gives the beach a resort-like feel.

Isonoura has beautiful smooth, white sand and a panoramic view. The vast, shallow beach is about 1,200 meters long and 1.5 meters deep, even 100 meters from the water. During the sunbathing season (July 1st to August 31st), surfing and swimming areas are clearly marked so that beachgoers can swim safely.

There’s also a surfing school (Japanese language only). The “Beginner Course” is about 2.5 hours long and includes onshore training before entering the water. Boards and suits are available for rent, so anyone can join.

Health & Safety Measures
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of shop and facilities / hand sanitizer installed / disinfection after each guest check out / proper ventilation / use of coin tray / installation of plastic partitions / staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature / limited capacity / increased space between seats / restricted admission and implementation of reservation system / entry denied to anyone feeling unwell / masks required / temperature check enforced

Recommended hotels nearby

Cafe and Guest House Kaede
Isonoura 103, Wakayama, Wakayama
Isonoura

Wakayama Kada Onsen Kada Kaigetsu (ex. Azumaya Seaside Hotel)
Kada 1905, Wakayama, Wakayama
Kada

Isonoura Beach Resort
Isonoura, Wakayama, 640-0114
TEL: 073-452-2737 (Isonoura Beach Resort)
Access: 1-minute walk from Isonoura Station on the Nankai-Kada Line

Although some won’t be open to the public in 2021, these Kansai beaches are relatively easy to reach from central Osaka, and the clean waterfronts and spectacular views are worth a visit.

* Information in this article is accurate as of the time of writing in June 2021. Please check official websites for the latest information.

English translation by Gabriel Wilkinson

Written by:

WESTPLAN

Kiko Matsuda, Keiko Kimura, Risa Tsuji, and a team of female writers familiar with Kansai. We love eating, drinking and traveling! We share fun information based on our experiences.

10 Best Sunflower Fields in Japan: When and Where to Go To See Stunning Kansai In Bloom!

Fun in the Sun! Top 10 Things to Do This Summer in Osaka

Bamboo Floating Noodles?! Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Summer in Kyoto

Osaka Weather & Best Time to Visit: If You Can't Come Now, When Should You?

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting