Osaka is the food capital of Japan, but the one thing it lacks are beaches. Not to worry, you can still escape to a few good seaside places in Kansai that aren’t too difficult to get to.
One of the most popular beaches in the region, if you head towards Kobe on the Hankyu or JR Line you can find the beautiful sandy shore of Suma beach (jump off at Suma station). There are many places to eat and drink as well as regular events in the area. Suma is also an ace spot to get out on a yacht and explore the local ocean – take my word for it! If Suma is too crowded for you, check out other beaches in the area such as Maiko or Tarumi beach.
Awajishima (Awaji Island)
Out in Osaka bay also known as the inland sea, you’ll find the beautiful Awaji Island. Easily accessed via Kobe by ferry or bus, and not too far from Osaka and Kyoto, you’ll find a range of beaches lining the shores. Ohama and Goshiki beaches on the east coast are good go-to spots. After your day of swimming and relaxing on the beach, make sure you check out the longest suspension bridge in the world, the Akashi Kaikyo bridge, or the mesmerizing Naruto whirlpools.
One of the most famous beach/seaside areas in Japan, Shirahama is located in Wakayama prefecture. You’ll fall in love with the beautiful white sand (which happens to be imported from Australia) as well as enjoy sunning it up on the beautiful and clean shore. There’s a few good restaurants including outdoor seafood BBQ overlooking the water, which is always a winner, as well as other local hotspots to check out if you’re into exploring. Adventure world (the only pandas in Japan) and Nachi Falls are great additions if you’re in the area.
About 2 hours by train or an easy drive in a hire car, will get you to Amanohashidate – one of the 3 most beautiful sights of Japan. Located in northern Kyoto, Amanohashidate is also known as ‘The Bridge to Heaven’. Famous for it’s 3.5km natural sand bridge that is contrasted by a lush mountainous backdrop, this picturesque place is a continuous white sandy beach covered with pine trees.
Crossing the sandbar and taking chairlift to the top of Kasamatsu Park, you can enjoy the most breathtaking scenic view over 400 feet above the city and sandy bridge. A definite must-visit.
Only an hour on the Nankai Line and at the southern tip of Osaka, Tokimeki beach, also known as Tannowa Bathing Beach, is a sprawling white sandy beach with clear waters. Close to neighbouring beaches Nagamatsu and Sennan Satoumi, it is popular for clam digging between March and June and swimming from July to September.
One more bonus beach…
Touted as a more secluded and less crowded beach, Tarui Southern Beach is a short walk from Tarui station on the Nankai Line, approx. 1hr from Osaka city. If you are looking for more privacy then this might be the one for you.