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

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
MaikoRakuten STAY VILLA Awaji 108 4 double beds, capacity of 8 persons
Matsuhokotsuro 886-2 , Minamiawaji, Hyogo
MaikoKeino-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…

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