The Ultimate Beach Guide to the Kansai Area of Japan

The weather is warming up and summer is finally here! This has me thinking about beaches and the ones I’d love to go back to. I’m going to share those with you, but first, a mini geography lesson!

So in Japan there are 8 different regions. I live in the Kansai or Kinki area of Japan. This includes the prefectures of Nara, Hyogo, Osaka, Kyoto, Wakayama, Shiga, and Mie. Living in Nara, I’m actually pretty landlocked, but thankfully, Japan is small! When I was landlocked in Kansas, our closest beach was actually the Gulf of Mexico and it was about ten hours away. From Nara, I can get to a good beach in as little as an hour and a half (if I have the money to pay for tolls.) We usually don’t pay for tolls, so each of these take 2-3 hours by car to reach from Nara.

Lake Shiga Beach, Shiga Prefecture

Being from Kansas, I’m used to murky, man-made lakes so I was truly blown away by the gorgeous sand and waves at this natural lake. This lake is HUGE. In fact, if you look at a map of Japan you can easily spot it because of it’s sheer size. Each side and area has different characteristics, but we’ve found it to be fairly empty of beach goers and an extremely fun and relaxing experience for everyone involved.

There is also a really awesome “floating gate” on the west side of the lake at Shirahiga Shrine.

How to Get There:

Shirahige Shrine
215 Ukawa, Takashima-shi, Shiga-ken

Omimaiko Beach
MinamikomatsuOtsu 520-0502, Shiga Prefecture


Tokimeki Beach, Osaka Prefecture

Tokimeki Beach is actually located in Osaka, Japan. It’s on its southern coast and it is a HUGE beach full of things to do.

There are four different swimming areas, a giant playground for kids, and a crab catching area. It’s so easy to spend the day there and it’s really nice. The best part is probably that there is no entrance fee, so it’s just 620 yen if you want to park your car there for 5 hours.

How to Get There:

Tokimeki Beach
Tannowa, Misaki, Sennan District, Osaka Prefecture 599-0300


Shirahama Beach, Wakayama Prefecture

Shirahama actually means white beach. It’s located in Wakayama, Japan, with the softest, whitest sand I’ve ever felt. The swimming area is a little small, but it’s really beautiful.

There’s also a clothes-on hot spring that you can get in during the summer, or it’s a foot hot spring in the fall and winter.

How to Get There

Shirahama Beach
Shirahama, Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture 649-2211

Shirasuna Onsen
864 Shirahama Town, Wakayama Prefecture 649-2211

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