A swim at one of the beautiful beaches on Awaji Island can be a refreshing change of pace. But be aware: the open season is quite short, only for about a month during the Japanese holiday season from mid-July to mid-August .
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The first beach on our journey is at the north end of Awaji. Iwaya beach is a lovely little sand beach with a designated swimming area and a pontoon during the summer season. The beach has free restrooms and rental showers (500Y per use). A small shop sells light food and drink with beach parasols available for rent. Be sure to bring swimming goggles to see the adorable fish swimming around you without a care. 🐟
Take the ferry from Akashi port to Iwaya port and either walk (6 minutes) or take the BanBanBasu (100Y) directly to the beach. Parking is also available near the beach for a fee.
Urakenmin Sun Beach at Higashiura
Urakenmin Sun Beach is slightly bigger than Iwaya, but also has a designated area for swimming during the summer open season. Relax in this leisurely place for a day and drop by the shops, cafes, and farmer’s markets nearby in Higashiura.
Take the bus from Sannomiya station to Higashiura Bus terminal, right next to the beach. If driving, parking is available at the bus terminal for a fee.
Ohama Beach at Sumoto
Welcome to Ohama Beach! The main beach in Sumoto city has convenient facilities and scenic pine trees. Feel the sand beneath your feet as you step into the blue waters on this spacious beach. In the summer, fun features appear, transforming the area into a kind of water park ideal for children. Restrooms and rental showers are available and the many trees provide welcome shade close to the water’s edge.
For those already in Sumoto, the beach is an easy walk from anywhere in the town center. For drivers, parking is available (free for most of the year except the peak season when it’s Y1000).
Kei no Matsubara Beach
We’ve moved to the west coast of Awaji Island, the home of breathtaking sunset views!
Keinomatsubara is known for the vast pine forest that surrounds the area. Walk along the path and snap a selfie against the backdrop of pine trees rising at every angle. Beyond the trees lies the small, smooth stones of the sandy beach. A full suite of facilities and multiple car parks along the pine forest are available. Though it might not be the easiest to reach, the view of the ocean sunset is worth it.
Approximately one-hour drive from Kobe.
Keinomatsubara might be the most famous beach on Awaji but Taganohama may be the true hidden gem. Here you’ll find multiple beaches perfect for a swim, a green grass lawn to relax or play sports, convenient facilities and a few shops selling goods and light meals open in the summer season. A precious point to watch the sun descend into the ocean, painting the sky and clouds with a multitude of colors.
Drivers will find ample parking at 2 parking lots on either end of the beach. If taking the bus from Sannomiya, get off at Gunge and walk about 15 min to the beach.