Groovy Osaka: Beach? What Beach?

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There’s nothing like celebrating summer with a day at the beach. Whether you decide to take in some rays, go swimming or do some Japanese activities like smashing watermelons, the beach is certainly a great place to be. However, if you visit Osaka, you may be wondering where all the beaches are. It may be a port city, but it does lack recreational beachfront areas.

There are several ways around this if you want to soak up the sun and have some fun. There are neighboring beaches within Kansai, and if you really just want to hang out around the city, you could always do that along the riverside or cruise around the local waterways.

Nearby Beaches

Suma "Beach &Party"Photo by lazy fri13th

While Osaka City itself lacks beaches, there are a few quality seashores you can get to in the Kansai region within an hour of the city. If you head toward Kobe on the JR Kobe line, you can find the white sands of Suma Beach. Suma Beach can get a bit crowded, but it has a nice atmosphere and plenty of events you can attend. There are other beaches nearby in Tarumi and Maiko, as well as across the inland sea on Awaji Island. To get to Awaji Island, you can travel over the longest suspension bridge in the world, a title the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge has held since 1998.

If you head out of the city toward Kansai International Airport, you can find many small waterfronts and resorts. Sennan in the south of Osaka Prefecture is well known for its coastal destinations such as Tokimeki Beach, Nagamatsu Beach and Sennan Satoumi. If you want some peace and quiet, Tarui Beach is smaller and less popular than the others. Rather than dealing with large groups of people, the more secluded beach has more privacy.

Just be aware that if you have tattoos, a lot of public and private beaches throughout Japan have rules against them. You may be asked to cover your tattoos or even asked to leave. If you want to avoid the embarrassment of being told to leave, you may want to hide or cover your tattoos in advance.

Local Waterways

Along the Dotonbori Canal, DotonboriPhoto by Stephen Kelly

Osaka is a city built on many different canals and waterways. In recent years, it has fixed up its main canal areas and added scenic walkways. If you just want to catch some rays and enjoy a relaxing view, you can do that in many areas of the city. Dotonbori and Ebisubashi offer excellent views and walking paths along the canal, as well as a golden opportunity for people watching since it is one of the most popular regions of the city. On the other side of Namba station, you can relax on the steps of Namba Hatch and watch the tour boats go by.

If you want to get out on the water, you may want to consider going on a boat excursion around the city. There are several companies offering many types of tours around different parts of the city. There’s something for nearly everyone: historic tours, jazz boats, comedy tours and lengthier event cruises. You may want to shop around and check the many different companies in order to find the right trip for you. Ipponmatsu Shipping Company, Osaka Suijo Bus and even the Osaka Museum offer tours.

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Groovy punky reggae nerd from Kansai.

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