Suna Matsuri (Sand Festival) 2018: Cultural Adventure

Suna Matsuri or Sand Festival (白浜砂祭りis an annual festival held every May in Shirarahama Beach in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. Shirahama, for those who are unfamiliar with the place, is a coastal resort town on the southern coast of Wakayama Prefecture. The town is famous for its onsen(s), rock formations, and of course Shirarahama Beach.

Sand Festival
Suna Matsuri or Sand Festival (白浜砂祭り)

Suna Matsuri (Sand Festival) Details

Speaking of Shirarahama Beach, it is the venue of the annual Suna Matsuri (Sand Festival) held every May. The highlight of this festival is the Sand Art Contest that is modeled after the Snow Festival of Hokkaido. This competition features around 30 - 60 pieces of three-dimensional artworks made from the sand of the beach. These artistic mounds measure around 15 feet by 15 feet and are at least 6 - 10 feet tall.



Suna Matsuri Festival - Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture

Taking a closer look...

Is that Snorlax?

The entries for the contest have various designs like animals, human faces, landmarks, and even famous pop culture characters. These add up to the beauty of the beach and not to mention draws in more tourists to the town. My family and I were lucky to have visited Shirarahama Beach a day after the competition. Although there were still dozens of visitors, the beach was not as crowded as I have imagined.

Upon viewing this year's entries, here are some of my  favorites:

A kawaii kuma

Looks like some bears sliding down the Great Wall of China

Who'd miss out on those creatures from Despicable Me?

More sand art entries.

Overall, we feel blessed to have a Japanese family who brought us to Shirahama just to see these beautiful sand arts. We got to visit Shirahama and see the Suna Matsuri Festival on the 11th day of our 2018 Japan Trip. As you can see, this resort town is not the usual tourist destination for foreigners as it is quite far from the airport. 
Visiting it gave us that once in a lifetime experience that we would surely cherish and remember.

Why experience the Suna Matsuri of Shirahama?

Japan might not be famous for its beaches but for the few that really stand out like Shirarahama Beach in Wakayama, it's not only a perfect destination for beachgoers, it's also a place to visit to see some awesome sand sculptures during the Suna Matsuri Festival held every May. So what are you waiting for? Come visit in May and enjoy not only the clean beach but also the amazing sand sculptures.

Getting to Shirarahama Beach:


From Osaka, ride the Ocean Arrow Train of the JR West Line. Board down at Shirahama Station and then transfer to the Meiko Bus. Get off at Shirahama The beach is just a short walk away.
Fare: 5000 - 6000 yen
Travel time: 3 hours 

Ratings:
Crowd
Cleanliness
Overall rating

Comments

  1. Wow the sand art is amazing!! And your video really gives perspective as to the enormous size and just how many there were that day. I really enjoyed this article!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for this meaningful comment. I do hope you get to see the Suna Matsuri this year.

      Delete
  2. Wow those are amazing sand art!! Thank you for sharing them and for including the video. The video really helps to get an idea of their enormous size and just how many were there that day. Very cool!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've seen similar festivals/contests before, this looks like a lot of fun to see in person and to participate in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is. Sadly, I was not able to watch the moment when they created the Sand Art. I arrived only after they were finished.

      Delete
  4. I love sand art! I never win, but it's fun to do. Those are all amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never tried it though. I'd probably include it in my life plans hahaha.

      Delete
  5. Wow. this is wonderful beach on japan, thank you for share about this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Abu Zaid. I hope you get to visit it someday.

      Delete
  6. Never heard of the sand festival before, super cool thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy that you learned something new from my post Bliss.

      Delete
  7. This is just so adorable! I've not yet made it to Japan, but would love to one day to see these kind of novelties!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do include Suna Matsuri in your must-experience list when you visit Japan.

      Delete
  8. I’d love to attend this festival!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The white beach looks amazing and the fact that they have a sand festival makes me wants to visit Shirahama on our next trip to Japan..nice pictures you have :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. These sand images look so cool. I liked all of them... I can imagine the effort put to make them look so good. 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks better in person. You should come visit Shirahama this year and check out Suna Matsuri 2019.

      Delete
  11. Thank you sharing this very comprehensive article about your travel in Shirahama. I will include this on my bucket list.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This looks so cool! I definitely want to go and check it out! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ashleigh! Please do visit Shirahama when you go to Japan.

      Delete
  13. I have to go to this. I live about a hour from Wakayama.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really! That sounds great. =) You should really come see this!

      Delete
  14. How fun! Looks like a great time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really had a great time in Shirahama. You should come visit too.

      Delete
  15. Gorgeous photos. My buddy is traveling that way this summer, he'll definitely want to check this place out. Thanks for the information.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The sand festival in Japan seems like an awesome attraction that I would love to see one day. Keshia Richmond

    ReplyDelete
  17. WoW! The water looks fake it's so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh those sand sculptures are great, especially the great wall of China one, just how patient the person was to build all that :O and it's fairly close to the city as I can see, I see that ramen restaurant, now I want to get some ramen xD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. The guys who built those are very skilled. I like the Great Wall as well it's one of my top bets actually. =)

      Delete
  19. Such a unique festival. We come across one off sand structures on beaches but this is a whole new level of beach art!

    ReplyDelete
  20. The place is extremely beautiful!!! Theeen the amazing art works!! Just amazing work!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Those sand sculptures are simply amazing. It must take both great talent and patience to create such works of sand art. Impressed.
    Elizabeth O

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Elizabeth. I can't imagine how challenging it was for the contestants to create those masterpiece in a short amount of time.

      Delete
  22. Nice and clean beach. We have similar festivals in my place too. Loved that Snorlax and minions:) Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow really? i would love to know where that is. I'd check it out someday.

      Delete
  23. wow this is awesome! The competition for this is tough, dba?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oo sobra. May mga sumasali ring foreigner diyan. Ang alam ko magagaling ang mga Indian sa Sand Art at may mga entries sila diyan.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews

Article Archives

Show more
Subscribe and get updated with the latest travel articles of The Backpack Adventures

Ads

Klook search

Klook.com

Popular posts from this blog

Food trip: Teppanya (Evia)

Top 10 Things To Do in Maragondon, Cavite

Tagaytay Picnic Grove - Cavite

Japan Diaries 4: Weekend 4

Kamay ni Hesus Shrine - Quezon

A Guide to Solidarity Route Sticker

Blue Coral Beach Resort - Batangas

Tagaytay City Day Tour Itinerary

Albay Park and Wildlife - Albay

Intramuros Budget Day Tour Itinerary