Kii Peninsula

Shirara Beach, Wakayama, Japan

Getty Images/amana images RM

Shirahama's main beach is famous for its white sand – though what's there now was imported from Perth in the '90s, as the original sand was lost to erosion. It's a crescent-shaped cove, relatively sheltered from the currents, making it very popular with families during summer holidays (mid-July to August); otherwise it's mostly deserted.