Discover one of Wakayama's coastal treasures: the historic, photogenic town of Yuasa. Off the beaten path, a visit to the birthplace of Japanese soy sauce (shoyu) assures authentic views of Edo period (1603-1868) architecture and better yet, without the crowds of high-traffic tourist hotspots. Further down the coast, let your hair down and soak in the beach resort atmosphere of Shirahama Onsen. If R&R isn't your thing, don't worry: Shirahama also has plenty of interesting sightseeing options.
Start your journey at JR Wakayama Station, aiming to arrive in Yuasa by 10 a.m. Travel time is around an hour by local train. After putting your bags in one of the station lockers, your first port of call should be the information center across the road, where bicycles can be rented for free. You can also pick up maps and brochures there.
1 Yuasa Historic Townscape
4 Yuasa Soy Sauce Ltd.
From Yuasa, take the Kuroshio express to arrive in Shirahama Town in just under an hour. The coastal area, where most of the hotels are located, is a short bus or taxi ride away.
5 Shirahama Ryokan Stay
Try to arrive at your accommodation not too late, as dinner tends to be served early, around 6 p.m.
Luggage delivery service to and from JR Shirahama station and many ryokan in Shirahama can be arranged, check with your selected accommodation.
For an altogether different accommodation experience, the whimsical dome-shaped pods at Toretore Village might appeal.
With so many attractions, Shirahama can leave you spoilt for choice. If you need a hand making up your mind, take a look at the suggestions below.
6a Shirarahama Beach
6b Unspoilt Nature
6c ADVENTURE WORLD
While-away a relaxing second evening at your accommodation in Shirahama, ready to follow the Kumano Sanzan itinerary the next morning.
If your time in Wakayama is limited, use Shirahama as a base to explore the World Heritage Kumano Sanzan area. Taxi tours to Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine start from around ¥20,000 and can be arranged through the tourist information center at JR Shirahama Station.