ONSEN OASIS

Shirahama / Kushimoto

Unspoiled natural landscapes abound in Shirahama and Kushimoto. These areas boast some of the best beaches in all of Kansai (south-central Japan), and are home to historic onsen areas, as well as offering coral reefs said to be a diver's paradise.

Shirarahama Beach

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Unspoilt Nature

Facing the Pacific Ocean, the landscapes of Shirahama and Kushimoto are defined by breathtaking vistas and rock formations. The craggy Sandanbeki Rock Cliffs are 50 meters high, and the famous Engetsuto Island is an iconic symbol of the Kii Peninsula and a perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Engetsuto Island

Unspoilt Nature

Facing the Pacific Ocean, the landscapes of Shirahama and Kushimoto are defined by breathtaking vistas and rock formations. The craggy Sandanbeki Rock Cliffs are 50 meters high, and the famous Engetsuto Island is an iconic symbol of the Kii Peninsula and a perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Shirahama, the Beach Resort Town

Famous for its sparkling white sand, Shirarahama Beach – the sister to Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach – is touted as the best beach in Kansai, the south-central area of Japan. Japan's official beach season starts every year from Shirarahama, which opens before any other beach in Honshu, making this beach resort town a favored spot for sunbathers and swimmers alike.

Shirarahama Beach Opening

Shirahama, the Beach Resort Town

Famous for its sparkling white sand, Shirarahama Beach – the sister to Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach – is touted as the best beach in Kansai, the south-central area of Japan. Japan's official beach season starts every year from Shirarahama, which opens before any other beach in Honshu, making this beach resort town a favored spot for sunbathers and swimmers alike.

Onsen Bathing, a Japanese Pastime

Onsen hot springs are a Japanese cultural heritage, and Shirahama is one of the best-known areas for hot springs in Japan. One of the outstanding spas here is Saki-no-yu Onsen, with more than 14 centuries of history. From its outdoor bath (rotenburo) that looks out onto the Pacific, come rain or sunshine, soaking in the bath here will melt away all worries. Options include day visits, or overnight stays at one of the more than 90 hotels in Shirahama with their own onsen.

Saki-no-Yu Onsen/Shirahama Onsen

Onsen Bathing, a Japanese Pastime

Onsen hot springs are a Japanese cultural heritage, and Shirahama is one of the best-known areas for hot springs in Japan. One of the outstanding spas here is Saki-no-yu Onsen, with more than 14 centuries of history. From its outdoor bath (rotenburo) that looks out onto the Pacific, come rain or sunshine, soaking in the bath here will melt away all worries. Options include day visits, or overnight stays at one of the more than 90 hotels in Shirahama with their own onsen.

Ocean Fare

The prized spiny lobster (ise-ebi) is a regional delicacy. It can be served in many ways, be it a convivial DIY barbeque or as a decadent platter of sashimi. Bonito, a staple in Japanese cuisine, is also readily available, and particularly tasty during Spring and Autumn. A visit to the fish markets, such as the lively Toretore-ichiba, will offer visual clues as to what is at its peak.

Ocean Fare

The prized spiny lobster (ise-ebi) is a regional delicacy. It can be served in many ways, be it a convivial DIY barbeque or as a decadent platter of sashimi. Bonito, a staple in Japanese cuisine, is also readily available, and particularly tasty during Spring and Autumn. A visit to the fish markets, such as the lively Toretore-ichiba, will offer visual clues as to what is at its peak.

For Animal Lovers

Adventure World caters to both children and adults, combining a safari park, an aquarium, and an amusement park all in one. The big draws are most definitely the Pandas, but with over 200 species of animals, including white tigers, dolphins and giraffes, there is something here for everyone.

ADVENTURE WORLD

For Animal Lovers

Adventure World caters to both children and adults, combining a safari park, an aquarium, and an amusement park all in one. The big draws are most definitely the Pandas, but with over 200 species of animals, including white tigers, dolphins and giraffes, there is something here for everyone.

Undersea Mysteries

Kushimoto is known as a divers' paradise. This area is the northernmost limit in the world for the elegance coral and many other varieties. Its crystal clear waters – no deeper than 20 m – average a surface water temperature of 21.1ºC, making it a great spot year-round to discover the mysteries under the sea. For those of us who prefer to keep our feet above water, the glass-bottom tours and marine park are the way to go.

Undersea Mysteries

Kushimoto is known as a divers' paradise. This area is the northernmost limit in the world for the elegance coral and many other varieties. Its crystal clear waters – no deeper than 20 m – average a surface water temperature of 21.1ºC, making it a great spot year-round to discover the mysteries under the sea. For those of us who prefer to keep our feet above water, the glass-bottom tours and marine park are the way to go.

Next Up

Arida / Yuasa / Hidaka

DESTINATIONS