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Relaxation and Exploration in the Resort Town of Shirahama

Shirahama is a coastal town in the south-western corner of Wakayama Prefecture. It is one of Japan's oldest onsen resorts, home to one of the country's most beautiful beaches, and a beautiful spot for outdoor adventure.
OVERVIEW
· Rent a bicycle and explore Shirahama's natural sites
· Feast on fresh seafood and authentic Italian cuisine
· Relax in warming hot spring water direct from the source
· Find out about the fascinating history of naturalist and folklore specialist Minakata Kumagusu
· Meet Japan's largest family of pandas at Adventure World

Shirahama Area

Visitors have traveled to Shirahama for centuries to enjoy the healing properties of the onsen (hot spring) waters. The area is still a popular destination for onsen travel; however, there is much more to Shirahama than the opportunity for therapeutic bathing.

Shirarahama Beach is a sparkling bay of pure white sand, and one of Japan's most attractive beaches. Adventure World is a large wildlife park ideal for families, and talented chefs in many of Shirahama's restaurants take advantage of the fresh seafood on the doorstep. And the area is easily accessible from Japan's urban centers. Visit Shirahama for some serious relaxation and exploration.

Travel Tips

Nightlife (Gourmet Information)
Shirahama is Wakayama's culinary capital. There are lots of bars and restaurants, many serving fresh seafood direct from the ocean.More Info

Minakata Kumagusu Museum
The museum is dedicated to the life of Minakata Kumagusu. Kumagusu was a Wakayama-born biologist, naturalist, and scholar of folklore.More Info

Popular Spots (Beach/Engetsuto/Sandanbeki)

The beautiful beaches and rocky outcrops that make up the Shirahama landscape are ideal for both relaxation and exploration.

Homestay Programs

If you are looking for a homestay program where students can experience a truly different way of life, consider Wakayama. Each of the five homestay programs are located in rural areas of the prefecture, where the cultural fabric is bound together by agriculture, community, and tradition. Students can experience a traditional Japanese lifestyle here, markedly different from life in the metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka.

Students can foster deeper cross-cultural communication by staying with a host family and assisting with everyday tasks in and around the house and enjoying local cuisine and customs firsthand.

Homestay programs are available all year round, allowing them to slot into regular school schedules. If you are interested in embarking upon a homestay program, follow the Exchange Request and Determination System guidelines.

Rental Cycle

Explore Shirahama's main attractions by bicycle. Most of the area's sites are an easy ride away from each other. There are several rental shops in the Shirahama area.

Onsen

Shirahama is one of Japan's oldest onsen resorts. The warming water in the hot spring baths comes direct from the source, and some tubs have ocean views.

Getting to Shirahama from Kyoto and Osaka

Shirahama is easily accessible from Japan's main urban hubs. There are three daily flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport that fly directly into Nanki-Shirahama Airport. Flying time is around 90 minutes.Alternatively,express trains from Osaka run down the beautiful Kii peninsula coastline, arriving in Shirahama in around 2 hours 30 minutes.

Travel Tips

Nanki–Shirahama Airport
Nanki-Shirahama Airport is conveniently located for easy access to many of Shirahama's tourist sites and natural attractions.More Info

Shirahama to Kumano or Koyasan
Kumano Kodo Express Bus runs from Shirahama to Hongu (around 2 hours and 20 minutes). There is also a bus from Hongu taishamae to Koyasan (around 4 hours). More Info

Travel Pass Information
Before you begin your exploration of Shirahama, purchase a travel pass. It is both convenient and cost-effective.More Info

Getting to Shirahama from Tokyo