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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Relaxation

Shirahama Onsen 白浜温泉

Onsen right next to the sea and a beautiful white sand beach

While many onsen located in the Kumano area offer views of lush green mountains, the centuries-old Shirahama Onsen area provides its bathers something entirely different — a Pacific Ocean panorama. Throughout the hot spring resort's 1300-year history, those soaking in its outdoor rock baths have enjoyed views of the unusual jagged rock formations shaped by the sea.

Don't Miss

  • Saki-no-Yu—a natural hot spring once used by an emperor
  • The striking geology of the cliffs and caves of Sandanbeki
  • One of the best beaches in the country—Shirara Beach

How to Get There

The Shirahama Onsen area is located a 10-minute bus ride from Nanki-Shirahama Airport, making it ideal for those taking the hour-long flight into the area from Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

It is also convenient for those coming by Express train from Shin-Osaka (2.5 hours), as a ten-minute bus ride from the station will take you to the Shirahama Bus Center stop, where the beach is located.

Quick Facts

Shirahama Onsen is ranked alongside famous onsen resorts in Kobe and Matsuyama as one of Japan's oldest

The flat rock formation of Senjojiki means 1000 tatami mats in reference to the vast plateau's size and shape

Imperial rotenburo outdoor bath

While there are many enjoyable onsen in the area, Saki-no-Yu's hot waters are one of the most popular. The naturally heated outdoor rock pools, known as rotenburo, face the big blue of the Pacific and bathers can feel the salty spray of the ocean as waves crash onto the rocks.

Saki-no-Yu's legend can be traced back centuries as it was logged in one of Japan's oldest historical texts and said to have been frequented by an emperor.

Engetsuto Island, framing the sunset at dusk

Aggressive architecture

Centuries of aggressive sea erosion has sculpted otherworldly formations in the area surrounding Shirahama Onsen. The rock cliffs and caves of Sandanbeki used to be a hangout for pirates and while the seafaring scoundrels may have left, the rocky remains still remain.

Picture perfect

Engetsuto Island is a naturally forged archway that frames the sun as it sets, so get your camera ready.

Senjojiki Rock Plateau

Beach beauty

The striking geology of the area is perfect for modern day explorers, however, for those looking to soak in the sun's rays, the 600 plus meters of white sand and dazzling clear water that make up Shirara Beach is the ideal location. Voted one of the best beaches in the country, Shirara Beach is very popular with the Japanese too.

Despite being a choice destination for beach goers in the Kansai area, Shirara Beach remains an oasis. For a day in the sand and surf, punctuated by a soak in the onsen hot spring, while eating the choice bounty of the Pacific Ocean, Shirahama-onsen Hot Spring and Shirara-hama Beach can't be beat.

Pristine white sands and private nooks of Shirara Beach

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