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Shirahama Onsen 白浜温泉

Shirahama Onsen Shirahama Onsen
Shirahama Onsen Shirahama Onsen

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 1,300-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 said to have been 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 train from Shin-Osaka (2.5 hours). A 10-minute bus ride from JR Shirahama Station takes you to the Shirara Beach stop.

Quick Facts

Shirahama Onsen is among Japan's oldest hot spring resorts

The flat rock formation of Senjojiki means 1,000 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 620 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 and fresh fish from the Pacific Ocean, Shirahama Onsen and Shirara Beach can't be beat.

Pristine white sands of Shirara Beach

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

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