Shirahama (白浜, ) is located on the western coast of Wakayama prefecture, Japan. It is best known for its beautiful white beach and hot springs. The main beach is lined with hotels like a mini Waikiki. The hotels were built in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and are very nostalgic looking. During the summer, there are fireworks every night on the beach.
The easiest way to get to Nanki Shirahama is by air or by train to avoid the traffic jams on the country roads leading into Tanabe City and Shirahama. An express way connecting the city to Osaka almost reaches Shirahama. The expressway is only two lanes, so it can get crowded in summer.
- Three Step Cliff (三段壁 Sandanbeki). A beautiful view from cliffs on the ocean edge that are 50 meters high. There is also a guided tour into to the caverns inside the cliffs. It is said that pirates (kumano suigun)used to inhabit the caverns and the remains of their dwellings can be seen. A good tour for young children and dads trying to avoid shopping. Admission charged.
- Senjojiki (千畳敷). A beautiful rocky point near Shirahama beach. The view is best late in the afternoon. Admission is free.
- Kishu Museum, . A small but interesting museum housing Ukiyo-e prints of all "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" by Andō Hiroshige among some quality pottery and screens.
- Engetsu Island. A small island in Shirahama bay (20 minutes walk from the mean beach to get in front of it). A rock formation with a hole in the middle allows in some days to see the Sun set through it. An enjoyable view and stroll in any (not too hot or humid) day.
- Shirahama Sakinoyu Onsen (白浜崎の湯温泉). Summer 8AM-7PM, winter 10AM-3PM. This spectacular hot spring is celebrated as one of Japan's Top 3 hot springs and cited in old texts. As it lays just at the waterfront bigger waves from ocean cool down the pool's hot water and splash the bathers which adds to the fun and pleasure. ¥300.
In the summer time it is very crowded so reservations are advised. There are also reservation centers that might be able to help.
- Hotel Koganoi, ☎ +81 0739 42-2922. ¥20,000.
- Koganoi Bay Hotel, ☎ +81 0739 43-6000. ¥22,000.
- Shiraraso Grand Hotel, ☎ +81 0739 43-0100. ¥20,000.
- Miyukien, ☎ +81 0739 42-2708. ¥15,000.
- Hotel Senjo, ☎ +81 0739 42-3470. ¥16,000.
- Minshuku A Course, ☎ +81 0739 42-3680. ¥10,000.
- Minshuku Katsuya, ☎ +81 0739 42-3814. ¥7000.
- Shirara, ☎ +81 0739 42-3655. ¥8000.
- Hotel Shirahama, ☎ +81 0739 42-3039. ¥7000.
- Taiya, ☎ +81 0739 42-3328. ¥7000.