Onsen right next to the sea and a beautiful white sand beach
When it comes to onsen experiences in the Kumano area, most people envision soaking in hot springs surrounded by lush green mountains. However, the Shirahama Onsen area offers a unique twist to this traditional experience. Located right next to the Pacific Ocean, this hot spring resort provides bathers with breathtaking views of the sea and unusual rock formations shaped by centuries of erosion.
The history of Shirahama Onsen dates back over 1,300 years, and throughout the centuries, its outdoor rock baths have been a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike. Imagine relaxing in a hot spring while gazing out at the vast expanse of the ocean, with waves crashing against the rocky cliffs. It is truly a mesmerizing experience that allows you to connect with nature and find tranquility.
One of the highlights of Shirahama Onsen is Saki-no-Yu, a natural hot spring that is said to have been once used by an emperor. The hot waters of Saki-no-Yu flow into outdoor rock pools, known as rotenburo. These pools offer a unique bathing experience, as you can feel the salty spray of the ocean and enjoy the panoramic view of the Pacific. The legend of Saki-no-Yu adds an air of mystique to the onsen, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.
Aside from the onsen experience, Shirahama Onsen is also known for its striking geology. The cliffs and caves of Sandanbeki are a sight to behold, with their otherworldly formations shaped by aggressive sea erosion. In the past, these cliffs and caves were a popular hangout spot for pirates, adding a sense of adventure and intrigue to the area. While the pirates may be long gone, their legacy remains in the form of these majestic rock formations.
Another natural wonder in Shirahama Onsen is Engetsuto Island. This naturally forged archway frames the sun as it sets, creating a picture-perfect scene. It is a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts who want to capture the beauty of the sunset in all its glory. The combination of the ocean, cliffs, and the archway creates a stunning backdrop that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
For those who prefer a day of sunbathing and swimming, Shirara Beach is the ideal destination. With its 620 meters of white sand and crystal clear waters, this beach is considered one of the best in the country. The geology of the area adds to the charm, as the striking rock formations provide a unique backdrop for beachgoers. Whether you want to relax on the sand, take a dip in the ocean, or simply enjoy the beauty of the surroundings, Shirara Beach offers the perfect setting for a day of beachside bliss.
To reach Shirahama Onsen, there are several transportation options available. If you are coming from Tokyo, you can take a one-hour flight to Nanki-Shirahama Airport, which is only a 10-minute bus ride away from the onsen area. Alternatively, if you prefer to travel by train, you can take a 2.5-hour journey from Shin-Osaka to JR Shirahama Station, followed by a 10-minute bus ride to Shirara Beach. The convenient access makes Shirahama Onsen a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers.
In addition to its natural beauty, Shirahama Onsen is also steeped in history and culture. It is one of japan‘s oldest hot spring resorts, with a rich heritage that can be traced back centuries. The flat rock formation of Senjojiki is a testament to the area’s historical significance, as it is named after the size and shape of the vast plateau, which is said to be equivalent to 1,000 tatami mats. This unique feature adds to the charm of Shirahama Onsen, making it a destination that is not only visually stunning but also culturally significant.
When visiting Shirahama Onsen, it is recommended to take your time and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings. Whether you choose to soak in the hot springs, explore the cliffs and caves, or simply relax on the beach, every moment spent in this idyllic paradise is sure to be memorable. The combination of the soothing hot springs, the awe-inspiring scenery, and the rich history make Shirahama Onsen a destination that offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
In conclusion, Shirahama Onsen is a hot spring resort that offers a different perspective on the traditional onsen experience. With its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, unusual rock formations, and beautiful white sand beach, it is a destination that combines relaxation, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. Whether you are seeking tranquility, adventure, or simply a day of sun and surf, Shirahama Onsen has something to offer for everyone. So why not immerse yourself in the soothing waters, breathe in the fresh ocean air, and let the beauty of this coastal paradise rejuvenate your body and soul?
Address And Maps Location:
Shirahama-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama-ken