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Shirahama Onsen In Wakayama - Access, One-Day Hot Springs, And Inns

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Shirahama is a popular resort spot with great beaches and hot springs. Find out more about how to reach Shirahama Onsen and getting the most out of your time there.

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What Kind of Place Is Shirahama Onsen?

Shirahama is a tourist spot on the southern side of Wakayama prefecture. It is also referred to as the Nanki Shirahama and it is a well-known resort area with beaches and hot springs. It is especially popular among the people of the Kansai area.


Photo courtesy of Shirahama Tourist Association

Shirahama Onsen, located in Shirahama, is a historical hot spring that is said to be one of the three oldest hot springs in Japan along with Arima Onsen and Dogo Onsen. There are records of the emperor visiting Shirahama Onsen from the sixth to eighth centuries. Shirahama Onsen has great outdoor and foot baths and hot spring hopping is part of the fun. You can enjoy the amazing view of the Pacific Ocean right by the open bath.

The Health Effects of Shirahama Onsen


Photo courtesy of Shirahama Tourist Association
The secret behind the Shirahama Onsen's 1300 year plus long popularity comes from the quality of the springs. There is more than one type of springs in Shirahama Onsen and the quality of the spring changes according to the origin of the spring. Therefore, depending on the inn or hot spring facility, you will be able to find hot springs with various qualities. There are three main springs; sodium chloride, simple hypertonic springs, and alkalescent hypertonic spring that are said to relieve muscle pains, joint pains, improve blood flow, and help chronic skin problems.

Getting to Shirahama Onsen


To get to Shirahama Onsen, head toward Shirahama Station and transfer to the bus. You will be on the bus for about 20 minutes and it costs 400 yen. In the next section, we will explain how to get to Shirahama Station from various parts of Japan.

*Please note that transportation fee, time, road conditions and traffic will vary according to the season.

From Tokyo

Going by Train

From Tokyo Station, take the JR Tokaido shinkansen to Shin-Osaka Station and transfer to the JR Limited Express Kuroshio and go to Shirahama Station. It takes around five hours (not including transfer time) and costs 16,210 yen for unreserved seats.

Going by Plane

From Haneda Airport to Nanki Shirahama Airport, there are three flights per day operated by JAL. It takes around an hour and 15 minutes and costs 35,290 yen for a standard fare.

From Nanki Shirahama Airport, if you take the local bus, it takes around ten minutes and costs start at 240 yen. If you take the taxi, it takes around five minutes and costs around 1500 yen.

Going by Bus

From Ikebukuro Station, stop by Shinjuku Station before heading to Shirahama Onsen by an overnight express bus. It takes around nine hours and costs start at 8700 yen.

From Osaka

Going by Train

From Shin-Osaka Station, get on the JR Limited Express Kuroshio from Kyoto until Shirahama Station. It takes around two hours and 30 minutes and costs 5080 yen for unreserved seats.

Going by Bus

From Osaka Station, stop by the Namba Station before going to the Shiraham Station. There are about ten express buses per day. It takes around three hours and 40 minutes and costs 2980 yen.

From Fukuoka

From Hakata Station get on the JR Sanyo shinkansen to Shin-Osaka Station and transfer to the Limited Express Kuroshio. It takes around 5 hours and costs 16,850 yen for unreserved seats.

Transportation Methods in the Shirahama Onsen Area

Hot springs and inns in Shirahama Onsen area are spread out over a large area so it is advised to travel using a local bus or a rental bicycle.

There is a handy unlimited hop-on-hop-off bus pass in the Shirahama Onsen area and tourist spots. For a 1-day free pass, it costs 1100 yen for adults and 550 yen for children. A 2-day free pass costs 1500 yen for adults and 750 yen for children, while a 3-day free pass costs 1700 yen and 850 yen respectively. Hop-on-hop-off passes can be purchased inside buses running in the city.

Bicycle rentals are great for Shirahama that has many hills and ups and downs. You can rent an electric assisting bicycle for one day (10:00-16:00) for 1000 yen (insurance is 1000 yen). You can rent bicycles at Machikado Gallery Shirasuna.

Machikado Gallery Shirasuna (Rent-a-Cycle)
Address: Wakayama, Nishimuro, Shirahama 1384-57
Phone number: +81-0739-43-1618
Hours: 9:00-17:00
Website: Machikado Gallery Shirasuna (Japanese)

One-Day Bathing Spots at Shirahama Onsen


Photo courtesy of Shirahama Tourist Association

Saki no Yu

Out of the many outdoor baths, the only water reservoir left out of the Yuzaki Nanayu baths is Saki no Yu. Dating back 1300 years, you can see the ocean a mere 10 meters away from the open air bath here.

Enjoy listening to the sounds of the waves crashing against the rock formations while indulging in the aroma of sulfur and the sea breeze.

Address: Wakayama, Nishimuro, Shirahama, Yuzaki 1668
Fee: 420 yen for 3 years old and above. Includes bathing tax and consumption tax.
Website: Saki no Yu (Japanese)


Located by Shirahama beach, there is an open-air bath that is as big as a pool here. During the summer you can bathe with your bathing suit on and in the winter, you can soak your legs in the foot baths.

Address: Wakayama, Nishimuro, Shirahama 864
Fee: 100 yen for 3 years old and above. Includes bathing tax and consumption tax. Free during foot bath times (Oct 1st-Apr 30th)
Website: Shirasuna (Japanese)

Muro no Yu

The hot spring here has been continuously gushing out for the past 1300 years. Here, you can enjoy two types of baths at the Mabuyu and Miyukiyu at once.

Address: Wakayama, Nishimuro, Shirahama, Yuzaki 1665
Fee: 420 yen for adults over 12 years old, 140 yen for children between 6-12 years old, 70 yen for children under 6 years old. Includes bathing tax and consumption tax. Age range is an approximation.
Website: Muro no Yu (Japanese)

Chosei no Yu

This is a one-day hot spring facility where you can enjoy three types of baths. There is an open-air bath, bincho charcoal bath, and indoor bath. You can enjoy the seasonal view of nature from the open-air bath.

Address: Wakayama, Nishimuro, Shirahama, Kogaura 2763
Fee: 600 Yen for adults, 350 Yen for elementary school students and below. Includes bathing tax and consumption tax.
Website: Chosei no Yu (Japanese)

Recommended Accommodations in Shirahama Onsen


Photo courtesy of Shirahama Tourist Association

Hamachidori no Yu Kaishu

This hotel located on the cape has two hot spring sources and you can take a soak in the open-air bath with a scenic view of the sea. In addition, there are three private open-air baths, a large communal bath, two indoor baths, two public open-air baths, and a dry sauna to enjoy.

In the hanare, there are rooms with open-air baths for those who wish to spend a luxurious moment.

Address: Wakayama, Nishimuro, Shirahama, Shirahama 1698-1
Website: Hamachidori no Yu Kaishu (Japanese)

Onsen Zanmai no Yado Shirahamakan

With fourteen types of rooms with open-air baths, there are also six types of open-air baths and a large communal bath that is open for 24 hours. You can indulge in a full hot spring experience right here.

Address: Wakayama, Nishimuro, Shirahama, Shirahama 1379
Website: Onsen Zanmai no Yado Shirahamakan (Japanese)

Kishu, Shirahama Onsen Musashi

From two sources, there are kake nagashi springs that can be enjoyed in an open-air bath, large communal bath, a split bath house with a half private and half open bath. There is also a sauna and low-temperature bath that is perfect for a moment of relaxation.

Address: Wakayama, Nishimuro, Shirahama 868
Website: Kishu, Shirahama Onsen Musashi (Japanese)

Pointers on Enjoying Shirahama Onsen


Sandanbeki Cave photo courtesy of Shirahama Tourist Association
Shirahama has plenty of picture perfect nature spots such as the Engetsuto island that is considered to be the symbol of Shirahama, the Senjojiki with layers of rocks, and the 50-meter high cliff of Sandanbeki. There are also sports facilities for scuba diving and golfing.

At Shirahama, you can also find dishes featuring the rare grouper fish, Kishu sour plums and even yuzu citrus that is also popular. Shirahama is very temperate and warm, but summers here get hot and winters can also get quite cold as well. Please be prepared for the weather when visiting.

For more information about bathing in hot springs, please read What You Should Know About Bath Culture In Japan.

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