Travel Japan: Shirahama, Wakayama-ken

Shirahama is situated in Wakayama-ken, a prefecture full of amazing coastlines, beaches, and onsens – the perfect summer getaway. Since it is a popular place to visit in summer,  be prepared for crowds, or visit slightly off season.

Shirahama beach is a beautiful ‘Australian’ white sand beach with palm frond shelters and clear, blue water. In the past, the sand from the beach was washed away, so white sand from Australia was imported.

The most popular onsen is Sakino-yu on the coast, with great views of the Pacific Ocean. This onsen opens onto the ocean, so depending on the tides you may be lucky enough to get waves in the onsen! It has a small charge (about 300 yen) and is open from 8:00 – 17:00 (18:30 in summer).

The town of Shirahama is quite small and the main attractions are the beach and onsen. Around the beach there are small supermarkets, restaurants, beach equipment stores, and take away food stores. Along the coast you will also find other small cafes, restaurants, and ryokans. Wandering in the backstreets near the beach you can find a restaurant that has a foot onsen, so while you eat your dinner, your feet are in water!

The station is situated a little way from the main attractions so you will need to take a bus for about 20 minutes or you can rent bicycles from the station for 1000 yen per day.

Where to stay

We stayed at a campsite called Auto Camp Grampus, it is within walking distance (15 minutes) from the beach and main area. Reservations should be made especially during the peak season which is July to August. Auto Camp Grampus is open from mid May until December. There are toilets and an indoor onsen and rotemburo (outdoor bath) attached to the camp office.

Hotel Senjo is located close to the main tourist areas and is only 7800 yen a night with dinner and breakfast included. Also if you stay at Hotel Senjo they have a round trip bus from Sannomiya for 3000 yen return.

Campsite costs

Camping is about 4500 yen per site/night (fits about 2-3 tents) plus an additional 300 yen per person. A 6 person tent can be rented for 3000 yen/night.

Other accommodation at the campsite –

Trailer house or caravan is available from 21,000 yen/night and sleeps 6 people

A pao is a kind of one room hut which sleeps 8 people for 20,000 yen/night

A geru is a large permanent tent which sleeps 4 people for 12,000 yen/night

A BBQ set can be rented for 1000 yen.

Campground Website (Japanese)


☎ 073-42-2102

Getting there

We took a bus from Osaka which takes about 3 1/2 hours and is only 5000 yen return.

Here is the bus homepage

There are two bus companies that go to Shirahama from Osaka.

Meiko bus  ☎ 0739-42-2112 and Nishinihon JR bus  ☎ 06-6371-0111.

The train from Osaka takes 2 hours and costs about 5000 yen each way. Shirahama is 160km from Osaka and would take about 2 1/2 hours to drive.

Other information

Tourist information is in the station ☎ 073-42-2240

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One Comment

  1. This is definitely one of the things I yet want to visit!
    I’ve been in Wakayama Prefecture many times, but I never got a chance to go to Shirahama.
    The photos are so beautiful! :)

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