Shirahama Onsen Guide

Shirahama Onsen is a Onsen resort located in Wakayama Prefecture. Shirahama Onsen consists of the Onsens of Yuzaki, Oura, Koga-ura, Tsunafuji, Shirahama, Higashi-Shirahama, and Shin-Shirahama, and is collectively called "Nanki-Shirahama Onsen".

Shirahama Onsen is also a famous Onsen resort, known as one of the three oldest Onsens in Japan along with Arima Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture and Dogo Onsen in Ehime Prefecture.

Its history dates back more than 1,300 years, and is recorded in Japan's ancient documents, Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) and Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan). The ancient documents record that famous historical figures visited Shirahama Onsen to heal their bodies, indicating that it has been loved by people since ancient times.

Shirahama Onsen is famous as one of the three oldest Onsens in Japan, but there are many other attractions as well.

Shirahama, the symbol of Shirahama Onsen, Engetsuto, and Adventure World, where the largest number of pandas are bred in Japan, are just a few examples of the wide range of leisure and sightseeing activities that can be enjoyed here.

Shirahama, with its beautiful sandy beach, is one of the most popular beaches in Kansai and attracts many visitors regardless of the season. A relaxing soak in a Onsen while gazing at the beautiful beach reminiscent of a tropical country will be a wonderful experience.

More than 50 inns and hotels line the streets around Shirahama Onsen, offering a variety of Onsens with different benefits and locations. Gourmet food using fresh local ingredients is also recommended, and eating your way around during your stay is another way to enjoy Shirahama Onsen.

Shirahama Onsen is a spot filled with many attractions for both children and adults to enjoy their stay.

Get to know Shirahama Onsen

Area guide

Shirahama Onsen is located in Shirahama Town in southern Wakayama Prefecture. This area has a variety of beautiful natural environments, including forests, rivers, and the sea, and is characterized by a mild and comfortable climate throughout the year.

In particular, the area around the coast is lined with many lodging facilities and leisure activities, making it a large resort area that attracts many tourists during the season.

Shirahama-cho is famous for its cuisine using kue, a high-class fish that has been called a "phantom fish. The moderately fatty white meat is very tasty, and you can enjoy Kue dishes throughout the year, no matter what season you visit.

Nanki Shirahama Onsen consists of seven Onsens: Yuzaki, Oura, Kogaura, Tsunafuchi, Shirahama, Higashi-Shirahama, and Shin-Shirahama, each with a different location and spring quality, offering a variety of ways to enjoy them.

Within the Onsen resort area, visitors can purchase "Yumeguri-fuda," which allows them to enjoy the Onsens of participating facilities at a discount, and enjoy the Onsens that are the pride of the Shirahama Onsen. Yumeguri fuda are sold only to guests staying at member facilities, and those wishing to purchase them should check when making a reservation.

Other recommended places for those who want to spend a relaxing time in Shirahama-cho are Hirakusahara Park and Banshoyama Park. Taira-Kusahara Park has an observatory overlooking the town of Shirahama, and the contrast between the sea and the forest is so beautiful that a breathtaking view unfolds before your eyes.

Banshoyama Park is near Engetsuto, which is also a tourist attraction, and is a spot where you can go down to the beach, feel the sea breeze, and enjoy the nature of Shirahama Town.

As you can see, the Shirahama Onsen area is full of unique attractions, from its wide variety of Onsens, leisure activities, nature, and gourmet cuisine.


Access to Shirahama Onsen is very good, and convenient means of transportation include airplanes, bullet trains, and limited express trains.

Nanki Shirahama Airport is located near Shirahama Station, the closest station to Shirahama Onsen, making it possible to travel long distances smoothly within Japan. If you are flying from Tokyo to Shirahama Onsen, it takes only about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Haneda Airport to Nanki Shirahama Airport.

When traveling to Shirahama Onsen from Osaka or Nagoya, it is convenient to use the Shinkansen or limited express trains. This means of transportation requires very few transfers and allows you to get there smoothly.

From Tokyo

<Airplane> Haneda Airport → Nanki Shirahama Airport → <Taxi> Shirahama Station (about 1 hour and 30 minutes)
<Shinkansen: Tokyo Station→Shin-Osaka Station→Express: Shirahama Station (about 5 hours and 30 minutes)

From Nagoya

<Shinkansen Nagoya Station → Shin-Osaka Station → Shirahama Station on the limited express (about 3 hours and 40 minutes)

From Osaka

<Shirahama station (about 2 hours and 30 minutes)

From Sendai

<Shinkansen>Sendai Station→Tokyo Station→Shinkansen>Shin-Osaka Station→Express→Shirahama Station (about 7 hours and 30 minutes)

Water quality

Shirahama Onsen consists of chloride, sulfur, bicarbonate, and simple Onsens. Two representative types of springs are sulfur containing sodium chloride and sodium chloride hydrogencarbonate springs, which are known as high quality Onsens.

Sulfur containing sodium chloride springs are characterized by the presence of sodium in the Onsen water, which makes it difficult for the water to cool down and also has a high medical effect.

Sodium chloride bicarbonate springs contain sodium, which suppresses the evaporation of sweat and keeps the body warm from the core.

The main benefits of Shirahama Onsen include muscle pain, joint pain, stiff shoulders, sensitivity to cold, bruises, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, and relief of fatigue.

You can also enjoy various combinations of other spring qualities depending on the location of the source, and we recommend visiting Shirahama Onsen for a Onsen tour.


Shirahama Onsen has a very long history and is considered one of the three oldest Onsens in Japan, along with Arima Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture and Dogo Onsen in Ehime Prefecture.

The origin of Shirahama Onsen dates back as far as 1,350 years ago, and is even recorded in ancient Japanese documents such as "Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan)" and "Manyoshu (Anthology of Myriad Leaves). In the records, it is written that successive emperors and other members of the imperial family and aristocrats visited Shirahama Onsen to heal their bodies.

Around 1600, in the Edo period, Shirahama Onsen began to be used by the general public, and became popular among a variety of people. The town gradually developed and became crowded with people.

In the late 1900's, taking advantage of the abundance of the land, leisure facilities began to open. Shirahama Onsen developed even more as a tourist destination and became a popular Onsen resort with many families.

Even today, the "Muro no Yu" and "Saki no Yu," which are recorded in ancient documents, continue to be loved by people as symbols of Shirahama Onsen that have remained from ancient times. Each of these Onsens can still be bathed in today. Those who wish to feel the history of Shirahama Onsen and soak in the old baths that existed long ago should visit.