Shirahama Onsen

Shirahama Onsen © Iry

One of Japan’s oldest hot springs you can get in

Shirahama Onsen is located in Shirahama-cho, Nishimuro-gun in Wakayama Prefecture. Aside Dougo Onsen and Arima Onsen it is counted as one of Japan’s oldest 3 onsens. And what’s more, alongside Atami Onsen and Beppu Onsen it is counted as one of Japan’s 3 largest onsen as well, and it is very much an onsen that is beloved in Japan. Nearby there is Shirahama Beach where you can enjoy a pure white sandy beach, and the Nanki Shirahama Adventure World where you can see pandas. It’s extremely convenient to get to and thus it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan.

Shirakawa Onsen’s history and spring qualities

Boasting a history of more than 1350 years, there is a recorded visit by the emperor dating all the way back to the Asuka period (592-710). There is a variety of hot springs here, but the most common is a chloride spring. After bathing you won’t even feel cold and the water is high in chloride thus it helps moisturize your skin.

There are many open air hot water baths. There is the Hakura-yu built in the style of an ancient bath with a watcher’s stand, the Shirasuna bath that you can get in even after sea bathing with a swimsuit, but recommended out of all of them is the Saki-no-yu (崎の湯). This is often said to be the oldest existing Japanese bath, with a 10m bathtub where you can see the ocean. It has a 420 yen fee, but is closed every Wednesday. There are plenty of footbaths nearby for you to try for free. Among them is "Shirahama Ginza Ashiyu Yokocho" where you can order drinks and snacks, "Tsubaki Onsen Ashiyu", located along the driveway and "Sandan-beki Ashiyu" where you can observe the sea; there are 9 footbaths in total.

Shirahama Onsen’s gourmet

It’s close to the ocean and so Shirahama Onsen has a variety of delicious seafood. What you absolutely must try if you come to the area is the longtooth grouper, called the "kue". It does not appear in the market much, its body is about 1m in length, has a firm texture and delicate white flesh, just the right amount of fat and a delicious sweet flavor. It has a very unique flavor. It used to be uncertain whether you’d be able to have the fish when you came to Shirahama, but due to advances in technology it’s now in stable supply, and plenty of places serve it, so make sure you give it a try! There are also many other fish for you to try including blue crap and bonito, and seasonal silver-stripe round herring. Each inn often has its own special cuisine so when you’re booking an inn; make sure you check out what they’re serving as well.


To get there by train, take the JR Kinokuni line to Shirahama Station (白浜). Depending on where you’re staying you may want to consider your bus route. Shirarahama bus stop is very close to Shirahama Onsen (白良浜). By car, take the Hanwa motorway to Nankitanabe IC (南紀田辺) and it’s 15 minutes from there. You can also get there by plane or by h high speed bus. If you go to the Nanki Shirahama Airport you can get there in 5 minutes by taxi. The high speed bus runs from Ikebukuro Station (池袋駅) and Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) in Tokyo

Image Gallery: Shirahama Onsen

Description: Shirahama Onsen

Sights Shirahama Onsen (白浜温泉)
Address Shirahama-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama
Phone / Fax Phone: 0739-43-5511
Duration 1Hour(s)
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Infant & Toddler (ages 0-6) Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Shirahama Onsen