Shirahama is a resort town in Wakayama Prefecture, particularly famous for Shirahama Onsen. Summer here starts as early as May, with the earliest opening beaches in Japan's main island of Honshu. There's more to see here than beautiful beaches, though.
There are natural scenic spots like Keishochi, a designated National Scenic Spot with a fantastic view, the Memorial Hall, where you can learn all about the famous natural biologist, Minakata Kumagusu, and Adventure World, an amusement park that's also home to several giant pandas!

What kind of place is Shirahama, Wakayama?

Shirahama Town, Wakayama Prefecture, is located about 2 hours and 30 minutes south of Osaka City by train. With an ocean on the west side, it's one of the leading resort towns in the Kansai Region. There's also several natural scenic spots along the sea, and a memorial hall dedicated to the studies of famous ecologist, Minakata Kumagusu.
Hot springs are an indispensable part of Japanese resorts and have a long history. Shirahama Onsen is one of the oldest, along with Arima and Dogo Onsen (collectively known as the 'three oldest hot springs of Japan'). Shirahama is also famous for having the largest number of giant pandas in Japan, which, as you can imagine, draws in many people wanting to see them.
In the summer, lots of beach-goers also gather at the white, sandy beaches of Shirarahama resorts. It's also a rather easy destination to get to, with Shirahama Airport just 70 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Getting to Shirahama from Osaka

Photo: PIXTA

By Public Transportation:
Take the direct limited express from JR Shin-Osaka Station to JR Shirahama Station (about 2 hours and 30 minutes), or take the express from Kansai International Airport and transfer to the limited express (about 2 hours and 10 minutes).

Save on transportation costs with the 'Kansai WIDE Area Excursion Pass' / 3 Days

By Car:
About 2 hours and 20 minutes from Shin-Osaka to Nanki-Shirahama IC, and about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Kansai International Airport (via expressway).

Book a rental car for your trip

A 2-Day/1-Night Discounted Unlimited Bus Pass

Today, we begin our travels from JR Shirahama Station using the discounted Meiko Bus pass. You can buy the Shirahama Tokutoku Free Ride Ticket. (Note: 'Free' refers to unlimited rides; the ticket itself is not free.)
You can purchase this 2-day unlimited-ride pass when you exit JR Shirahama Station. They are available at the ticket office to the left of the Meiko Bus Shirahama Station Information Center (cash only; English brochures also available).
With this unlimited pass, you won't need to take a numbered ticket when boarding the bus. Simply…

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