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Wakayama: Shirahama Beach

Located at the western coast of the resort town of Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture, Shirahama Beach is one of the most famous tourist destinations of the town.

The name Shirahama literally translates to "white beach" or "white bay". This refers to the sand color and bay-like characteristic of the beach. Although this beach is quite popular some people still confuse it to another beach in Shizuoka Prefecture with the same name (and apparently, it is also a popular beach).

Although blessed with majestic mountains and volcanoes in its interior, Japan's coasts seem to be cursed with rocky or dark sand beaches. That's why white sand beach destinations draw in visitors from all around. Sadly, this took a toll on Shirahama  Beach. In the 1960s the town was first connected to Osaka by train. This brought a huge influx of tourists which upgraded the status of the sleepy town into a honeymoon and summer destination. This brought in a sudden boom of construction of hot…

Japan Diaries 2: Day 11

Day 11 (May 27, 2018)

The weather forecast said that there will be a 20% chance of rainfall in Osaka Prefecture today. However, it seems like we won't be staying in Osaka Prefecture today as our Japanese godfather, Mr. Toshi, surprised us once again when he told us that we'd be going on another road trip. 

Upon asking, he told me that he wanted to bring us to the town of Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture. I googled it and found out that it's one of the best beach destinations in the Kansai Region. Aside from that I also discovered that there is an ongoing Sand-Art Contest on the beach. It would also be featured in the news that we'd be watching in the car on our way to Shirahama.

We left our home in Kumatori-cho, Osaka Prefecture at around 9AM and reached Shirahama town in about an hour and a half later. Our first stop was the famed Shirahama White Beach or simply Shirahama Beach. Just a bit of a side note Shirahama means "white beach" or "white bay".


Tokushima: Naruto Whirlpools

Occurring in Naruto Strait which is in between Naruto City in Tokushima Prefecture and Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture, Naruto Whirlpools are tidal whirlpools that have been one of the main sources of tourism on the city and the island.

Naruto whirlpools occur when the tide moves large amounts of water in and out of the narrow strait. According to experts, the water rushes through Naruto Strait at the speed of about 13 to 15 kilometers per hour. They also say that the water flows in and out of the strait twice a day due to changing tides. During spring tide, the water current sometimes reaches up to 20 kilometers per hour. With this speed, the whirlpools sometimes get as big as 66 feet in diameter. Speaking of the speed of the flowing water, the currents in Naruto Strait is actually the fastest in Japan and fourth in the world.

Naruto Whirlpools can be viewed from Onaruto Bridge which connects Naruto and Awaji Island. Another place to view it is on the observation deck of the Uzushio R…