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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).

Welcome beach lovers!!!

Check out that super clean water!
there were plenty of honeymooners and families...
We got just in time for the Sand Festival
The wave breaker was Instagram worthy as well
I spy a kid swimming in the waters.

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 hotels and other infrastructures. On the negative end, this also accelerated erosion which caused the famed white sand of the beach to wash out into the sea. To counter it, the local government of Wakayama Prefecture began importing sand from Perth, Australia in 1989. The beach got around 745,000 cubic meters of sand from the 15 years of sand importation to maintain its old beauty.
The boatman statue near Shirasuna
Keep these in mind!

Can someone translate this for me, please? =)

At present, Shirahama Beach is still frequented by beachgoers particularly during summer. However, there seem to be lesser people now compared to the first decade that it became accessible to the commuting public. 
Check out those sand art entrees. 


Here's my favorite...

Photoshoot with my wife by the beach...
... and by the wave breaker. hahaha

My family and I got to visit Shirahama Beach May this year during our 11th day of stay in Japan. Our visit was perfectly timed to the Suna Matsuri or Sand Festival. The festival features a sand art contest which gave an additional beauty to the shores of the beach. However, during our visit, it was forbidden to swim in its clear waters yet as it is not yet the beach season but people could still enjoy sand activities and sunbathing on its shore. On the other hand, for those visiting during the months of July and August, you get a nightly treat of fireworks displays which is perfect for that night strolls on the beach.

Here are some photos of us on the beach:

Overall, despite spending only a few hours on the beach during our visit, we could unanimously say that Shirahama beach is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Just a tip before you visit, make sure to bring lots of sunblock with you.

Getting there:

From Osaka, ride the Ocean Arrow Train of the JR West Line. Board down at Shirahama Station. Several buses per hour connect the station with Shirahama Bus Center next to the beach in central Shirahama.

Overall rating


  1. Looks like a lovely place to visit.

  2. I would like to visit Shirahama Beach, one of the most famous tourist destinations after reading this. Thanks. Keshia Richmond

  3. This looks like an incredible beach to hang out at. Perfect sand and clear water. I love the sand castles too!

    1. It is one of the few nice beaches in Japan so yah, it's really a good place to hang out with friends and family.

  4. Wow! The place looks amazing! It reminds me a little bit of Miami!

    1. I haven't been to Miami. I would love to see that for myself.

  5. This so beautiful and am putting Wakayama Shirahama Beach in m vacation lists.Thanks for the insight.

    1. Thank you so much Peter. =) Please do add Shirahama Beach to your vacation list.

  6. I love this guide! Thank you so much.

  7. I couldn't take my eyes off those sand art designs.They must have been amazing to see them all upclose. Another great tour here.

    1. I was quite amazed to see these sand art for myself. How I wish to see them again someday.

  8. I definitely want to travel here, it looks stunning. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Please do travel to Shirahama Beach when you get the chance.


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