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Shirahama (白浜町 Shirahama-chō) is a town in Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.
Shirahama is a resort town on the south coast of Wakayama Prefecture. Its beaches are white sand, imported from Australia. Shirahama is known for its hot springs. During the summer (July and August), there are fireworks every night on the beach.
Shirahama is about two and a half hours from Osaka by JR West's Ocean Arrow train service. There are daily flights from Nanki-Shirahama Airport to Tokyo's Tokyo International Airport (Haneda).
On March 1, 2006 the town of Hikigawa, from Nishimuro District, was merged into Shirahama.
As of January 31, 2012, the town has an estimated population of 23,325, with 11,149 households, and a population density of 116.02 persons per km². The total area is 201.04 km².
Located in southeastern Wakayama Prefecture, the town has a temperate climate. Many hot springs can be found here, most notably Nanki-Shirahama Onsen and Tsubaki Onsen. Two public baths in the town are part of a World Heritage site.
Shirahama is one of the very few municipalities in Japan that do not have "azas", or towns and villages that were previously in the boundaries of the present-day town.
Places of interest
- Kumano Kodo: an ancient pilgrimage route across the Kii Peninsula linking several large shrines.
- Three Step Cliff (三段壁): Cliffs along on the ocean edge that are 50 meters high. It is said that pirates (kumano suigun) used to inhabit the caverns; the remains of their dwellings can be seen.
- Senjō-jiki (千畳敷): A rocky point near Shirahama beach.
- The Minakata Kumagusu Museum houses much of scientist Minakata Kumagusu's books, specimens, and memorabilia.
- Engetsu-tō: A natural arch just off the coast
Shirarahama Adventure World theme park