In between Wakayama Prefecture and Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture there are four uninhabited islands that comprise Tomogashima: Okinoshima, Jinoshima, Torajima, and Kamishima.
From the Meiji period until the end of the World War II, these islands were used as forts by the former Japanese Army, and there still remain gun battery and ammunition depot sites as ruins. The most interesting spot is in Okinoshima, the "Third Gun Battery Site" which is well preserved, and retains the original form almost the same as that at the time of the war.
It is also famous for its resemblance to the world of the "castle in the sky" featured in the film Laputa: Castle in the Sky, and is a favorite spot for Laputa fans.
Visitors can also feel the ambience of a setting so dilapidated that one might forget that it is in Japan. (140 minutes by car and steamer from the hotel)
Aragijima is known for its beautiful scenery, selected as one of Japan's top 100 rice terraces, and is located in the town of Aridagawa, in the northwestern part of the Kii Peninsula. In 2013 it was also designated as a national important cultural scenery together with the surrounding views, as the "Mountain Farming Village Views of Aragijima, Mita, and Shimizu." It was the 36th important cultural scenery to be selected nationwide, and the first for Wakayama Prefecture. Aragijima were new rice fields developed by Sukedayu Kasamatsu in 1655, who had been working on village revitalization by investing his own funds into outfitting irrigation channels and other facilities. These rice fields have an area of about 2.8 hectares, and there are 54 water-filled rice paddies. You can see beautiful scenery through all four seasons in the fan-shaped rice terraces that run along the Arida River, which beckons photographers. There are also events held here, such as a candle illumination in September and festive lights in December. (120 minutes by car from the hotel)
This canyon spans three prefectures—Nara, Mie and Wakayama—in the Yoshino-Kumano National Park along the Kitayama River. From upstream to downstream, it divides into Oku-Doro and Shimo-Doro. A 1.2-kilometer section of Shimo-Doro is called Doro-Haccho, and boasts large and strange-shaped rocks. Both sides are lined with steep cliffs and large stone formations, creating a natural masterpiece of mystical Cobalt blue. Visitors can enjoy this scenic beauty from water jet boats and more.(105 minutes by car from the hotel)
The Panda Kuroshio "Smile Adventure Train" is a Kuroshio limited express wrapped in a panda design, connecting Kyoto to Shirahama. The seats even have panda-design head covers, making it irresistible for panda lovers. There are only a few Panda Kuroshio cars, so consider yourself lucky if you happen to ride on one.
This magnificent golden tree stands out from all the others. It is a large ginkgo tree in Hosenji Temple, estimated to be 400 years old, around 6 meters in circumference and 22 meters tall. At four meters from the ground the trunk splits into several main branches, which then split into more, giving it its nickname "Thousand branch ginkgo." It is truly an impressive sight, and beautiful when its leaves are scattered around its roots. (Best season: late Oct to mid-Nov) (60 minutes by car from the hotel)
At Banshoyama Park, you can see rich nature and rare animals, and gaze from outlook points onto the Shirahama onsen district and Engetsu Island from angles that are not normally visible. The derivation of 「Banshoyama」 is said to come from the observation of foreign ships from there in the Edo period.
There is also the 「Minakata Kumagusu Archives」, which display documents and so on from 「Minakata Kumagusu」, a native of Wakayama Prefecture known as a scholar of natural history and folklore. You can have your fill of both nature and history as you stroll. (12 minutes by car from the hotel)
It's located 10 minutes' drive from Kumano Hongu Taisha and you can create your own original open-air bath by digging the riverbed and adding some river water to the hot spring gushing out of the source. Also, from december through february, part of the river stream is dammed and the largest open-air bath in Japan, Sennin-buro, pops up. At night, you can fully enjoy the hot spring while seeing a star-filled sky. (74 minutes by car from the hotel)
*During the period of Sennin-buro, there is no place available for your own original open-air bath.
*You need to bring a digging tool such as a shovel to dig riverbed.
*Swimsuits are required.
On August 10th there is a firework show on Shirahama Beach. The fireworks are visible from inside the hotel or from any of the rooms. On this day, many people gather and watch a display of nearly 3,400 fireworks in awe. The display is hosted here every year, and this year almost 150,000 people observed the show. The same show is also conducted annually on July 30th.(3 minutes by walk from the hotel)
Extending for 620 meters, the white sandy beach of Shirara Beach makes one think of a southern tropical resort. It is popular with tourists in the summer .....more information
Shirahama Energy Land has been created as a place where people can learn about the importance of energy while having fun. It is located in Wakayama, the birthplace of Konosuke Matsushita (the founder of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd). Here, people can experience a marvelous world which makes use of gravitational energy and human senses, as well as attractions that create illusions based on distance and sense of balance. It also boasts an impressive 3D show, making it a place where both children and adults can have fun. (3 minutes by walk from the hotel)
The Sandanbeki Dokutsu Cave is said to be where the Kumano Aquatic Army, known for swinging the tide of battle and leading the Genji clan to victory at the battle between the Genji and Heike clans during the Heian period, hid their boats. Sarasvati Murodai known as the god of water is enshrined within the cave. Known to have the power to grant any wish, the cave has come to be a power spot. You can walk through the cave on a roughly 200m long path, surrounded by the echoes of the outside waves.(6 minutes by car from the hotel)
When on thinks of Wakayama Prefecture, the high grade fish known as longtooth grouper (or "Kue" in Japanese) is sure to come to mind. While people may think that it is pricey and out of their budget, the restaurant Marukiyo allows for guests to dine on all natural longtooth grouper for lunch at a reasonable price. The hotel staff recommends the "Kue-zukuri Teishoku" set lunch (¥2,100). Even the appearance of the fish cannot do justice to its delicious flavor. For those looking to try the longtooth grouper, definitely try this!(10 minutes by walk from the hotel)
Also introduced here: http://www.japatabi.com/en/nanki-shirahama/, the sunset you can see from this spot was chosen as one of Japan's 100 Most Beautiful Sunsets.(5 minutes by car from the hotel)
The first photo is of the Engetsu Island salad, which looks exactly like the real thing. You can eat it at Ozara Sozai Maaru.(5 minutes by car from the hotel)
The second photo is of nama kagero, Nanki Shirahama's famous confection available only at Fukubishi's main store. We presently recommend the unbaked cheesecake nama kagero. You an enjoy one at the cafe inside the store.→more information(5 minutes by car from the hotel)
Take in the wondrous scenery of Oyunohara field’s giant Torii gate and its mountainous backdrop. The viewing platform is a 15 minute walk away from Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine. Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine was originally located at Oyunohara, however due to damage from flooding it was moved to its present location. Oyunohara is famous as a power spot and a place to enjoy the Sakura cherry blossom flowers with many people visiting it. (80 minutes by car from the hotel)
Wakayama Prefecture is famous for its mandarin oranges. Right now, the mandarin orange flowers are blooming. They are white, sweet flowers with the refreshing scent of citrus. Honey made from these flowers is also recommended. Delicious mandarin oranges are harvested from October to December.(30 minutes by car from the hotel)
Shirara Beach on a clear morning; When the sun comes out, the sea sparkles cobalt blue. On the smooth sand, it feels so good to walk barefoot in the waves!(3 minutes by walk from the hotel)