One of Japan’s most famous beaches is the Shirahama Beach. It is located on the Izu Peninsula. This is about a three hour trip away from the capital city of Tokyo. You can reach this beach by train from Tokyo.
The beach is composed of white quartz sand and is about 800 meters long. While it isn’t as well known as some of the other beach destinations, it is still known for its surfing and swimming. Swimming in the surf typically lasts from July to August, though if weather conditions hold, the swimming season can last until the end of September.
But it is the sites around the beach that make it truly unique. It is one of the few areas that also boast of having hot springs. The hot springs are some of the oldest in Japan. They are unique because they weren’t formed as a part of the volcanic activity. Their actual origin remains somewhat of a mystery. The Saki-no-yo bath is part of the hot springs. It is open to the public for a fee. But is closed on Wednesday. This particular bath has a view of the Pacific Ocean.
Another unique feature near the beach is the Undersea Observation Tower. This tower is actually located about 300 meters off the beach and sinks down into the ocean. For a fee, you can view the local wildlife in the area. You can reach the tower through a covered walkway.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has also named a World Heritage Site near the beach. This site is called Kumano Kudo. It was placed on the Heritage site in 2004. The site is composed of a series of temples and pilgrim routes in the Kii Mountain range. This sightseeing area is very close to the beach and accessible by train.
Shirahama Beach is one of the historic beaches you can visit in Japan. In addition to the white sand and surfing, the beach is located next to historic hot springs and a World Heritage site. Thus, you can explore some of the history of Japan as well as swim in the surf.