May 27, 2009

Sakinoyu, Shirahama Onsen, Wakayama Pref.

Sakinoyu in the late afternoon. Men's bath at left of the wall is said to have better view. (photo: Jan. 2009)

Shirahama Onsen(白浜温泉) is known as one of the three oldest onsens in Japan (the other two are Arima and Dogo). The sodium hot spring is abundant still now, attracting many visitors mainly from Kansai area as it's easy to access from Osaka. I visited five of six public baths so far and found Sakinoyu(崎の湯)was the most recommendable.

The Sakinoyu has more than 1350-year history. It is said that Saimei Tenno (37th sovereign empress) took bath here in AD 658. Of course the original bath has gone and only a signbord tells its history.

Iwaburo at mid stage. This was hottest at my visit.

Aside from the history, its location makes Sakinoyu very popular among visitors. Just imagine an open-air bath by sea shore. You can enjoy sea view, sound of waves, and sometimes sea splashes while soaking. Be careful not to soak too long as Shirahama Onsen is hot and thick.

There are three bath tubs here. One at the highest stage is wooden bath, and Lower two are Iwaburo (rock baths). The bath on lowest stage is nearest to sea. For men, there are just two baths (no wooden bath).

Ladies to right, mens to left. Stone curving says "Japan's oldest Sakinoyu".

◆Sakinoyu, Shirahama Onsen(白浜温泉崎の湯)

Type: Gender separated open-air bath. Day visit only. Swim suites not allowed.

Address: 1668 Yuzaki, Shirahama-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama Pref.

Location: 33.676642,135.337014

Business hour: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (7:00 AM to 7:00 PM in July and August)

Holiday: Wednesday

Admission fee: ¥300 Buy your ticket at a vending machine.

Equipment: Small lockers for valuables outside of the changing space (¥100 neccessary). Lockers inside of changing space are free, but some locks don't work.

Access: Take a bus to Sandanbeki(三段壁)from Shirahama Station and get off at Yuzaki (湯崎)bus stop. Then walk forward for a few minutes and you'll find a red sgin board (See left photo).

Express trains named Kuroshio, Super Kuroshio, and Ocean Arrow serve from Kyoto and Osaka to Shirahama via Wakayama.

Link: Map of the Sakinoyu in English

My rating (A - E): B

More tips: You can try "reverse egg" at Kamakura Shoten nearby (see photo below). Onsen boiled egg (onsen tamago) usually has soft white and almost liquid yolk, but onsen tamago here has softer white and almost solid yolk. ¥70

Reverse eggs are in the turtle shaped tub.


  1. I have noted this as my must visit list in Kansai, thanks for the complete info including the public transport. It must be really relaxing to soak in an open air bath by the seashore, and would like to try that reverse egg too, must be yummy :)

  2. Hi Rashai!

    If you visit Shirahama or any other onsen, I can give you more info. Just know me.

    Take a look at a photo of men's open air bath. Isn't it exciting?

  3. Hi Onsen soaker,

    Thanks for sharing your picture, it really is amazing! I couldn't describe the stunning view with my words, once again I wish I lived in Japan :) Also thanks for your info offering, sure I will ask you for some info when I can afford my ticket to Osaka or Tokyo :)
    Roughly, how far is that onsen from Osaka?


  4. OMG! You have so many lovely onsen pictures, I wish I could go there someday too. I've always love Japan!

  5. Hi Rashai,
    According to an online drive map, Shirahama Onsen is about 160km away from Osaka, and takes nearly 2 hours and half by a car. If you take an express train, it takes about 2 hours from Shin-osaka.

    BTW I'm coming to Australia next month. But I'm afraid I can visit Cairns only.

  6. Hi HoneyBee!

    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. And of course thanks for loving Japan! I will keep updating and show you more pictures. Wait for it!

  7. Hi onsen soaker
    This onsen along the sea looks to have a nice view.Is it crowed.Looks like hokkawa in Izu
    I come in July to Japan for business, probably will go on a WE to Yubara onsen near Okayama. Do you know this place
    Mata ne

  8. Hi Onsen soaker,

    Thanks for the info.
    I believe you will have lots of fun in Cairns, don't miss out The Great Barrier Reef tour, and also snorkeling around Green Island is enjoyable if you love the sea.
    If you come to Sydney, I will be very happy to take you around the city.

  9. Hi Dreny san,

    This Sakinoyu is so popular and always crowded unless you choose rainy day.

    I have never been to Yubara Onsen. They say it's a nice onsen, but it's more famous as watching places. I heard many men come to Yubara just to look for and watch female soakers.

  10. Hi Rashai!

    I used to do a lot of scuba diving, and planning to join a day trip tour of the Great Barrier Reef for scuba diving.

    When I have a chance to visit Sydney, I!ll know you in advance.

  11. Hi Onsen soaker sama
    I will go there with my friends from Okayama a japanese couple. Do you known in that region an onsen like Kapa no you.

  12. Hi Dreny-san!

    I don't know anything like Kappa no Yu in Okayama. There is a small rotenburo at Okutsu Onsen, but I think you'll like Yubara Onsen more.

  13. Hi Onsen soaker
    Why do you think so? I meet this couple in Okuhida Whe discused a lot about onsen,while soaking, they are fluent in english.
    I don't like when the place is crowded, but i like when people is not too shy.
    I am a dreamer trying to imagine the japanese life style of the 19th century before the westener arrived in Japan
    Mata ne

  14. Hi Onsen soaker
    I am going to Osaka from 27 Aug to 31 Aug.,2010 with my family, before we went to Arima Grand Onsen it is great too, but this time we want to try the new Onsen can you teach us how to get to the Onsen you mentioned and how to make the booking . Thanks a lot.


  15. Can someone recommend an onsen town close to either Kyoto or Tokyo. I want a small town where the tradition is to go out in Japanese robes in the evening and visit from one bath house to the next.

  16. Excited as going here next April. Your information is very helpful. Thank you.


Anonymous comments not accepted.