Monday, 31 December 2012

Japan Dec 2012 Day 7: Shirahama, Wakayama

About 1 hr 15 min from Wakayama via the JR Kuroshio is Shirahama 白浜, a summer beach resort region. It was obviously off-peak when we arrived and we half-suspected we were the only guests at Luandon Inn. I really couldn’t understand why tripadvisor had such good reviews of this inn. At JPY14000, I wouldn’t say it’s cheap. There was no elevator so we had to lug our huge luggage up the stairs. There was also nothing much to eat in the vicinity besides some tiny and quiet restaurants. It’s location is also not the most convenient for sightseeing. On tripadvisor, people wrote that it’s “near sandanbeki and senjojiki”. Hello, in my country, near means “walkable” haha. We had to take a bus to these spots. However, the service by the boss was very personal and it made up for the lack of good location. He helped me with the luggage and drove us in his personal car, for which we were very grateful. I would strongly suggest staying in a hotel near the beach area for ease of sightseeing.

I was very excited to go to saki-no-yu 崎の湯, one of the top 3 oldest hot springs in Japan to complete our quest as we have been to the other two: Arima 有馬温泉 and Dogo 道後温泉 =) The no-frills public bath had no showers and no changing area (I think it was JPY300). Once you enter, you will see pigeon-holes where you can leave your clothes. Then you may soak in any of the rotenburo without first showering. The guy’s side had an excellent view of the sea but as usual, the ladies’ bath was more concealed for privacy. We brought our own towels but you may buy one at the vending machine for several hundred yen.

I had made a reservation for garoupa lunch at Kuetei. The garoupa was very fresh! But I didn’t quite like the sashimi as the fish was a little chewy, not the kind of sashimi I like.

We spent quite some time checking out Senjojiki 千畳敷, an interesting landscape carved by nature. 

To our disappointment, Sandanbeki 三段壁 was closed for the day (I believe no prior notice was given) but the inn boss was so kind to drive us there the next morning and we were very glad we made that trip! Being at the bottom of the cliff watching the waves as they crashed in was very exhilarating! At the end of the route, we realised that the path we walked upon entering was cordoned off because the waves were too strong.

We were hoping to see the sun set through the hole in Engetsuto 円月島 but it didn't happen. We later found out from the inn boss that it happens only 1-2 times A YEAR! hahaha damn those holiday posters!

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