# ISSUE 15 White sandy beach and blue sea! The charm of Nanki-Shirahama, a town of hot springs and pandas


Nanki-Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture is one of the most popular resort areas in the Kansai region, visited by more than 3 million people annually. The reason for its popularity is its beautiful beaches.

Shirarahama Beach is a stretch of sparkling white sand and blue ocean. People come here to spend the day swimming, doing marine sports, and going for strolls. The area has formed a sister beach affiliation with Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, and local residents are engaged in community-wide activities to protect the beauty of the beach, such as cleaning up waste that washes ashore.

The abundance of leisure spots is another attraction of this area.

Shirahama Hot Springs has a history of more than 1,300 years as one of the "Three Oldest Hot Springs in Japan" along with Dogo Hot Springs and Arima Hot Springs.

Adventure World has the largest number of giant pandas in Japan (seven as of December 2022).

Toretore Market is directly operated by a local fishing cooperative, and Engetsu Island is a nationally designated scenic spot. Kue hot pots from fall to winter and Nanko-plums, a local specialty, are also available.