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Shirahama, Wakayama facts for kids

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Shirahama
Town
Top left: Nanki Shirahama Spa, Top right: Shirahama Beach, 2nd left: Three-stage Wall (Sandanheki), 2nd right: Engetsu Island (Engetsuto), 3rd: Shirahama Adventure World, Bottom left: Tsubaki Spa, Bottom right: Minakata Kumagusu Memorial Museum
Top left: Nanki Shirahama Spa, Top right: Shirahama Beach, 2nd left: Three-stage Wall (Sandanheki), 2nd right: Engetsu Island (Engetsuto), 3rd: Shirahama Adventure World, Bottom left: Tsubaki Spa, Bottom right: Minakata Kumagusu Memorial Museum
Flag of Shirahama
Flag
Location of Shirahama
Population (January 31, 2012) 23,325

Shirahama (白浜町 Shirahama-chō) is a town in Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Shirahama is a resort town on the south coast of Wakayama Prefecture. Its beaches has been white sand from the olden days, but some sand was imported from Perth, Australia when waves and typhoons had washed away some sand during the 1980s. Shirahama is known for its hot springs. During the summer months of July and August there are fireworks every night on the beach.

Shirahama Station is about two and a half hours from Osaka by JR West's Ocean Arrow train service. There are daily flights from Nanki-Shirahama Airport to Tokyo's Tokyo International Airport (Haneda).

On March 1, 2006 the town of Hikigawa, from Nishimuro District, was merged into Shirahama.

As of January 31, 2012, the town has an estimated population of 23,325, with 11,149 households, and a population density of 116.02 persons per km². The total area is 201.04 km².

Geography

Located in southern Wakayama Prefecture, the town has a temperate climate. Many hot springs can be found here, most notably Nanki-Shirahama Onsen and Tsubaki Onsen. Two public baths in the town are part of a World Heritage site.

Shirahama is one of the very few municipalities in Japan that do not have "azas", or towns and villages that were previously in the boundaries of the present-day town.

White-sand beach

One of Shirahama’s main attractions is its crescent-shaped white-sand beach; “Shirahama” means “white beach” or “white bay”. In the 1960s, when Shirahama was connected by rail to Osaka, the city became a popular tourist destination, particularly with honeymooners, and blocky white hotel towers were erected along the coastal road. The increased development accelerated erosion, and the famous sand began to wash into the sea. Worried that the town of White Beach would lose its white beach, according to a city official, Wakayama Prefecture began in 1989 to import sand from Perth, Australia, 4,700 miles away. 745,000 cubic meters was imported over 15 years.

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