I was thrilled to spend my birthday in Wakayama. I finally decided that I really want experiences rather than stuff. It seems like, even though I try to keep our things down to a manageable level, one way or another we always get things.
I’m so glad I was able to go out with the family and our friends for my birthday. We had a wonderful time!
Anyway, here are some of the places we went that I would definitely recommend for your trip there.
We started our trip off in Adventure World. I thought it was a little strange that a zoo would have such a big name, but it’s definitely for a reason. This place is not just a zoo, it is also an aquarium and a theme park. We went because I wanted to see a giant panda for the first time in my life, but we were really impressed by the other animals, too.
We rode on an African safari where we got to drive through the animal habitats, stood just feet away from penguins as they strode down a walkway in the zoo, and pet a miniature horse. We also saw a baby penguin, lion cubs, and giant polar bears. The dolphins were really happy and active and did tricks for us watching, even thought there wasn’t a show. We got to see an animal show with the strangest array of animals, from an alpaca to a pig to a sea lion, and we also rode a rollercoaster. Overall, it was amazing, I would definitely recommend visiting if you are ever in the area.
This is a given if you are going to Shirahama. Shirahama actually means “white beach” in Japanese. It was soooo beautiful and the sand was as white as snow. My daughter kept pretending she was Elsa, using the sand to showcase her snow powers. (Which I, unfortunately, had to nix pretty quickly, as we know Elsa isn’t really responsible with her magic.)
Even with the cooler November weather (around 18C/65F) it was nice and peaceful. There is a swimming hot spring right on the beach, and from October – April it is converted into a free foot onsen. It was warm and refreshing after getting a little cold from the actual ocean water.
We also dropped by Engetsu Island to see the rock formation. It was pretty, but there wasn’t much to do. We just parked, snapped a few pics, and moved on. It’s worth a visit if you have a little extra time or you’re already passing by.
The real hidden gem of our trip, I think, was the Senjokiji Plateau. “Senjokiji” means 1000 bamboo mats in English, because they plateau has so many different levels that are flattened out. This area was way larger and more impressive than I anticipated. There were so many different kinds and textures of rock, with the ocean hammering the sides in the background. I really could have spent all day there, but, with the kids, we left pretty soon to avoid mortal danger. It was fairly safe for the kids at the upper levels, but we avoided going down to far and held onto them pretty close.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I really hope to be able to visit Wakayama soon and see more sights. About 2.5 hours away from Shirahama is the waterfall with the highest drop in Japan. That’s definitely on my list to see.
Have you been to Wakayama before? If you have, where did you go and what did you like best?