Panda Village At Shirayama Features Onsens & Beaches
The Panda Village in Shirayama, Japan is a bizarre mash-up of the kawaii culture that Japan is so famous for, and a seaside retreat from urban civilisation.
The sprawling complex boasts of larger than life panda-themed igloos situated on lush green lawns.
Located in Shirahama – a resort town 2 hrs from Osaka – the village is near famous onsens and pristine sandy beaches with imported sand from Australia.
If you’re ready to experience the cuteness overload and gorgeous seascapes, here’s what to expect.
Panda Village is made up of dome-shaped igloos designed to resemble ginormous panda heads.
If you’ve ever wanted to embrace a giant panda, this time you can hug panda-themed concrete.
They’ve got miniature pandas too, but this version isn’t furry either.
The village looks like a splash of bright colours during the day, but at night it transforms into a postcard-perfect sight straight out of a fairy tale.
21 differently designed domed igloos
Of course, the main highlight of the village’s sprawling grounds are the 25 differently designed domed igloos for guests.
From pandas masquerading as prima ballerinas to mad scientists, and even king crabs – you’re bound to find a panda that suits your personality.
If you want to sleep with the fishes, you might want to stay inside this charming panda fish.
Those who have a sweet tooth can opt for this chocolate layered cake igloo with panda icing.
Can’t choose a favourite? Here’s a map which shows all their designs.
Comfy rooms & Japanese buffets
Ultimately, a vacation to the countryside is an opportunity to take a break from the stress of city life and their igloos are perfect for this.
Each room has cozy interiors fully equipped with comfy beds, a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, showers, and other amenities.
A room can accommodate about 5 to 6 people, so it’s perfectly fine to bring your family and friends along.
Sit on tatami floor mats and feel like a local whilst relaxing inside the minimalist Muji-like interior.
A Japan getaway conjures images of authentic Japanese sushi, so you’ll be pleased to note that their buffets are so diverse, even the pickiest eaters will walk away with their cravings fully satiated.
A trip to Shirayama isn’t complete without a dip at their world-famous onsens, and there are many options to choose from in the vicinity of Panda Village.
The nearest onsen is Toretore-no-yu which is a 7-minute walk from the village.
Enjoy a soak in these natural hot springs while indulging in the warm bath. We’re not so sure about the aroma of sulphur, though.
If you want to explore more onsens, Choisei no Yu is only 24 minutes away by foot. The hot spring facility includes an open-air bath, bincho charcoal bath, and indoor bath.
The towering trees and plants make the hidden resort the perfect place to indulge in a relaxing soak surrounded by nature.
Don’t miss a trip to one of the three most famous onsens in Japan – Nanki Shirahama Onsen – also about 30 minutes away.
Japanese emperors and members of their courts often bathed in these hot springs, so you’ll feel like royalty while basking on this panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.
White sand beach & clear waters
Shirahama Beach is another place to hit up on your must-visit list, thanks to its enchantingly pristine white sand, clear blue waters and azure skies.
The name “Shirahama” literally translates to “white beach” and Japanese officials took great lengths to preserve it. Waves and typhoons washed away the sands of the original beach, so they shipped white sand from Perth, Australia.
The result is a very clean beach with no traces of seaweed or trash whatsoever.
Hike up to the top to enjoy a spectacular view of blue green waves gently crashing rhythmically against the cliffside.
Flying to Japan?
You can book a trip from Singapore to Nanki-Shirahama Airport via SIA, Japan Airlines or Korean Air. From there, take a 10-minute cab ride to Panda Village.
Panda Village is an ideal destination for those looking to relax in Japanese onsens and quartz-sand beaches. A ticket to the hotel comes with a a cruise on a yakatabune or private Japanese boats.
At $93+ per person, it’s a bit pricey compared to nearby inns, but the pandas are surely worth it.
Address: 2498-1 Katata, 白浜町 Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture 649-2201, Japan
Check in: 3:00PM – 6:00PM
Check out: 11:00AM
Contact: +81 739-42-2200
Website: Panda Village
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Featured image from Instagram.