What better way to spend summer than playing with friends in a nice beach city? My girls and I were ready for a good ole girls’ trip to escape our daily lives. Here was my jam-packed day filled to the brim with nothing but friends, fun memories, and excitement.

One of the great things about Shirahama is that there’s a bus that can take you to and from different locations. However, if you’re like me and you don’t mind walking in the summer heat, you can trek it and reach most places on foot. As someone that loves walking and that constantly carries an umbrella 24/7, it was a given that I ask my friends if we could walk to all of the locations since everything was within relatively close distance of each other.

Got Energy? Use it All Up at Energyland!

My friends and I started the day by waking up bright and early. It was a long but relaxing ride to get to Shirahama. The bus dropped us off right in front of the beach, so it truly felt like the perfect way to start our day! We wanted to jump right in by starting with an activity. What better way to start than with Energyland? This theme park is full of optical illusions, numerous photo spots for you to take pictures at, and fun activities for anyone of all ages. It’s also within 3 minutes of the beach by foot! We first started by getting something tasty to eat at the cafeteria before walking around and playing at all of the optical illusion sites. My favorite place to go was the mystery zone. It is a place where the building is tilted and the gravity shifts so that you can’t stand properly and feel extremely dizzy. It was so funny to watch my friends walk through it! (I don’t think people with motion sickness or that are highly sensitive to motion should visit this specific area though.) For just 2000, you can spend the whole day here having fun!

Take a Break at Key Terrace Hotel

After tiring ourselves out, my friends and I walked from Energyland to Key Terrace Hotel. It’s only a short 15-minute walk away!

This beautiful hotel overlooks the beach and is so much fun to just sit and lounge around at. There are gift shops inside as well as a nice café with some of the yummiest croissants known in Shirahama. I’ve eaten there a couple of times and have enjoyed it every single time. During all seasons, Key Terrace Hotel offers an outdoor foot bath that overlooks the beautiful sea. It is one of the best places to take pictures and go to in order to relax. Not to mention the hotel holds a variety of events for art and music that people can always enjoy in the outdoor lounging area. I recommend going in the fall when it’s cooler and dipping your feet in the hot water while sitting outside and enjoying the beach view. You can go here for free or you can dine in at the café. Either way, you will enjoy yourself!

Caving into the Fun!

From the hotel, we walked for about 20 minutes to get to the Sandenbeki Cave. Couples often go to this area to take pictures near the love monument outside of the cave. When you go in, you’ll get to learn about the lore as well as explore 200 meters underground! Come and enjoy the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks as you walk through the area. The cave is wheelchair friendly and has staff that is more than happy to guide and accommodate you in multiple languages. The Sandenbeki Cave also has a worshiping site where you can pray, make a wish, and buy charms in case you have a wish of love, for your family’s health, driving safety, and more!

Rather than coming with friends, going with a certain special someone might prove to strengthen your love. Tickets are ¥1500 for adults.

Feeling Blue?

After all of that walking and playing around, my friends and I were in dire need of some delicious food. Luckily, a friend had told me about the Blue Bar restaurant near the beach, so I made a reservation the day before. One of my favorite things to do is eat, so being able to chow down after walking around in the heat with my girls was exactly what I needed. The atmosphere was chill and the owner of the restaurant was very kind. Shirahama is in a rural area where there isn’t a lot of variety when it comes to food, so it was nice to eat Mediterranean food in a place with such unique decor. I really recommend going here if you like Mediterranean food, pizza, or just want to take a break from the Japanese food that you eat on the daily. The prices are reasonable and it’s nice to order a bunch of food with your friends and split it after.

Fireworks Under the Stars

Finally, to end our perfect girls’ trip, we went to the convenience store, got a couple cans of chuuhai and snacks, and found a lovely location on the beach where we could look up and watch the fireworks together. The day went by in a blur despite being filled with so many activities. As I said, it was a day straight from a movie! Let’s end it with fireworks and roll the credits after! I would argue that one of the most well-known facts about Shirahama is the fireworks display that happens every summer. From July 16th until around August 27th, fireworks are held almost every Sunday. It’s free to watch and enjoy. For roughly 10 minutes, over 800 fireworks for you to sit back and be amazed by light up the beautiful night sky. The biggest display is held on August 10, with around 3500 fireworks launched. Even if you aren’t able to see it this year, they hold the fireworks every single year. I hope that everyone gets a chance to experience it at least once while in Japan.

If you’re looking for something to do with your friends during the Summer and you’re hoping for a magical movie moment, spending your day in Shirahama from morning until night is the way to go.