Located at the southern tip of Honshu island, Kushimoto Town in Wakayama Prefecture is a two and a half hour train ride from Wakayama Station on the JR Kisei Line. Often missed out by tourists, Kushimoto has lots to offer. Away from the usual tourists, with great blue views of the Pacific Ocean, a day trip from the popular Shirahama is highly recommended.
Shionomisaki Lighthouse, white-walled lighthouse was built on the cliff in 1863 is a 15 minute bus ride from Kushimoto station. There is a small museum at the bottom of the lighthouse, documenting the building and local history. Climbing up the narrow stairs, the lighthouse offers a 180 degree panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. With a height of 23 metres, along with the crisp morning air, and the wind blowing, the view has to be one of the best sea views in Japan.
Next to the lighthouse is Cape Shionomisaki, with a sign that says the southern-most point on Honshu island. Waves there are strong, and can be seen splashing at the rocks.
There is a tourist information hut which closes at 5pm, where seats are available for resting. The usual vending machines for drinks and ice cream can be found. Free wi-fi is also available.
A camping ground is nearby, where many locals camp during the weekends. Shionomisaki Tower, standing at seven stories high, overlooks the camping ground. A souvenir shop is located on the ground floor, and there is a restaurant on the second floor. The tower offers an amazing, unrestricted view of the surrounding area, and the sea.
Nearer Kushimoto station is Hashi-gui-iwa, a straight line of large and small unusually shaped rocks, stretching for around 850 metres out into the sea. This unusual scenery was made by waves and winds over a long period of time. Only a 5 minute bus ride or a 20 minute walk from Kushimoto station, it is a popular photo-taking spot during sunsets. During low tides, one can walk a distance out on the rocks.
A 5 minute walk away, is Hashigui beach, where many locals gather during summer to swim in the clear blue waters.
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I still clearly remember the day I first landed in Japan, and since then it has been my goal to set foot in all 47 prefectures. I try to look for less touristy areas, preferring the countryside to the city. I'm always amazed by the many Haagen Dazs and ice cream flavors available only in Japan.