Shirakabeso tel:+81-558-85-0100

The Tale of Shirakabeso

thetalesofshirakabeso01.JPGThe Izu Peninsula is in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, about 100 kilometers from Tokyo, jutting out into the sea from the southern foothills of Mt. Fuji.
Izu is predominantly mountainous, and at its center flows the Kano River. Following the Kano River upstream, you will come to a beautiful gorge at the foot of Mt. Amagi. This is where you will find the Yugashima hot springs.

Many writers have fallen in love with Yugashima. One writer whose love for the hot springs grew the longer he stayed here was Yasunari Kawabata. In 1968, Kawabata achieved worldwide fame when he became the first Japanese person to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. His best-known work メThe Dancing Girl of Izuモ is set in Yugashima.
In his work, he refers to Izu as the archetypal Japan. In other words, Japan's history and culture is concentrated in Izu.

Izu has a cultural history that stretches back over 1,200 years. From around the eighth century, it had already established flourishing ties with the major cultural centers of Japan at the time, such as Kyoto and Ise.
This was the age that saw the construction of the Horyuji and Todaiji temples and the compilation of the oldest anthology of Japanese poetry, the Manyoshu in the capital. This was the age that saw the creation of the elegant culture and the beautiful simplicity of the buildings of Nara and Kyoto. According to two works written during this period, the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki, ships were built at Yugashima at the decree of the Yamato Court, which ruled over Japan, to be presented as gifts.
Moreover, Izu was a refuge for nobles defeated in the power struggles in the capital. These nobles brought the elegant culture of the capital to Izu.

The 12th century saw a shift from a political system in which the emperor reigned supreme to a political system in which warrior clans, having wrested power from the emperor, ruled in his place.
The man who founded this system was Minamoto no Yoritomo. After suffering defeat in the political struggles in Kyoto, he moved to Izu, where he spent his youth. After that, he seized power from the opposing forces of the Heike clan. With Izu as his base, Yoritomo controlled the whole of Japan. This was the beginning of around 700 years of warrior rule.

Around the middle of the 19th century, four American battleships arrived in Uraga, Kanagawa Prefecture. Commodore Matthew Perry, bearing an official letter from the U.S. government, demanded that Japan open diplomatic relations. The Tokugawa Shogunate signed the Japanese-U.S. Treaty of Peace and Amity, and opened up the ports of Shimoda in Izu and Hakodate in Hokkaido.
In this period, Izu became the scene of diplomatic negotiations with foreign powers, and it saw the coming and going of many Japanese and foreign officials. Izu became the stage on which history unfolded.

Izu also boasts a rich natural environment that has remain untouched from long ago. This is because Izu has been nationally owned land for more than 700 years. As a result, the natural environment in Izu was spared deforestation and recent urbanization, staying as it was in ages past.
The Izu Peninsula has now been designated as part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. It is blessed with plentiful forests and clear water, and these are recognized and protected as a natural beauty that Japan can show with pride to the rest of world.

Izu has some of the finest hot springs in Japan, attracting many visitors who enjoy soaking in the hot springs that gush everywhere out of the earth, and the traditional culture preserved here. Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata came here for the first time when he was 20 years old. The Yugashima that he encountered then was a place where one could immerse oneself in untouched, carefully protected natural surroundings and which still bored the shadow of historical events and a culture that sprang from ties with the old capital. Kawabata saw it as an archetypal form of Japan, and not only Kawabata, but many other artists, have produced works about Izu.

To travel through Izu is nothing less than to travel through an archetypal Japanese landscape.
To visit Yugashima, where archetypal forms of Japan's traditional culture, history and nature still exist as they did long ago is to personally experience a beauty that is different to other Japanese landscapes. By coming into contact with this landscape, your trip to Japan will provide you with some of the most profound memories of your life.

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About Shirakabeso

aboutshirakabeso01.JPGShirakabeso is about 25 minutes by bus from Shuzenji Station on the Izu-Hakone Railway Line. Get off at Yugashima Onsen Iriguchi Teiryujo bus stop. Next to the bus stop is a narrow descending stairway. Follow these steps and you will find the Yumichi, a narrow stroll path through natural surroundings linking public bathing areas and the Yugashima hot spring inns. Here, let the weariness of the journey slip away as you immerse yourself in the light filtering through the branches of plentiful forests and in the blissful waters from Mt. Amagi.

aboutshirakabeso02.JPGAs you follow the Yumichi down the Kano River, enjoy the natural beauty of your surroundings, and eventually you will arrive at Shirakabeso. You will recognize it from its white wall with the lattice pattern and its red-tiled roof.

Once through the doorway, you will see the open lobby area. Change from your shoes into your slippers before entering the lobby.

The pillars in this building use the prized wood from ancient trees in the area. That is why the pillars and the crossbeams have unique shapes.
The entire inn is designed with minwa (Japanese folktales) and mingei (traditional Japanese folk crafts) as its theme. The interior is decorated here and there with folk craft, and is designed to provide guests with a taste of traditional Japan. The rooms are also have a folktale theme, and stepping into each room is like stepping into a fairytale.

aboutshirakabeso11.JPG  aboutshirakabeso12.JPG  aboutshirakabeso13.JPG

aboutshirakabeso14.JPG  aboutshirakabeso15.JPG  aboutshirakabeso16.JPG

aboutshirakabeso21.JPGThe food is traditional Japanese cuisine, using plenty of seasonal ingredients, including wild vegetables and fresh fish from the seas around Izu.
Of particular note is wasabi, which is a local delicacy of Mt. Amagi. Its quality is recognized worldwide, and the area produces the most wasabi in Japan. High-quality wasabi does not grow without the rich mountain soil and especially pure natural water that is at less than 15 degrees Celsius year-round.
At Shirakabeso, we serve a wide range of dishes, using fresh, top-quality wasabi. Guests can enjoy the wholehearted hospitality of the itacho (chef) with a full course of wasabi-based cuisine including a wasabi hot pot.


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The Hot Springs

There is a hot spring bath in each room, but guests at Shirakabeso are invited to enjoy the large indoor bath and the outdoor baths as well.

In the large indoor bath, guests can enjoy the sound of the Kano River below the window, and the colors of the leaves of the trees. Soak in the bath, stretch out your hands and feet, and relax.
thehotsprings01.JPG  thehotsprings02.JPG

There are two unique outdoor baths.

thehotsprings03.JPG One is the large stone bath. It weighs around 53 tons, and was made from a single massive boulder that was dug from the premises and hollowed out. After disrobing, guests approaching the bath will look up and be overwhelmed by its size.

thehotsprings04.JPGThe second bath is the large wooden bath. This was made from a large tree that was almost 1,200 years old. It came from the southern hemisphere, from the Gabonese Republic in Africa. The bath has been hollowed out following the natural curve of the tree, so bathers can almost lie flat on their backs to enjoy the water.

Soaking in the outdoor baths will let you feel at one with nature. The large wooden bath and the large stone bath will soothe and embrace.

Information on the hot spring
Type of hot spring: calcium, sodium chloride, hydrosulfate hot spring (hypotonic, mildly alkaline, high temperature)
Good for: neuralgia, arthralgia, muscle pains, chronic gastroenterology, susceptibility to chills, convalescence, relieving fatigue, general health enhancement, arteriosclerosis, chronic skin disease

Etiquette for taking a bath

  • Take the bath towel and the face towel from your room to the bath.
  • Disrobe in the changing room and place your clothes in one of the baskets.
  • Pour water on your body before you enter the bath, so that you are clean and that your body becomes more accustomed to the heat of the water.
  • Submerge only the lower half of your body, as this is better for your body.
  • Enter and re-enter the bath for short soaks, as this is better for the body than staying in the bath for a long time.
  • Replenish fluids after getting out of the bath.

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Facilities & Services


Check in 14:30 / Check out 10:30

Television, Telephone, Kettle Pot, Tea set, Refrigerator, Hair Dryer, Air conditioner, Soap, Shampoo, Toothbrush, Razor, Comb, Towel, Bath towel, Yukata, Slippers

Open-air bath, Large bathroom, Family bathroom, Japanese garden, bar, souvenir shop
Rooms 25
Room rate 15,000JPY~35,000JPY Credit card VISA, MASTERCARD
Parking 30 cars (free charge)

A ceramic art experience, A wasabi crop experience, An outlet tour, Visiting temples, A ramen lunch, Make a Japanese paper, A visit to brewer