Adventure World

Things to Do: ♪♫Shirahama & Adventure World♪♫

2:25 AM

Way back in the day, I went to Shirahama. Well, technically it was in July. Not too far back in the day, but there isn't much of an excuse for such a delay but in my defense.. My house was at a constant 35-37 degrees Celsius everyday...? (That's in the mid to high 90s my Fahrenheit friends).

So yea, I've been limiting my activities to the cooler evening hours, but even then it's been 90 percent drawing, which is awesome for my portfolio but sad for my blog. Awww :(

But this post ain't about me sitting at home sweating..! It's about this awesome trip I took with my mother-in-law and her friends. They're all about going somewhere, eating, drinking, going into the onsen and then going home. Which is absolutely fine by me. :D

On our way to Shirahama (by car), we stopped at a seaside fish mart for some lunch, fresh from the water! That sashimi was sooo good, but raw squid... Never again. We don't go together. AT ALL. DD:

Shirahama is probably around 2.5 hours from Osaka (about 2 from where we left in Nara), and at the moment, the highway to Wakayama is without a toll, so it's a great idea for a short trip in the Kansai area.

After arriving in Shirahama, we immediately went off to Adventure World, which is like a zoo with a little amusement park thrown in on the side.

There's a safar park and even pandas, but when you first walk in, Disneyland's mainstreet immediately comes to mind. It's a bit weird. Not bad, just weird. :x

We were in Adventure World during a slow time because it was pretty empty. But it also feels like quite the relic from the bubble area and in desperate need of some sort of upgrade. Especially when my mother-in-law proceeded in telling me how everything is exactly the same as when she brought Shota here. When he was 5.

Check out this penguin parade though! How adorbs~~

We hopped on the safari bus for a tour through the African safari area (there are animals native to the Americas there though sooo...). You can take a walk through the park or rent a jeep as well. Prices for the various bike, car and jeep tours jump from 500 yen to 10,000 yen. Choose wisely. ;)

That day was also crazy hot, so you can see the bears keeping cool. The free bus tour drives through the two main areas, starting with the herbivores, then to carnivores.

One more safari picture! This tiger trying to cool off as well. I'm sure he'd kill for a real jungle with it's cool shade. Awww :(

We also checked out the pandas..! I love how these two were so relaxed looking. And they do have all the food they could possibly eat, absolutely no need to worry..!
Also, I think they're twins. Or the other pair sitting in the adjacent cage. I didn't read the signs :x

Next went to two of the three pools to check out some aquatic fun. The first one actually included a lot of non-water-related animals like dogs, chickens, and a miniature horse. It was incredibly cute though, parading around the front of the tank.

Does anyone ever feel any kind of guilt for watching these kinds of events?? It just seems so.. forced :< And I'm sure (or at least I hope) they're well taken care of. But still. :<

I'd heard of Adventure World from some of my former students and some friends. It seemed pretty magical in my mind, but I'm also a student of animation so my imagination is probably a hyper-extended version of any normal persons. Hence, I have to admit there was a bit of disappointment. It's just okay, not terrible, but not fantastic. I probably wouldn't make the 2 hour train ride from Osaka just for Adventure World. A trip to the beach (which wasn't included this time around D:) plus a hotel buffet would also be necessary.

But I would totally go here again with my niece and nephew. They would LOVE IT. And watching them freak out over animals is just tons of fun.

Access Info:
Shirahama is a well known vacation locale in the Kansai area. And it's also really easy to get to. From Osaka, you can catch a train at the JR Tennoji Station that will take you all the way to JR Shirahama Station. That trip is 2 hours, and costs about 5,500 yen (if you take the slower train, it's 4 hours and costs 3,140 yen) one way. I'm sure there are numerous bus services that can get you to Shirahama for a better price, so I would check that out before taking a train.

As for getting to Adventure World, from the train station you can have take a bus, and that probably applies to any spots near the beach as well. It's a vacation spot, but still pretty rural.

Adventure World (English Access Page)
〒649-2201 和歌山県西牟婁郡白浜町堅田2399番地
Shirahama-cho Katada 2399 Banchi
Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama-ken 649-2201
TEL 0570-064481

English pamphlets abound, but I don't suspect any staff speak any English. But maybe there's someone working there just waiting to surprise us all with their mack-daddy English skillz.

Bonus STAGE!
We stayed a nice Japanese style hotel/onsen for one night and gorged outselves on seafood, some Tandoori chicken (random, I know, but SO good), and BEER. Don't sleep on these old ladies, they can DRINK.

Here you can see.. yakiniku, some oyesters (methinks), veggies (pumpkin and broccoli), shrimp and giant crab.

And then delicious buffet foods! Sushi, spinach, fried chicken, potato salad, tempura and Tandoori chicken. NOM NOM.

I'm so hungry now ;w;..

Then we took the party to the karaoke bar..!! Technically, it's called a snack bar, but snack bars, seemingly as a rule, offer karaoke as well. Cue two hour nomihoudai and lots of enka (which I not-so-secretly love).

Karaoke with older Japanese people is actually one of my preferred methods of karaoke. They're way more into it than the younger people who always suffer from the "HOMG I'm too shy/cool/freaked out to do this!!" thing. It's a weird 180 from the way young people act out in the streets compared to the older crowd. This obviously isn't across the board, but just something that I noticed occurs pretty consistently. :)

I wanted to add our visit to an ancient tomb to the end, but this is seriously long enough. DD: Also, I'd love to do another one of these trips with some friends closer to my age (that way, I'll also get to put people in the pictures. how bout that?!). A lot of buses for these onsen hotels leave from Shin-Osaka as well, so it seems pretty easy to set up. The hard part is time, which no one ever really has :/ Damn..

OH, and I FINALLY got my visa. It's only took ohhh I don't know about 2 months. *BIGSIGH* So I'm going back into the work force, hopefully by the end of this month. I won't lie though, I was extremely pleased with my elongated summer vacation :D Let's do it again sometime immigration bureau~
Take care everyone!! Enjoy this last stretch of summer ;o;


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