Sandanbeki Rock Cliff - Wakayama

Located in the coastal part of the resort town of Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture, Sandanbeki Rock Cliff (三段壁) is the general name of the cliffs which was said to be used by the Kumano pirates during the Heian period.

三段壁
Sandanbeki Rock Cliff (三段壁)

Sandanbeki Rick Cliff Details

Sandanbeki Rock Cliff, also referred to as simply Sandanbeki, refers to the 2 kilometer stretch of 50+ meter high cliffs of the Shirahama coastline which is perfectly viewed from the observation point/view deck. The highlight of a visit to Sandanbeki is the Sandanbeki Dokutsu. It is a cave where the Kumano pirates once hid their boats (and probably their loot too). For those who are planning to check it out, there is an elevator in the souvenir shop near the observation point that can bring visitors down to the cave.

三段壁
Sandanbeki Rock Cliff -Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture

Gotta love the view from the Sandanbeki Viewing Area

Check out that rugged cliffside

You can go down to Sandanbeki Dokutsu through the elevator here.

However, you have to keep in mind that there is an entrance fee of Y1300 for adults and Y650 for elementary school children. My family and I intentionally skipped this as we plan to watch the sunset at Engetsu Island. Regardless, I have read from a blog that visitors would go 36 meters down to the damp cave by elevator. Inside the cave is a replica of a small pirate ship and a pathway that leads the visitors close to the mouth of the cave. There is another area of the cave that contains lanterns and a carving of the goddess of everything that flows - Benzaiten. Sandanbeki Dokutsu is open from 8AM to 5PM.

Can someone tell me what's written on the stone?

This place is famous for dating couples... no wonder there are Love locks...

Love Locks 101

Going back to our experience at Sandanbeki, we stayed at the observation point for about 30 minutes to admire the beautiful view of the cliffs. I have learned from my Japanese godfather that the observation point was actually a famous dating spot due to its romantic ambiance. Ironically, brokenhearted people also frequent this place, and most of the time, their reason is to end their lives. Since suicide here is common, the local government installed phone lines that encourage brokenhearted people to talk to someone to dissuade them from jumping off the cliff.

Check out the manhole cover design

Upon researching more about the place, I have read several ghost stories and urban legends surrounding Sandanbeki. Some involve ghosts of those who died here who love to do cameos in photos, others talked about the spirit of a monk who haunts the place after he was thrown off the cliff by an angry mob. Well, I'm just happy that I offered a prayer for those who met death at Sandanbeki during our visit. Speaking of our visit, we got to visit Sandanbeki Rock Cliff during the 11th day of our 2018 Japan Trip.

Team Nicerio visits Sandanbeki Rock Cliff

Sandanbeki Rock Cliff Admission Fee:

Sandanbeki Rock Cliff can probably be divided into two parts, the viewing area (which we visited) and the Sandanbeki Cave. The viewing area is free but to enter the Sandanbeki Cave, there is an admission fee of 1,300 yen for adults and 650 yen for children.

Sandanbeki Rock Cliff Operating Hours:

Sandanbeki Rock Cliff viewing area is open 24 hours but the Sandanbeki Cave area is open from 8AM - 5PM. However, it is closed during bad weather.

Why visit Sandanbeki Rock Cliff?

Overall, a visit to Shirahama would not be complete without visiting Sandanbeki. Although there's little to do here, this place still offers to amaze those who love a good Instagram photo (who knows your photo might include one of the spirits haunting this place)

Getting to Sandanbeki Rock Cliff: 


Nanki Shirahama Bus Map (Meiko Bus)

From Osaka, ride the Ocean Arrow train of the JR West Line. Board down at Shirahama Station. From there, ride the Meiko Bus to Sandanbeki.

Rating:
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Comments

  1. Wow, the cliffs remind me of cliffs in Australia !

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    Replies
    1. Wow. I should research about that one and visit it too.

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  2. these are sooooooo amazing!!!! I am craving a vacay just looking at ur pictures!

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    Replies
    1. I'm happy that my photos of Sandanbeki touched your adventurous side. =)

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  3. This sounds like an amazing adventure

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    Replies
    1. It is Ashleigh. =) You'd surely love Sandanbeki when you visit it.

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  4. Beautiful place. Nature always amazes me. Hope I could visit it someday. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Please do visit Sandanbeki when you get the chance to go to Wakayama Prefecture.

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  5. This looks amazing, the nature, the architecture, everything, there are even spirits, count me in, I am amazed by Japan in general and I really want to be able to visit the country one day, this is just making the list of places to visit grow even more :D

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    Replies
    1. Please don't forget to visit Sandanbeki when you get the chance.

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  6. Wow, an elevator to the cave!! so posh.....the cliff is breathtaking..... But the suicide thing going on is spine tingling....

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    Replies
    1. That's true reveler. You know how the Japanese see honor as a big thing. Sadly a lot of them died here because of that.

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  7. I'm so jealous reading this! I'd love to explore this side of the world one day, it looks so idyllic. Maybe this year...

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    Replies
    1. I do hope you get to visit Sandanbeki this year. =)

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  8. The pictures are really good.

    Awesome post :)

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  9. This place looks beautiful. I'd never heard of it, thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. I'm happy that my article introduced a new place to you.

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  10. We are absolutely in love with the pictures

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  11. That cliff and water picture almost took my breath away

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    Replies
    1. I think that is also what's in the mind of those who jump off this cliff.

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  12. Interesting place. But I think I want to hear more ghost stories. lol. Looking at the cliff - It looks so peaceful and at the same time dangerous.

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    Replies
    1. hahaha. I would love to write a separate article about the ghost stories here. =)

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  13. Never hear about this place but is very beautiful view. Thank you for share

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  14. What a stunning setting and breathtaking photos. You have done the area great justice as I'm adding it to my places to visit.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Eliz. I do hope you get to visit Sandanbeki someday.

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  15. Wow these pictures are incredible. What an amazing place.

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  16. This is a lovely place, with dangerous cliff! But I can imagine would be a perfect place for pre-nup wedding shoot.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Blair. It sure does. I think it's best to have a photo shoot here in the afternoon when the sun is setting.

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  17. Hi Neil, thank you for sharing your lovely captures of this amazing cavern. We are about to go back to Japan in November and considering Wakayama Prefecture as part of our IT. May I ask you a favor please, if you do not mind, would you know the timetable of the Meiko Bus from Shirahama Station or would you know if the same bus will go to Senjojiki and Engetsu Island? Thank you and I hope I am not imposing much from you. Maraming salamat po ulit :) ---- bobswife

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    Replies
    1. Although I'm not sure about the bus timetable, I've included the bus map in my article above for your perusal. You can check the stations near the famous places in Shirahama.

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