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Spots in Wakayama Area

  • Adventure World
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou Katata 2399
    This entertainment complex opened in 1978 focusing on the theme of interaction between people, animals, and nature includes a theme park, aquarium, and zoo. The zoo has succeeded in breading a total of 12 pandas, the greatest number outside China itself. In the popular Panda Love exhibit, daily backyard tours are held (advance reservation required). In the Safari World, visitors can view the animals up close in environments close to their natural habitats from vehicles such as a special bus. There are also walkable areas to stroll through. During the summer break period, the park remains open in the evening as well.
  • Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine
    rating-image
    4.5
    441 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouhongu
    This Shinto shrine is one of the Three Head Kumano Shrines which serve as the headquarters of all Kumano shrines nationwide. Known as the first stop on the penance-filled Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage, since ancient times this shrine has been visited by countless worshipers of the Kumano faith, which seeks to achieve self-enlightenment through penance. The main building was erected in the Asuka period and was relocated to its current location after being damaged in the Great Flood of 1889. After climbing 158 stone steps through a cedar forest, the shrine’s four hinoki bark-thatched buildings will appear, which enshrine Ketsumiko no okami and the shrine’s three other chief gods.

    This main shrine in Kumano-kodo was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. An original structure was destroyed in the flood in 1889 and transferred to the current location. The...

  • Nanki Shirahama Toretore Market
    Shopping
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou Katata 2521
    Located in Shirahama Town, Nishimuro County, Wakayama Prefecture, Toretore Market is one of the largest seafood markets in western Japan and is operated by the local Katata Fishery Cooperative. Boasting grounds some 50 thousand square meters in size, the market is filled with fresh seafood not only from Wakayama but around the country. A diverse array of processed goods, meats, vegetables, and even Wakayama souvenirs are sold here, and the market bustles constantly with visitors. Market highlights include the giant tanks filled with fish swimming around while waiting to be sold and the popular tuna butchering shows. Visitors can eat sushi and seafood rice bowls at Toretore Yokocho; the market’s seafood barbecue is also popular.
  • Mt. Koya
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan
    Mt. Koya is sacred ground in Japanese Buddhism that was first utilized by the famed monk Kukai in the Heian period. The entirety of Mt. Koya is regarded as a single temple—the Kongobu-ji Temple—and the mountain is dotted with temples in 117 locations. A veritable mountain-top mecca 900 meters above sea level, over 30 percent of the population of people living on the mountain are priests. Of particular note is the Danjogaran, a temple first built when Kukai opened his main dojo for his esoteric Shingon teachings. The temple grounds contain 19 buildings, including the Konpon Daito tower and gorgeous main sanctuary.
  • Wakayama Marina City
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Kemi 1527
    An artificial island floating in Wakayama Bay in Wakayama City, Wakayama which was completed in 1994 in line with the World Resort Exhibition. The island hosts a variety of leisure facilities, including Porto Europe, a theme park modeled after a European port town; a resort hotel; a marina; market; fishing park; day trip hot spring bath facility; and activity-oriented pavilions which present the appeals of Wakayama. The Kuroshio Market sells everything from offshore catches to international seafood, and here you can enjoy watching a tuna butchering show, various events, and seafood barbecuing.
  • Nachi Waterfall (Hiro Jinja Shrine)
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    4.0
    114 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunnachikatsurachou Nachisan
    This betsugu (associated shrine) of Kumano Nachi Taisha honors the deity of the Nachi-no-Taki waterfall. Boasting Japan’s largest uninterrupted drop of 133 meters, the waterfall is 13 meters wide and has a plunge basin with a depth of 10 meters. It is lit up a night during New Year’s Eve and is one of Japan’s top three waterfalls. Close to the waterfall is a viewing area where visitors can drink water from the plunge basin which is said to be water for longevity.

    This whole area is just a fantasy land for the eyes. Such beauty everywhere and then there is this beautiful shrine next to the waterfall. Don't miss walking over here if you are in the area, totally...

  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
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    4.5
    524 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunnachikatsurachou Nachisan 1
    One of the Three Head Kumano Shrines which serve as the headquarters of all Kumano shrines nationwide. Unlike the other two, however, the origin of this shrine lies in a primeval faith which sees the Nachi Falls deep in the mountains as sacred. At the affiliated Hiro-jinja Shrine, the falls themselves are worshipped, and since ancient times this shrine has been visited by numerous faithful and other visitors asking for a long life. Visitors can drink the water at the falls’ basin from a platform directly in front of the falls; the water is said to give longevity. The shrine’s grounds contain six vermillion lacquered buildings such as the main nave, hall of worship, and treasure house, as well as numerous other points of note such as the Stone of the Yatagarasu (a mythical three-legged crow), and a massive 850-year-old tree planted by the noble Taira no Shigemori.

    What an unopportunity! It's under renovation so the front of shrine was covered with canvas and scaffolding but There is a small path to let I see part of this grand shrine. Nearby Seigantoji temple...

  • Wakayama Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama prefecture Wakayama city 1-3
    This famous castle belonged to the Kishu Tokugawa family, one of the “Tokugawa Gosanke” families. It has been beloved by many as a symbol of Wakayama for ages. The Okaguchi Gate, which was made a Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property, as well as the stone wall constructed with Kishu-specialty blue stone (chlorite-schist) in the Nozura-zumi style, still maintain their original structures. From the castle tower constructed by citizens in 1958 after the war, you can see the Kinokawa River, the Wakayama cityscape, and more. Many visitors come during the cherry blossom and fall foliage seasons as well. Inside the castle tower, many items associated with the Tokugawa family are on display.
  • Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Shingushi Shingu 1
    One of the Three Head Kumano Shrines which serve as the headquarters of all Kumano shrines nationwide, rare and unusual festivals are held here, such as the Torch Festival, which involves men dressed in white garb carrying lit torches and racing down the shrine’s steep stone steps. A central location in the Kumano faith, which seeks to achieve self-enlightenment through penance conducted along the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage, the shrine is dedicated to the god Kumano Hayatama. The shrine also worships Ketsumiko no okami and Fusumi no okami, and houses and displays some 1,200 ancient treasures, including designated National Treasures. A great nagi tree over 1,000 years old spreads its branches over the grounds, and the shrine’s charms for providing luck with love and marriage are made with nagi seeds.
  • Shirarahama Beach
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou
    A beautiful swimming beach considered one of the best of the Kinki region whose white sands stretch for 640 meters. Generally opened to the public around May 3 each year, the earliest on the main island of Honshu, the beach is popular for its equatorial beach resort-like atmosphere. In addition, Shirasuna, a large, pool-like mixed sex open-air bath (bathing suit required) is open year-round and can be used as a foot bath in winter.
  • Ryujin Onsen Motoyu
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    5.0
    1 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Ryujinmuraryujin 37
    At this public facility, you can enjoy soaking in water from Ryujin Onsen, known as one of the three most beautiful hot springs in Japan. Located in Ryujin Village, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture. The free-flowing hot spring water is changed daily and has a nice cleansing feeling. The indoor baths include cypress baths and rock baths, and the open-air bath offers a great view of the mountain stream. It is open until 9 p.m., so you can enjoy stargazing as you bathe. There’s a lodging facility next door as well.

    車かバスで来ることになります。熊野本宮大社から2時間半くらい、紀伊田辺駅から1時間半弱。7-21時まで、大人700円、小人350円。小さな休憩所は飲料とマッサージチェアのみ、食事はありません。女性は3階、男性は1階に分かれてて、男性の露天風呂は角度(位置)によって歩道から見えてしまいます。露天ですが、囲いが高く、川は見えません。 リンスインシャンプー、ボディソープ、ドライヤー有り。綿棒やティッシュ...

  • Seiganto-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunnachikatsurachou Nachisan 8
    A Tendai sect Buddhist temple which is the first station on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. Once a great Shugendo Shinto-Buddhist temple dedicated to Nachi Falls, it was divided into the Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine and Seiganto-ji Temple with the official order separating Buddhism and Shintoism in the country. The temple has long been a holy place in the Kumano faith, which seeks self-enlightenment through the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage. The temple’s main object of worship, a figure of Cintamanicakra, is said to have been found at the basin of Nachi Falls and enshrined here by Ragyo, a priest who came to Japan from India during the reign of Emperor Nintoku (313-399). The vermillion three-tier pagoda behind the main temple nave harmonizes with the falls and creates a beautiful (and popular) photo spot.
  • Sandanbeki
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou
    Extending out for about two kilometers, Sandanbeki features 50-meter tall large rock walls comprised of columnar joints and is a Place of Scenic Beauty for its precipitous cliffs. On top of the cliffs is a viewing platform which allows visitors to gaze out at the scenery of the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Also close to the viewing platform is a cave that, according to legend, is where Kumano pirates (and later Kumano navy members) hid their boats during the Genji and Heike battle. Inside the cave is Japan’s largest bronze statue of the goddess Benzaiten, and it is possible to ride an elevator down into the cave from the top of the cliffs.
  • Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture other
    This ancient pilgrimage route, also called the Kumano Sankeido, visits the Three Head Kumano Shrines—the Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine, Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine, and Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine. Starting in ancient times, the Kumano faith grew strong throughout the centuries, and countless people of all classes, from emperors and nobles to samurai and commoners have traveled this pilgrimage route. Due to the heavy rains in the area, the route’s stone paving still remains exposed in some areas, such as Daimon-zaka. A nationally designated Historic Site, a portion is also registered a World Heritage Site as part of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.
  • Porto Europa
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Kemi 1527
    These theme park, located on the manmade island “Wakayama Marina City” in Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture is modeled after a European port town. It is comprised of two zones: The “Porto Europa” and the “Park Pacific” amusement park. The Porto Europa zone features a French and Italian port town, buildings modeled after old Spanish castles, and other exotic elements. The amusement park has a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, water slide, and more. Entry is free.
  • Okunoin Temple
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    5.0
    1082 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan
    "One of the Two Great Holy Sites of Mt. Koyasan, this land is where Kukai (Kobo Daishi) died while meditating. There is also a mausoleum where Kukai is said to still be meditating today. On the two-kilometer approach path that connects to the mausoleum features cedar trees which are 700 years old, as well as over 200,000 gravestones and memorial monuments of royalty to commoners. The toro lantern tower in front of the mausoleum is a must-see. At the front on the inside, the Kishin lanterns devoted by Kishin shonin and the Shirakawa lanterns devoted by the Emperor Shirakawa have remained burning for over 1000 years as an ""unquenched flame."" The area ahead of the Gobyo bridge closest to the mausoleum is holy land, so taking photographs is prohibited."

    I spent several hours wandering around Okunoin cemetery and the nearby temple with a Buddhist monk on a private tour. It was absolutely worthwhile since I gained understanding of the history and...

  • Kawayu Hot Spring Sennin-buro River Bath
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchoukawayu
    This large open-air bath is formed by the mixing of the waters of the Oto River, a tributary of the Kumano River, with an over 70-degree hot spring continuously welling forth from the riverbed. Only usable from December until the end of February, the bath is familiar to many Japanese as a poetic image of winter. Bathing is free but mixed sex; accordingly, unlike most hot spring baths in Japan, it is acceptable to wear a bathing suit. On clear days, visitors can enjoy the sun or a star-filled sky during their bath, giving you an unprecedented sense of freedom and openness. Note that the bath may not be available for use due to weather or water levels.
  • Watarase Onsen Dairotenburo large open-air bath
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouwataze 45-1
    The largest open-air bath in Western Japan, situated on the grounds of a large hot spring inn. Non-guests can also enjoy a day trip of bathing in the inn’s baths. This natural hot spring bath is continuously filled from a hot spring source famed for its beautifying properties. In addition to the open-air bath, the inn’s popular reservable private open-air bath for families is also usable by non-guests. In the dining hall adjoining the open-air bath, visitors can enjoy mehari-zushi, a Kumano specialty of rice balls wrapped in mustard leaves, as well as onsen rice porridge.
  • Yunomine Onsen public bath
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine 110
    The Yunomine hot spring was discovered by the regional administrator of Kumano, Oato no Sukune, around the fourth century, and is known as Japan’s oldest onsen. The hot spring is also famous as having been used by emperors throughout history to purify themselves when they came to visit the temples of Kumano, and since ancient times the hot spring has flourished with worshipers coming to see Kumano’s temples. The public bathhouse is located in the center of the area. There is a general bath, medicinal bath, reservable private bath, and relaxation bath. The Tsuboyu, a rock bath registered as a World Heritage Site, is located nearby. This bath is a popular tourist attraction thanks to its color changing properties—depending on conditions, the bath’s waters may change colors several times in a day, leading to its nickname, the “Seven Color Bath.” Visitors can also purchase hot spring water to take home with them.
  • Torodo (Lantern Hall)
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 550
    "One of the Two Great Holy Sites of Mt. Koyasan, it was originally built as a hall of worship as a chapel of the mausoleum, and is located in front of the Gobyo (mausoleum) at ""Okuno-in"" where Kukai (Kobo Daishi) died while meditating. Inside, over 20,000 toro lanterns offered by worshipers hang bundled closely together. At the front on the inside, the Kishin lanterns devoted by Kishin shonin and the Shirakawa lanterns devoted by the Emperor Shirakawa have remained burning for over 1000 years as an ""unquenched flame."" In particular, the prayer lamp said to have been devoted by a girl called Oteru who sold her own hair for the Bodhi of her parents is also called ""the lantern of a poor girl."""

Wakayama Main Areas

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Wakayama prefecture unites pilgrims, food lovers, and culture buffs in a tranquil corner of Japan at the base of the Kii Peninsula. The setting for many a Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, Wakayama invites those in search of spirituality from one side of the prefecture to the other, from the 100-plus Buddhist temples of the sacred Mount Koya in the west to the inspiring temples of the Kumano Sanzan set among breathtaking nature in the east. Once the grueling hike is complete, make a beeline for Wakayama city to savor some of the country's most delicious ramen noodles.

Wakayama Photo Album

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