Travel / Tourism Spots in Wakayama Area

  • Okunoin Temple
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    5.0
    1247 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."

    Okunoin Cemetery is really impressive, big, with history. We did the night visit and I thought that its not worth paying to have a guide. They explain you things, but nothing you cant know taking a...

  • Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine
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    4.5
    534 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 shrine is very nice and even 3 of 5 parts are from origin (saved by the flood) , this worth it to come. You can smell the tree odor in this shrine. Roof are amazing

  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
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    4.5
    616 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.

    It takes 20-30 minutes walk either by stairs or walking up to get to the temple but its all worth it. You can see the temple with nachi falls as the background. There is Kwan Im statue as well.

  • Kongobuji Temple
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    4.5
    499 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 132
    "The main temple of the Koyasan Shingon sect, this temple is the core of Mt. Koyasan, holy land of the Shingon Esoteric Buddhism founded by Kukai (Kobo Daishi). This place is functioned as temple office for the whole of Mt. Koyasan. The best features include the lacquer paintings of the Kano school and the Unkoku school in the main hall which has a characteristic cypress-thatched roof, and the ""Banryutei"" which is one of the largest stone gardens in the country. In this stone garden, the cloud sea is represented by white pebbles, while two dragons, male and female, are depicted protecting the inner shrine."

    Kongōbu-ji temple is quite big, with a nice entrance. It has several halls and alleys. Its free and its one of Koyasans highlights. When we were there, it was a rainy and cloudy day so we couldnt...

  • Danjo Garan Temple
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    4.5
    369 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 152
    Together with the Okunoin, one of the two most sacred sites on holy Mt. Koya. It is also the first site where the famed monk Kukai began building in order to erect his main dojo for his esoteric Shingon teachings. The temple is comprised of 19 buildings, including the Konpon Daito tower, the symbol of the temple; the main temple hall, and Goeido hall. The main temple hall, located in the center of the grounds, is the central temple nave of Mt. Koya and almost all of the most important ceremonies on the mountain are conducted here. The temple’s principle object of worship is a figure of Bhaisajyaguru; this statue is a hidden image and is not displayed to the general public.

    The whole temple area is quite impressive, with lots of templs, halls.. and everything within the nature. If youre lucky, it wont be too crowded. In if youre even luckier, youll have a nice day...

  • Seiganto-ji Temple
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    4.5
    269 Reviews
    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.

    I didnt venture in, but was all around it trying see best vantage point to incorporate it, the pagoda and falls into a good photo.

  • Kamikura-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    193 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Shingushi Kamikura 1-13-8
    A Shinto shrine located in 1 Chome Kamikura, Shingu City. Situated on sacred ground where the god Kumano Omikami first descended to Earth. The Kodobiki Boulder, considered a sacred natural object and deity, is also located on the shrine grounds at the top of over 5000 natural stone steps. The Oto Matsuri, held each year on February 6, is an unusual festival in which white robed men carrying torches lit with a sacred flame run down a series of stone steps. The festival is designated an Important Intangible Folk-Cultural Property.

    the shrine is ok. the hike up is more interesting and abit taxing up rock steps which is pretty steep at some areas..

  • 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.
  • Koyasan Reihokan Museum
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    4.5
    159 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 306
    This facility preserves and displays invaluable Buddhist imagery and paintings from temples on Mt. Koya, such as the Kongobu-ji temple, the head temple of Shingon Buddhism. Opened in 1921, the museum's collection currently includes some 28 thousand important works of art, including 21 National Treasures, 143 Important Cultural Properties, and 16 Wakayama Prefecturally Designated Cultural Properties. During the extremely popular Great Treasure Hall Exhibition in summer, the museum displays the Eight Great Youths, a sculpture designated a National Treasure that was carved by Unkei, the greatest Buddhist imagery maker of the Kamakura period.

    Koyasan recently celebrated it 1200th anniversary, and some of the treasures in this museum are that old, loaned from some of the 100 monasteries on this mountain. The museum is small and so displays...

  • Michinoeki (Roadside Station) Kaki no Sato Kudoyama
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    4.0
    69 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkudoyamachou Nyugou 5-5
    A rest area located in Kudoyama Town, Ito County, Wakayama Prefecture which is a popular destination from which to explore the area and as a place to buy local souvenirs. The facility hosts the World Heritage Information Center, where you can learn about the World Heritage sites and history of Kudoyama, an area connected to Warring States period samurai Sanada Yukimura. There’s also an outdoor play area with large playground equipment and a market selling local agricultural and specialty products direct from area farmers. The rest area’s bakery and café has an eat-in space where you can enjoy fresh-baked bread, pastas, and other meals.

    Today was the first day of the 2017 Sanada Festival on the grounds of this facility. After opening ceremonies, they had a gun/rifle demonstration by townspeople dressed in the military uniforms of...

  • Hiro-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    133 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Higashimuro-gun Nachikatsuuracho Nachisan
    A 20-minute drive from JR Kii-Katsuura Station. This Shinto shrine is a subordinate shrine to Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine, counted among the Three Main Kumano Shrines; Nachi Falls is the shrine's shintai, or object of worship. The shrine has no front shrine and instead visitors worship in an area around 200 meters in front of the waterfall. Accordingly, visitors may participate in a formal prayer service not only in the Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine's Honden but also here in front of the waterfall; and after the 30-minute service is over, participants can listen to a lecture on the history of the shrine. The shrine sells lucky charms depicting a dragon god based on an ancient legend that a dragon lives in the falls.

    It sure gives you perspective on how high the falls are when you reach it foot; you have an opportunity to try some of the water.

  • Kokawa-dera Temple
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    4.0
    65 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Kinokawashi Kokawa 2787
    This temple is located in Kokawa, Kinokawa City. It is the third pilgrimage site of the “Saikoku Sanjusansho” pilgrimage that takes visitors to various holy sites associated with Kannon. It was constructed at the end of the Nara period in 770 by Otomo no Kujiko. The main temple building was rebuilt in 1720, and it features a very rare design that combines a single-roof worship hall with a double-roof main hall, making it an Important Cultural Property.

    We drove from Negoro-ji Temple to Kokawa-ji Temple, both of which stand at the southern foot of the Izumi Mountains north of the Kinokawa River. Kokawa-ji Temple is believed to have been established...

  • Nachi Waterfall (Hiro Jinja Shrine)
    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.
  •  Yunomine-oji ato
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine
    This shrine in Yunomine, Hongu-cho is one of the 99 Oji Shrines. On the nationally historic Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, it's about five minutes on foot from Yunomine Onsen's Tsubo-yu hot spring. Located in the center of Yunomine Onsen, it was once next to Tokoji Temple, which honors Yumune Yakushi, a form of the Medicine Buddha. In 1903 the temple's Yakushido and the main shrine building burnt down, and the shrine was rebuilt in its current location on a hill. It's said the legendary Oguri Hangan found favor with the gods on his Kumano pilgrimage, and recovered from serious illness through the healing waters of Yunomine Onsen's hot springs. The shrine also holds a ceremony known as the Chigo Dance.
  • 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.
  • Niutsuhime Shrine
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    4.5
    59 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkatsuragichou Kamiamano 230
    You’ll find this shrine along Prefectural Route 4 in Kamiamano, Katsuragi Town. Niutsuhime’s child is enshrined here, and it is said that Takanomiko, enshrined in the second hall, transformed into a hunter and led Kobo Daishi to Mt. Koya, who then borrowed Niutsuhime’s holy land to erect a shrine atop the mountain and teach the secrets of Shingon esoteric Buddhism. It is customary to worship here before ascending Mt. Koya.

    This is the obligatory stop for the travels up the Mt Koya. You pray and appease the local mountain deity. There are old cedar trees, and of course the bridge. The temple design is regular shinto.

  • Turkish Museum
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    4.0
    82 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunkushimotochou Kashino 1025-25
    You’ll find this Turkish memorial building in Kushimoto Town of Higashimuro County, Wakayama Prefecture. The “Ertuğrul Fırkateyni,” a wooden battle cruiser from the Ottoman Empire bearing a special envoy, sank in 1890 in the Kumano Sea, resulting in 587 deaths. Thanks to the generous rescue efforts of the locals, Japan and Turkey have enjoyed warm relations ever since. The building contains materials related to the sunken vessel as well as models, mementos from the sailors, and more. You can see the crash site from the observation deck on the second floor.

    If youre in the area make a visit to this museum. The museum itself is quite small, with some nice artefacts. The scenery/view from the balcony is great:the rocks are still visible, just like in...

  • Sandanbeki Cave
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    4.0
    49 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 2927-52
    This is a cave formed by years of sea erosion and is set into one of the famous sheer cliffs of Japan, the Sandanbeki cliff. It is a spot for invaluable study of fossilized ripples of stone caused by waves and currents, and rock crevasses surging with the tide. It is said that this cave was the hideout for the Kumano navy ships in the Genpei War during the Heian Period. Inside the cave is a restored Kumano navy barrack, and it enshrines Japan’s largest bronze benzaiten deity of water, the Muro-dai-benzaiten.

    Sandanbeki Cliff has two parts, both the inside and the outside. To access the underground caves, you would have to take an elevator down, and follow the path to see the different parts of the...

  • Shirahama Submarine Observation Tower
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    3.0
    105 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 1821
    This all-weather observatory is about 100 meters off the coast from Hotel Seamore and about 20 minutes by car from Shirahama Station. About 18 meters high and stretching 8 meters under water, you can observe about 30 kinds of fish including black porgies and largescale blackfish from its 12 windows. The air bubbles rising from the sea bed are said to be where a hot spring comes to the surface. A picture panel of the fish you'll see will help you identify them. The observation tower has a pleasant breeze and a great view that looks out to the vast stretch of the horizon.

    I went to visit this observatory deck with my family (I chose friends since we were not with kids nor teenagers) and the place was good. If you want to see the actual thing and is having hydro...

  • Kumagaiji Temple
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    4.5
    95 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Ito-gun Koyacho Koyasan 501
    This temple was established on the wishes of Prince Kazurawara, the third son of Emperor Kanmu. Although located in Koyasan, the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism, the temple is counted as one the unnumbered temples of the 25 Sacred Sites of Honen Shonin, the founder of Pure Land Buddhism. The temple, which currently serves as lodgings for temple visitors, is adjacent to the Ichinohashi-guchi bus stop that leads to Koyasan Okunoin Temple. The name of the temple comes from the Heian period soldier Kumagai Naozane, who appears in the Tale of the Heike. The temple is where Kumagai performed a memorial service for the young warrior Taira-no-Atsumori, who he slew in single combat. Notable monks such as Honen and Shinran, the founder of Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land Buddhism) have also stayed at the temple. Honen, Shinran, and Naozane each carved statues of their images reflected in the surface of the temple's well during their visits. Each of these statues was enshrined in the temple's Enkodo Hall.

    Kumagaiji is a temple where you can stay. You sleep in a very spacious Ryokan-style room. Bathrooms and onsen are shared, but very clean. You share your dinner and breakfast with the rest of the...

Wakayama 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.

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