Travel / Tourism Spots in Wakayama Area

  • Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine
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    4.5
    558 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.

    If you are traveling along the South Coast of the Kansai, youll come across this important, and highly atmospheric shrine. We visited just as it had stopped raining and were practically the only...

  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
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    4.5
    659 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.

    This was an amazing spot to go for an easy hike and explore some of Japans nature. We started by walking through Daimonzaka trail and made our way up to Seiganto-ji temple where we got an impressive...

  • Kongobuji Aji Kan
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    4.5
    520 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Ito-gun Koyacho Koyasan 132

    Absolutely loved the rock garden and the paintings in the sliding doors. This has become one of my favourite temples visited in Japan. It is large and a great one to explore as there is a lot to see...

  • Koyasan Reihokan Museum
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    4.5
    166 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.

    If you are interested in Buddhism and want to see beautiful states in a peaceful environment, this small museum is perfect. We just came from Osaka where the Osaka Castle was wall to wall people...

  • Kamikura-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    213 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 rock stairs were steep and somewhat challenging. Still, the walk was definitely worth it! The stairs were very steep for about 150-200m (~70m elevation gain), then started levelling off. A great...

  • Cape Shionomisaki
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    4.0
    136 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunkushimotochou Shionomisaki
    At latitude 33° 25′ 59″ North and longitude 135° 45′ 45″ East, this cape is on the southern most tip of Honshu island. The vast expanse of the sea making an arc at the horizon is a site to see, especially at sunset when the whole sky is painted in coral colors. From the nearby observatory, Mt. Nachi can be seen.

    Must visit when in the area. Dramatic view all around this area. The sea is so beautiful, but can be very cruel

  • Taiji Whale Museum
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    4.0
    151 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimuroguntaijichou Taiji 2934-2
    A museum in Taiji, Taiji Town, Higashimuro County. Through various displays visitors can learn about the more than 400 year old relationship Taiji Town has had with whaling, as well as traditional whaling techniques, and the ecology of whales. Visitors can also watch the whales in action in dolphin and whale shows like the short-finned pilot whale show held in the natural pool built in the sea. The full scale skeleton of the world's largest animal, the blue whale, exhibited outdoors, is an impressive sight.

    Wish there was more English there. Interesting museum with show of dolphins and whales. I do not like shows of animals, so I did not stay for that.

  • Hiro-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    153 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.

    If you want to see the impressive waterfall, you must go to the shrine, which is next to it. The shrine itself, nothing out of the ordinary, but the waterfall is spectacular.

  • Michinoeki (Roadside Station) Kaki no Sato Kudoyama
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    4.0
    74 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.

    農産物直売所では、大根、ニンジン、キャベツなどの新鮮野菜が豊富に揃っていました。また、切り花、タケノコや山菜が春を感じさせてくれました。なお、レストランはありませんが、イートインコーナーのあるベーカリーでは、焼き立てパンだけではなく、アイスクリームやフレッシュジュースも提供しています。

  • 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.
  • Shirahama Energy Land
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    3.5
    113 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 3083
    Come experience this mystery filled theme park centered around ''People and Natural Energy!'' Try a variety challenges to overcome including The Maze, or Solar Town where you can learn all about renewable energy. Check out the mysterious pictures that fool your eyes with optical illusions in the Trick Art House. With these and many more there are a lot of ways to have fun while learning!

    以前から気にはなってましたので、行程の都合上パンダの前に寄ってみました。 中はエンタメに振ってる行政がやってそうな科学館みたいな感じですが、入場料は行政ぽくありません(汗) 子供はミステリーハウスではしゃいでました。小学生くらいの家族連れは結構見ましたが、子供はみんな楽しそうでした。大人はめまいする…とか言ってる人もいました。 うちの子供は360°立体シアターの方を気に入って2種類見てました。ロ...

  • Kishu Toshogu Shrine
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    4.0
    81 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Wakauranishi 2-1-20
    This Gongen-style shrine was built in 1621 by Tokugawa Yorinobu, the first lord of the Kishu domain, to provide protection for the Nankaido road. Tokugawa Ieyasu and Tokugawa Yorinobu are enshrined here as deities. The shrine is brilliantly decorated with lacquerware and sculptures featuring both the Kano and Tosa styles, and it is called the “Nikko of Kansai.” It has been designated an Important Cultural Property as a representative structure from the early Edo period.

    Its a very pretty shrine with very nice view over the city but you need to walk and climb up hundreds of steps before reaching the top. So please ensure you have at least 40 minutes.

  • 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.
  • Roadside Station Susami
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    4.0
    58 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunsusamichou Esumi 808-1
    Susami Roadside Station is located along National Route 42, about a 15-minute drive from the Susami Interchange or a five-minute walk from JR Esumi Station. A special attraction is the Susami Municipal Aquarium of Crab and Shrimp right next door. Just a five-minute drive farther along the road is Esuzaki Point, a National Natural Monument, one of the many nearby scattered scenic sightseeing attractions that make this area so wonderful. The restaurant's flagship dishes include Deep-Fried Local Lobster on Rice Dinner and Saury Sushi, and it also sells a unique Lettuce Dipping Sauce. Another shop on the premises sells freshly caught local fish.

    物販コーナーやレストランは綺麗で広々しており、鮮魚の販売もありました。また、エビとカニの水族館のほか、日帰り入浴施設や宿泊施設も隣接しているので色々な楽しみ方が出来そうです。海に面しているので景色が良いです。

  • Sandanbeki Cave
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    4.0
    57 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.

    This cave is a bit scary but interesting place. Entrance fee is ¥1300. 夜の観光も行っている日がありました。 足湯はやっていませんでした(ご時世?)。 千畳敷から徒歩20分程です。 エレベーターで洞窟まで降りるのですが、中は滑りやすいため注意して歩きました。

  • Shionomisaki Tower
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    3.5
    63 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunkushimotochou Shionomisaki 2706-26
    Cape Shiono is at the southernmost point of Honshu, the main island of Japan. This observation deck adjoins the sprawling grass field that unfurls at its tip, offering a sweeping view of the vast expanse of sea. The stunning view of the horizon showcases the Earth’s curvature brilliantly. You can receive a certificate as proof of your visit, too.

    It could have been nice, the view is great, but poor maintenance of the building and bad smell in the elevator. Maybe it is because of the corona, not sure, but looks like a bit deserted, I was the...

  • Niutsuhime Shrine
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    4.5
    65 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.

  • Koyasan Daishikyokai Temple sutra copying and precept instruction
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    4.0
    91 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 347
    Visitors to sacred Mt. Koya can engage in a variety of esoteric Shingon practices, such as copying sutras and being instructed in the precepts of Buddhism. Sutra copying can be conducted after learning how it is performed. First, participants rinse their mouths, after which they light incense and perform a ceremony before copying the Heart Sutra. Sutra copying costs 1,000 yen and may be dedicated to someone. Being instructed in the precepts requires a 500-yen entry fee. During the instruction in the sutras, visitors listen to the 10 Bodhisattva Precepts in a pitch dark temple hall. Both sutra copying and instruction in the precepts may be participated in with a same-day reservation.

    This is a big hall where many people can come together to worship the founder of Shogun Buddhism in Japan and of Koyasan,Kobo Daishi Kukai (774-834)

  • Negoro-ji Temple
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    4.5
    75 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Iwadeshi Negoro 2286
    Negoro-ji is a complex of temples in Negoro, Iwade City. It is the head temple of the Shingi Shingon sect founded over 900 years ago. The large wooden pagoda within the complex has been designated a national treasure and is the only large wooden stupa to have been designated as such. Visitors are welcome to enter inside and look around. The temple is also a famous spot for cherry blossom viewing.

    If you have been to Koya-san, one of the most prominent centers of Shingon Buddhism, you might be interested to pay a visit to the Negoro-Temple (Negoro-ji) surrounded by the peaks of the Katsuragi...

  • Minakata Kumagusu Museum
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    4.5
    86 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 3601-1
    This museum uses written and other materials to present the achievements of Kumagusu Minakata, natural historian and folklorist from Wakayama Prefecture. The museum displays over 700 items, including his beloved glasses, research equipment, and samples of plants collected overseas. There is also an exhibit where visitors can view via microscope the slime mold Minakata gave a lecture on to Emperor Hirohito. Located on the tip of a peninsula, the 360-degree panoramic view from the museum’s roof is stunning. (Note: The museum is currently closes for construction. The main and new buildings are scheduled to open March 19, 2017.)

    みなかたくまくす、というのは本名。明治時代の日本人に海外の著名な学者たちと交流のあったひとがいたとは驚きです。幼少のおりから人並外れた才能の持ち主で上京後、さらに米国と英国に行き粘菌をはじめとした植物学を極めたうえその知的欲求は民俗学にまで及んだという知の巨人です。館内にはこのひとが残した書き物や私物が綺麗に展示されています。 白浜温泉街の中心部からはやや離れたところにある岬のうえにあり、記念館に...

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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